Markers without Tops photo

I Ask: How Do I Save Dried Out Markers?

My daughter is in cahoots with Crayola. Because all my markers look like this

Markers without Tops photo
Purple didn't even last the night.

Sometimes N tricks me into thinking that she has changed, but the tops aren’t on tight enough.

Putting Marker Tops On Photo
The photo is blurry because you can't contain the muscles needed to get those tops to close. Definitely a conspiracy.

If I wanted my kids to draw a rainbow, I’d have to buy new markers every other week. Although if I could just purchase blue, purple and black, I’d save myself a lot of money since my kids think FAVORITE COLOR means ONLY COLOR THAT CAN EVER BY USED EXCEPT FOR BLACK.

Nothing has worked. And by “nothing” I mean all I tried was nothing except water on the tip, which lead to my kids wanting all the marker to make the sink PRETTY COLORS and no markers actually working on paper. Oh and I tried vinegar which made my kids run away from the markers screaming: EEEEWWWWWW!

So I ask: How do I save dried out markers? Can it be done?

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

11 thoughts to “I Ask: How Do I Save Dried Out Markers?”

  1. If you want to do nothing – Colorific Markers last longer than Crayola. Either way, you can help them “Make it click!” when replacing the top – listening for the sound of the cap engaging. One fun fact about marker tops – did you know they’re designed to allow air to pass through the top if the top is swallowed by a child? You can suck or blow through the top – a recent safety development since we were kids. Heres a link to see what Colorific Markers look like:

    1. Ooh, I’m going to order these instead. Thanks!

      I think for my daughter it’s just so hard to get it to click and I forget to go through them all to double-check.

      And your fun fact is awesome. Also, do you think that they’re slowly drying out the whole time?

  2. Even has little to suggest:

    If marker caps are left off traditional Crayola Markers for a brief period of time, you may wish to try dipping the tip in warm water for about 5 seconds. After recapping the marker, we suggest waiting 24 hours before attempting to use the marker again. Newer technology Crayola Markers, as well as traditional markers that have become very dry, may not recover using this method.

    ie: BUY MORE of our pricey markers…

  3. This is going to sound horrible.
    (I’m okay with that.)

    But I just tell the kids that if they let a marker dry out, then I’m throwing it away and they’ll have to use crayons for that color. And if the crayons are found anywhere other than their box, they get thrown away, too.

    It only took a few years of them having only a yellow crayon and brown marker before they started making sure they “took care of” their art tools. And, of course, we’d buy them new markers for their birthdays and other holidays.

  4. My son is a perpetual cap forgetter! I also throw away dried out markers and when they can’t find a color refer them to the colored pencils and crayons. I also have a set of markers that are mine and only come out when a project needs markers… thus they seem to last longer.
    At 5 and 7, they are doing better with putting caps back on, but it is still something we work on.
    Colorific markers are wonderful though!

  5. i can’t help you with this either, but have you ever tried watercolor crayons? they are my absolute favorite art supply since having children. they’re hard like crayons, with richer color, and you can color with them the same as with crayons, but then you can also go over them with water and a brush to make paintings out of your pictures. i think they’re awesome, personally. google them, you’ll find lots.

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