How to Repair Felt Tip Pens

Updated March 23, 2017

Felt tip pens are used in a wide range of duties. Businesses use them as a high-quality writing implements while artists use them to create colourful and graphically interesting art pieces. As felt tip pens and markers get old, the fine fibres in the tip get out of place. The pens also dry out, making it difficult or impossible to get any ink out of the pen. Luckily, you can repair both of these felt tip pen issues with items you have at home.

Cut away any stray felt using small scissors. Any small scissors will do, although fine fingernail scissors work best. Cut off each stray strand one at a time from base to tip until you are satisfied with the shape of the pen tip. Wash off any pen ink that may have ended up on the scissors.

Pour a glass of clean water. Though you will only need a drop of water to replenish a dried out felt tip pen, it's easier to apply the water from a glass than straight from the tap.

Uncap the felt tip pen and gently dip the dried-out tip into the water. Take the pen out of the water immediately so the water doesn't soak too much into the tip or the ink.

Replace the cap on the felt tip pen. Stand the pen up vertically with the cap end facing down. If your felt tip pen doesn't stand up well on its own, place it in a pen holder or narrow cup ensuring that the pen is standing up straight. Keep the pen in this position overnight.

Test the pen on a sheet of paper. After staying in a vertical position with the cap down, the felt tip pen should be less dry and should write much better than before. It may even be as good as new.


Since water dilutes the felt tip pen ink, use water to revive a dried-out tip only as a last resort.

Things You'll Need

  • Small scissors
  • Water
  • Paper
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About the Author

Trisha Bartle began her writing career in 2007, with work appearing in publications such as "Adventures for the Average Woman" and DexKnows Weddings. She has also been a professional wedding photographer since 2001. Bartle holds an Associate of Applied Science in programming and game development.