How To Revive Sharpies (With Common Household Supplies)

Sharpies are a great writing tool that can be used for so many different purposes, but we all know that they can dry out after a while. This is always a disappointment, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be.

There are multiple ways that you can revive your sharpie and get back to using it like normal again. The most common is to dip it into some sort of solution. You can use vinegar, rubbing alcohol, or warm water, though rubbing alcohol will be the most effective.

In the rest of this article, we will look closer at these methods so that you can learn the best way to (hopefully) make your sharpie work again, as well as how to keep it feeling brand new for as long as possible.

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Top 4 Ways To Revive Your Sharpie

how to revive sharpies

Rubbing alcohol is going to be the most effective and long-lasting remedy out of all these methods. This is because sharpie ink is alcohol-based, so it makes it really easy for the alcohol to get in there and make the ink flow. 

However, there are some other methods to try if you don’t have rubbing alcohol, but we can’t promise the effectiveness of these ones. They may work but not last for very long, or they may not work at all if your sharpie is too empty.

Still, there is no harm in trying them. And if they end up not working, you can always go buy rubbing alcohol and give it a try!

Rubbing Alcohol

This is the most foolproof method when it comes to reviving your sharpies, and many people use this one with no problems. It is also the fastest way to get your sharpie working again.

Just simply pour some rubbing alcohol into the cap or a bowl and put the tip of your sharpie in it. Then you should let it sit until you see some ink flowing out. The time varies based on how dried out your sharpie is, but it usually only takes about 15-30 seconds.

After you see the ink coming out, remove your sharpie from the rubbing alcohol and place the cap back on. You only have to let it sit for about 15 minutes, then you are free to test it out. The ink should come out onto the page nicely after doing this trick.

Warm Water

This method definitely works the most effectively with water-based sharpies. If your sharpie is using an oil-based ink it could still work, but it’s less likely to and will probably dry out pretty quickly.

All you have to do is boil some water in a pot on the stove. It doesn’t have to be that much since you will just be submerging the sharpie tip into it. Make sure you let the water cool a bit before you do this, though it should definitely still be warm.

Make sure the sharpie tip is fully submerged in the warm water, and keep it there for at least 5 to 7 minutes. Usually, the ink will start running out of the marker into the water at this point.

Now all you have to do is shake the extra water off of the sharpie and put the cap back on. Leave it to dry for around 24 hours and after this point, it should hopefully work again.


You just need a little bit of white vinegar in a bowl for this method. Unlike with warm water, you have to be careful not to submerge your sharpie in the vinegar for too long because this could actually ruin your marker. 

What you really want to do is quickly dip the sharpie tip into the vinegar then remove it. You can do this multiple times, probably about 5-10 times for the best results. The main thing is that you just don’t want to hold your sharpie in the vinegar. It’s just a quick dip that you do multiple times.

After you do this, let your sharpie sit out without the cap for about 24 hours. This will let it dry without keeping too much vinegar on it. After the time is up, you are free to test it out.

Running Water

The last tip is to get the sharpie tip wet under running water from a faucet. Then wrap the tip in plastic wrap and put the cap back on. This will help the water soak into it and hopefully start breaking up that dried ink.

After a few hours, you can take off the cap and plastic wrap to see if your sharpie is working again. Just test it on some paper to find out. Be sure that you don’t give up if you don’t see ink right away because sometimes it needs to adjust to writing for a moment before the ink starts flowing out.

How Do You Keep Your Sharpie From Drying Out Again In The Future?

How to fix a sharpie marker

There is no way to keep your sharpie from drying out eventually since this is inevitable with any marker. However, you can make your sharpie last a lot longer if you take care to store it properly.

Always make sure that the lid is tightly secure after every use. This may seem obvious, but a big culprit of dried-out markers is people accidentally leaving the caps off. So even if you think it’s on all the way, it may be a good idea to double-check.

It’s also best to store your sharpies with the tip facing down. This way, gravity will pull the ink downward and make it less likely to dry up and easier for the pen to write. 

The best climate for your sharpies is going to be in a cool and dry place. If you live somewhere that is pretty hot, it might be a good idea to just keep the sharpies in your fridge. It may seem weird, but it will help your sharpies last longer.

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