How to Peel a China Marker? (The Ultimate Guide)

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

how to peel a china marker

You will need to use a China marker to make markings on non-porous surfaces that are hard and glossy. But these are not like the typical markers. There are no China marker sharpeners on the market for you to avail of.

If you want to use one, you will have to learn how to peel a China marker. In this article, you can get the instructions to do just that! Read on for the step-by-step guide and relevant tips and tricks.

Peel Off China Marker Instructions


What to Prepare

You will just need your hands to get the job done. You can do this directly over a trash bin so you will not have to take the extra step to deal with the peelings.

Otherwise, prepare something, such as a paper towel or plastic bag, to collect the peelings.

Also, if you remove China markers’ outer covers incorrectly, you might ruin them. So, it is essential that you read the steps below carefully and follow them closely.

Step 1: Find the string

Your China marker will come with a string. This string is usually at the top of the marker, close to the tip. Sometimes, it will be in the form of a thin strip. When you locate it, hold it with one hand.

Step 2: Pull the string

Pull the string that you have found in the previous step downwards, vertically. It should strip just a bit and expose the wax tip of your marker. This step happens pretty easily. So, you will not have to use a lot of power or pressure. Just pull the string gently.

Step 3: Grab the wrapper

The exposed wax tip will give you access to the wrapper. All you have to do now is grab one end of it and unravel it. One of your hands should be handling the wrapper while one should be holding the marker.

The latter (holding the marker) should twist and turn the pencil. It is easiest to do this by placing the marker between your thumb and index fingers.

Step 4: Twist the marker and unravel it simultaneously

As you twist the marker between your thumb and index fingers (on one hand), strip the wrapper off (on the other hand) to unravel it. Imagine you are pulling tape from a roll. It helps to pull it at a slightly downward angle, but it will still work even if you don’t.

Keep pulling and unraveling until you reach your desired level. Once you do, cut away any excess string or strip, and you can put your China marker to use again!

  • Note: We recommend peeling the marker down by one or two coils at a time. If you peel more, your marker will wear down quickly.

Surprisingly easy, isn’t it? As you can see, there are only a few steps to take and when you become familiar with them, you can go through the process very quickly.

Just note that you should never do it too fast or too hard, as your marker can be broken off or left with ragged edges that might interfere with the results of your work.

Step 5: Discard the peelings

To finish, throw away any peelings. You should always do this to keep a clean and tidy workplace! It does not take too much time and effort but will certainly make a difference.

You can follow these steps for typical peel-off pencils on the market, like those from Sharpie and Paper Mate.

Steps to Peel a China Marker With a Knife

If your China marker does not have a string, it is likely wrapped with wood, you will need to use a knife to peel it.

Step 1: Hold the marker and knife right

Hold the marker in one hand and a knife in the other. Position the knife at the end of the marker and tilt it so that it is at a 45-degree angle.

Step 2: Shave off the markers’ outer covers slowly

Push the knife down into the marker gently but firmly. Once you have a slit, press the knife even deeper, slowly. Shave off the wood gradually all the way around.

Be careful when you are trying to peel the marker with a knife. Since it is sharp, it can potentially injure you. Make sure you carry out the steps carefully and slowly. If you hurt yourself, it will be diffcult to use the marker even if you have it sharpened!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is a China marker?

A China marker is a type of writing tool made of wax. The wax is typically hardened and colored. These are either wrapped in wood or paper. Nowadays, there are also mechanical retractable China markers and grease China crayons.

A popular example of China markers in the market is the Dixon Phano China Markers, such as the Phano China Marker 77.

China markers are also referred to as grease pencils, wax pencils, and Chinagraph pencils. Thus, it is not necessary to contemplate the China marker vs. grease pencil.

Are China markers erasable?

Yes, China markers are erasable. You can remove grease pencil marks, even black wax ones in a number of ways. The specific method usually depends on the surface you are trying to clean. Standard approaches can include liquid detergents, toothpaste, baby wipes, acetone, WD-40,…

What do you do with a China marker?

You can use a China marker to make markings on non-porous surfaces that are hard and glossy.

For instance, they can be used on porcelain, ceramics, glass, polished stone, metal, etc. They are also excellent for labeling contact sheets, x-rays, analog audio tapes, film material, and maps.

A great thing about China markers is that they are not likely to scratch the surface they are used on. Handymen and construction workers take advantage of this, and so do traditional artists. In addition, it is possible to use them on wet surfaces.

The bottom line is that China markers are incredibly versatile. In fact, some people use them as a hack product for eyebrows!

Are China markers permanent?

China markers are not permanent. There are many different ways to wipe them off a surface; the approach used depends on the surface. For instance, you can use nail polish remover on plastic. In most cases, though, some sudsy water will do.


To make the most out of China markers, knowing how to properly peel them is critical. Good thing you have learned the specific steps to do that in this article. You should now be able to use these wax marker pencils with ease.

Comment your experience and any other tips and tricks you have below! Also, share this to help others learn how to peel a China marker! Anyone who is struggling will surely appreciate it!

Read more: Steps to sharpen a China marker.

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