Reviving/rejuvenating of dried-out vintage Layout Markers

I get a lot of traffic through search requests like “how to make dried out makers new again”, “saving dried magic markers” and other related search terms. As I wrote in my last post, I received a lot of vintage markers, among them Magic Markers, Pantone Markers and edding 600 Grafik Art Markers. The majority of these markers are semi-dried out to completely dry, and I took the chance to try lighter fuel (as mentioned in some 1980s books about marker drawing) as a solvent for reviving markers.

If you have dried-out layout markers, you may try the following steps – I was successful not with all, but with the most markers I revived.

You may be also interested in this post about how to revive permanent markers.

What you need is lighter fuel, sandpaper, maybe gloves, tweezers – depends whether it´s possible to unscrew the marker you want to rejuvenate or not.

Make dried-out markers work again

Sandpaper, lighter fuel and dried-out Magic Markers

Make dried-out markers work again

Streaky marks of Magic Markers and a semi-dry edding 600 Grafik Art Marker

The Magic Markers can be easily unscrewed what makes it easy to drop the solvent into the glass bottle. The same with the edding 600 Grafik Art Marker.

Unscrewed top of a vintage Magic Marker

Unscrewed top of a vintage Magic Marker

Now, simply add a few drops of lighter fuel onto the felt wadding in the glass bottle. Take care not to overfill. I usually drip five to ten drops first, and then wait a moment; and if the felt wadding looks like it could absorb a bit more solvent, add some additional drops.

Simply add some drops of lighter fuel...

Simply add some drops of lighter fuel…

Now allow the solvent to mix with the remaining pigments. This may take half an hour or even longer. Store the marker with the cap up (with replaced cap of course) first, than upside down – but be careful that no solvent leaks out. That may be the case, if you put too much solvent inside the marker. Test the marker from time to time.

As you see in the picture below, the first result isn´t what I want to have. The solvent made its way to the felt tip and softened it a bit, but the mark is still streaky and uneven. The result is different with the edding 600 Grafik Marker: The mark s are fresher, but the color isn´t balanced yet.

Only minutes after adding the solvent, the dry felt tip gets soaked with solvent from inside the marker...

Better first result when testing the edding 600 Grafik Art Marker...

Better first result when testing the edding 600 Grafik Art Marker…

To handle this problem with the still dry felt tip, take a piece of sandpaper and move the felt tip several times over the surface of the sandpaper. See the result in the following pictures.

Take care not to damage the felt tip to much...

Take care not to damage the felt tip to much…

The marks are still not perfect...

The marks are still not perfect…

You may take a tissue to improve the capillary conductivity of the ink and clean the felt tip from lint that may stick on the tip after scratching over the sandpaper.

...

I repeated the last steps two times and added some more lighter fuel. After letting the markers/the ink inside settle for several hours, I got these results. Notice the different color tone of the edding 600 Grafik Marker (it´s a warm grey, however, it looks like brown/beige…) on the left side: The two strokes leftmost are somewhat lighter than the three strokes in the middle. The left strokes are the result after one day, the darker ones in the middle only hours after rejuvenating… You see that some markers may take more time to get a steady color tone after refreshing. The orange Magic Marker in the first two pictures was to dry. Rejuvenating with this one didn´t work…

The results are fresh and consistent strokes - compare with the condition before adding the lighter fuel...

The results are fresh and consistent strokes – compare with the condition before adding the lighter fuel…

Revived Pantone Marker – to drip the solvent inside, I removed the felt tip by using tweezers.

Removed felt tip of a 1980s Pantone Marker

Removed felt tip of a 1980s Pantone Marker

Result after a half hour - in the meanwhile, the color gets a bit more brighter

Result after a half hour – in the meanwhile, the color gets a bit more brighter

I have also tried to revive AD Markers with lighter fuel, however, the result was not as good as with the previous markers… For AD Markers, I recommend common solvent.

Please let me and others know, if these steps worked with your markers – feel free to share your experiences and leave a comment!

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11 comments

  1. 3243

    You can also get a can of xylene, which is the solvent in the old Pantones, Magic Markers, Designs, Chartpak ADs, etc. It’s available at some hardware stores.

    • justsomemarkers

      That´s true, I also use it for some of the markers… Anyway, lighter fuel smells a bit softer. That´s the reason I prefer lighter fuel after recognizing now that it works well with the Magic Markers for instance.

  2. Pete

    Do You happen to know what type of solvent was used in the Eberhard Faber Design 2 art markers? i have several that are dried out and I’d rather get the right solvent on the first try. Thanks!

  3. fallenz

    Very nice post. I have probably left my almost-new copic marker cap too loose since it has dried out even that I haven’t used it much. I’ll probably visit local pharmacy next week and pick up some pure isopropyl alcohol to revive it.

  4. 3243

    The Design 2s (plastic bodies with fine tip and broad tip on opposite ends) were alcohol-ink markers, just like Prismacolors and Copics.

  5. Paasche

    Great site for rejuvenating these markers that are not used frequently and dry out. Be proactive and stop them from dying out by simply sealing the cap. The easiest way is to put a tad or butter or margarine on it before you put the cap on. Won’t let it evaporate, won’t dry out, won’t cost a thing to do.

  6. Chloé

    I try it and it walk . My magic ink is like new and my eberhard Faber art design markers too

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