How to Revive Crayola Markers: Ways for Water, Alcohol & Oil-based Markers

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

how to revive crayola markers

Crayola markers are fantastic pens for creating spectacular art pieces, considering that Crayola has many marker types, such as washable, ultra-clean, gel, and regular markers! You can make a ton of diverse art styles!

But sometimes you don’t feel very artsy and forget about your markers for quite some time. During these moments, markers dry up and temporarily lose their purpose.

What should one do if their markers are not working as they should? Well, you are lucky since this article teaches you how to revive Crayola markers!

Ways to Revive Crayola Markers


Before proceeding to the methods to revive dry markers, you must know that differing types of marker ink call for different ways to bring them back to life! Let’s get to it, then!

For water-based markers


Most Crayola Markers are water-based, so it should be easy to spot them. Crayola Markers with water-based inks are the Crayola supertips, regulars, ultra-clean, and washable markers.

After identifying if your markers are water-based, begin with the methods below to revive water based markers:

Method 1: Dip the marker in warm water!


What to prepare for this method:

  • Dry markers
  • Pot
  • 3 cups of water
  • Bowl
  • Paper towel
  1. Grab a pot and pour 3 cups of water into it.
  2. Heat the pot until the water is warm, not hot. You will want to revive Crayola Supertips, not cook them, silly!
  3. Get a bowl big enough that can hold 3 cups of water and pour the water once warm.
  4. Dip one dry marker in the water for approximately 5 seconds to make marker work again. Use a paper towel in case there are spills and drops.
  5. Place the marker cap back and let it be for 1 day.
  6. Test the marker to see if it works well.
  7. Repeat the method if necessary.

Method 2: Submerge the marker in warm water with vinegar!


What to prepare for this method:

  • Dry markers
  • 3 cups of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  • Cup or glass
  • Spoon
  • Paper towel
  1. Put 2 cups of warm water in the cup or glass. The container must be tall enough to fit most of the marker’s length.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to the same glass.
  3. Mix the substance with a spoon.
  4. Dip the marker in the container and let it be at a minimum of 5 minutes to undry a marker.
  5. Observe if the ink is starting to come out of the marker tip.
  6. Once it has released ink in the mixture, grab a paper towel and wrap the marker tip with it. Wait about 2 minutes before removing it to get a marker to work again.
  7. Place the marker cap back and let it be for up to 15 minutes.
  8. Try writing and see if the marker works.
  9.  If it doesn’t work after a few strokes, dip the marker tip in vinegar for a few minutes and let it dry for 15 minutes.
  10. Use the marker to check if it works well.

For alcohol-based markers


Crayola markers that are alcohol-based are their Signature Blending Markers. Follow the methods below to rehydrate markers like these!

Method 1: Immerse the marker in alcohol!


What to prepare for this method:

  • Dry markers
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cup or glass
  • Paper towel
  1. Take a cup or glass, enough to hold the majority of your marker’s length to prevent it from falling out of balance throughout the process.
  2. Pour rubbing alcohol into the container. Confirm if the substance you’re about to use contains at least 90% alcohol.
  3. Submerge the marker in the liquid until you notice ink being released from the tip. When removing the marker from the glass, use a paper towel if the marker is dripping.
  4. Put the marker cap back on and let it be for about 15 minutes.
  5. Test it out to see if it works.
  6. Do the entire process again if it doesn’t.
Method 2: Soak the marker in vinegar!


What to prepare for this method:

  • Dry markers
  • ½ cup of vinegar
  • Cup or glass
  • Paper towel
  1. Pour a half cup of vinegar into a glass. Add more if you have a wide glass. The marker tip must be fully submerged in the vinegar.
  2. Soak the pen in the substance for 2 minutes to bring a marker back to life.
  3. Wait until some ink has come out of the marker.
  4. Let it dry for about 15 minutes.
  5. Try using it to check if it works well.
  6. Repeat the process if necessary.

For oil-based markers


Crayola gel markers are oil-based, for sure! Move on to this method if you are reviving oil-based markers!

Method #1: Soak the marker in warm water!


What to prepare for this method:

  • Dry markers
  • Paper
  • Small bowl
  • 1-2 cups of warm water
  • Paper towel
  1. Do a few strokes with your marker on the paper. Do this several times if possible.
  2. If the marker does not work, put the marker cap on and wait approximately 3 hours.
  3. Write again; if it does not work correctly, add 1-2 cups of warm water to a small bowl.
  4. Dip the tip of the marker for 5 seconds and put the cap back on again. Prevent from using it for 1 day.
  5. Test it out on paper once more.
  6. Repeat if necessary.

Resort to Crayola’s Colorcycle Program


If you feel like throwing your dead markers rather than reviving them, you mustn’t miss this opportunity to save the environment!

Crayola created a program called ColorCycle for people whose marker dried out. ColorCycle’s mission is to recycle Crayola markers to make the world a better place to live!

You may gather your dead markers or your friends,’ and Crayola will send you a free shipping label to give the plastic markers. The program’s proponents do not fix dried out Crayola markers, but will convert them to synthetic fuels instead!

Fortunately, they do not just accept Crayola markers. They also recycle any brand of plastic markers. However, the program did not indicate if they accept empty Crayola markers. Contact Crayola to learn more about their program.

Related tips you can refer to:

Frequently Asked Questions


Are Crayola Paint Markers water-based?

There is insufficient data indicating whether Crayola’s paint markers are water-based or alcohol-based. Check the label or ask the local art store to be certain!


We do so much to save a dead marker, right? We can’t deny that they are that precious to artists! They make us more creative, after all.

So, there we have it! This article provides several ways on how to revive Crayola markers, whether you have water, alcohol, or oil-based pens!

If all else fails, your markers will be of good use, as Crayola has the ColorCycle program to include you in its journey to protect the environment and make the world more liveable!

3.7/5 - (3 votes)

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