Rejuvenating Sharpie Permanent Markers


Introduction: Rejuvenating Sharpie Permanent Markers

About: Retired Firefighter 1966 to 1986; Retired Wheat Farmer 1987 to 2003. Drapery Sales 1969 to 1987. 17 year Quintuple Heart Bypass Surgery Survivor; 14 year Melanoma Cancer Survivor. 81 years young.

It seems that Sharpie pens have a very short life.  I buy one and the next time I try to use it, it is dry.  I read another Instructable on rejuvenating the big fat colored Sharpies using acetone and decided to try it on the one pictured.

What I did was just make a quick dip into the acetone and remove it.  It worked.  I was able to finish the project I was using the Sharpie on.  I don't know how long it will last, but it saved me a trip to store today and that is good enough.  Finger nail polish remover containing acetone should work also.  I hope this helps someone else.

I like projects that cost $0.00   :-)

4/7/14 Edit:   I tried Petrucci's method of refilling Sharpies with hypodermic of 2ML of acetone.  I injected it at the rear through the plastic case.  I pushed it through with syringe empty, pulled it out and filled it with the 2ML acetone and then injected it.   

It takes quiet a bit of pressure to push the needle through the plastic, so there is a danger of bending or breaking it. I found the needle penetrated better if you turn it while applying pressure.  I plugged the hole with Dap silicone calk when I finished.

The injected pens are working as good as new or better than new.  This has been a great experiment, and with the help of 
Petrucci, it has been very successful.  



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    7 Discussions

    Just pull the nib off with tweezers-

    I'm chemist so i use permanent markers a lot - they can be refilled with acetone and they last until the pigment ends, 10x longer or more. If i can't open the body i just take a syringe with a thin needle and inject right through the marker's tip about 2-3ml of acetone and let it stay overnight vertically(closed) to let the pigment dissolve and flow to the tip.

    Acetone refilled marker writes better on wet surfaces, unlike the original toluene solvent does.

    Methanol works nice too.

    2 replies

    thanks for the comment, pertucci. I will try your suggestion. I suggest everyone try it and let us know. Mine was a short time solution.

    The sharpie I dipped dried out in one day. After injecting 2 dead markers & waiting 6 hrs they both wrote great. Perhaps a combination of both methods would make them mark immediately and work for a long time. Thanks again Petrucci

    You dip the tip in acetone? or you remove the cylinder cartridge and soak in acetone? I'm a Sharpie fan, so it's good to know!

    1 reply

    Gabeuse, I just dipped the tip into the acetone for about one second. the cartridge is only about 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, so I don't think soaking it would do much except wash all the ink out of the cartridge.