I have a mental fit every time I come around the corner and one of my kids has left the lid off of a marker. Honestly, I could scream! The things are expensive. And it’s always one of their favorite colors that get left open and dried out, so inevitably we have to purchase a new box just for that one color that we simply cannot live without. I always end up with seven oranges, and zero reds or purples. Obnoxious! That was until I read that you can save them!

Basically, all you need is a dried out marker and some white vinegar. Dip the tip of your marker into some vinegar (I used a soda bottle lid as my vinegar container.) And just like that, just like magic, your marker will work again! I can hear the Hallelujah chorus already! This has worked for me about 99% of the time. But there will be a time when it doesn’t. At that point, you know it’s time to make water colors from your old markers. Most if not all, water based washable markers will work for this.

Get small containers for your paints to be stored in, and fill half way with water. Dip your old markers inside and allow the tips to soak overnight. Or longer if you have the patience. All of the pigment will slowly drip out of the tip of the markers and into your water. When you’ve let them sit over night you can remove the markers, and throw them away. Mix up your pigment and water solution and get to painting like you just spent $30 on water colors!

-Stephanie Wright

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