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