How to Get Rid of Eraser Marks? – 3 Effective Methods

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

how to get rid of eraser marks

Eraser marks can be a major aesthetic eye sore when we are trying to work on a project. They can also be difficult to get rid of and can end up ruining the wooden, canvas, or whatever surface we are working on.

Here is a guide on how to get rid of eraser marks. Included are a few tips for preventing them from appearing as well.

Read on for a complete understanding!

Ways to Get Rid of Eraser Marks

Method 1: Cleaning the eraser

What To Prepare:


  • Your eraser
  • Fine, high-grit sandpaper (At least 400 grit), as lower-grit sandpaper might be too rough, and you can lose more of your eraser rubbing on it.

What To Do:

When an eraser is used for removing pencil marks, it often picks up dust, pencil lead, paper coatings, and other small bits and pieces that can be re-transferred to the surface you are using it on, leaving stains.

If you try to erase that stain with the same eraser, it will only get worse. So, what should you do?

The answer is pretty simple: clean the eraser!

Once it is clean, you can use it to get rid of eraser smudges. Here is how you can go about it:

  1. Set down a piece of fine, high-grit sandpaper (400-grit or higher).
  2. Rub the eraser against the sandpaper gently to shave off the dirty parts. Do not apply too much force, as you can shed off more of the eraser than necessary.
  3. As you do step 2, eraser shavings will pile up. If you go over them, the eraser can become dirty again. So, move to a different part of the sandpaper to continue working.
  4. Simply rub until the eraser is entirely clean. It will take more time if your eraser is big in size and very dirty. But rest assured that its resulting ability to remove eraser marks without leaving smears will be worth it.

Method 2: Switching to another type of eraser

What To Prepare:


  • A vinyl eraser or
  • A kneaded eraser

What To Do:

Since the shavings of erasers are the culprits to undesirable spots and marks, another way to get rid of eraser marks on paper is to switch to less-messy erasers. Your options include a vinyl eraser and kneaded eraser.

  • Vinyl Eraser: This vinyl eraser type can help you get rid of pencil marks on paper without leaving a lot of crumbs. It still sheds shavings, but they lump together, making it easier to avoid accidentally erasing over them again and creating a smear.

In addition, it is easy to discard them. You can shake your paper over a trash can to get rid of erased shavings or use a drafting brush to dust the shavings off.

  • Kneaded Eraser: This is a pliable type of eraser that is also called putty rubber. It does not shed and leave crumbs like rubber erasers, so you do not have to worry about stains when writing or drawing with an eraser.

However, it can still get dirty. There are several ways to clean it. You can stretch and fold it, like dough, and knead the dirty parts into the eraser, effectively “changing the eraser’s outer coat.” You can also manually remove the dirty build-ups with your fingers, a utility knife, or a toothpick.

Method 3: Removing the marks digitally

What To Prepare:


  • A laptop or computer with access to Photoshop

What To Do:

If you are scanning your work, you can remove eraser marks digitally in Photoshop.  The easiest way to do it is by using the Spot Healing Brush tool.

  1. First, create a new blank layer from the drop-down menu Layers > New Layer or the icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.
  2. Zoom in on the eraser stain, then drag the Spot Healing Brush tool over it. You can find it in the toolbar.
  3. Set the tool to a size appropriate to the stain and click. The platform will replace the spot with the colors of the surrounding areas, so it will blend seamlessly, appearing as though you have erased it.

What Happens if Oil Gets on the Eraser, Then the Drawing?


When oil is transferred from your skin to the eraser, and then to the paper, rubbing the spot can leave smears and smudges. To handle these and recover your writing and/or drawing, follow the steps below.

  1. Get chalk dust and sprinkle it over the area that needs treatment.
  2. Use a brush to spread the chalk dust out.
  3. Sandwich the chalk-coated paper with two other clean sheets.
  4. Press the oiled spot with a flat iron on the lowest heat setting for a few seconds.

Tips to prevent eraser marks

Tip 1: Do not use your hands to brush off eraser crumbs


When we notice eraser residue on our paper, the simplest solution that pops into mind is to pick the residue off using our fingers. However, this can do more harm than good. There is a chance we will further smudge or smear the spot, rendering it an aesthetic eyesore.

The better way to deal with it is to use a drafting brush, which is sometimes also referred to as a dust brush. Invest in a quality one and keep it by your stationery for convenient use.

We suggest getting one with soft bristles; stiff ones might cause damage to your paper.

Tip 2: Invest in an eraser case


An eraser case can help keep your eraser clean. Thus, it will be less likely to leave marks on your paper. You can easily find one online or offline. It is fairly inexpensive.

Plus, for a one-time investment, you can save more money on replacing your erasers in the long run. It will save you time, effort, and frustration dealing with eraser marks too.

Tip 3: Use high-quality, less-fibrous paper


The quality of paper plays a role in how likely erasers leave marks. Lower-quality paper tends to be more prone to smears and smudges when erased. Moreover, erasers become more dirty faster on fibrous paper, leading to eraser marks. Opting for paper with a glossier finish can help lower the chances of encountering eraser hassles.

Frequently Asked Questions


How to erase pencil without eraser?

If you are dealing with a very small or light pencil mark and do not want to take the chance with an eraser. You can use adhesive putty, Blu-tack, or clay to get the job done. Something rubbery, like rubber bands, can also work.

How to get rid of pencil marks on canvas?

You can dab the pencil on canvas with a wet brush, then blot clean it with a soft rag. Make sure you draw out all the excess water.

Check that no eraser residue remains as well. If necessary, add a bit of mild soap and each to the water you are using to dampen the brush for a deeper clean.

Can you remove pencil marks from plastic?

Yes! You can remove pencil marks from plastic surfaces using soapy water or glass cleaner and a soft rag. Other options include rubbing alcohol, WD-40, magic erasers, and baby wipes.

How to erase pencil marks from wood?

Do not worry if you have accidentally gotten pencil marks on a table or a similar wooden surface. It is possible to erase!

You can use mild soap and water for unfinished wood and isopropyl or denatured alcohol for finished wood. If your wood is painted, use an all-purpose cleaner.


Now, you know exactly how to get rid of eraser marks. You no longer have to worry about them ruining your work.

Even better, you have three tips up your sleeves to prevent them from appearing in the first place. If you have any other handy tricks, leave them with us in the comments down below. We welcome questions too! Do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Read more: Tips to erase marker from paper.

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