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How to Fix a Dry Highlighter

Updated February 21, 2017

Highlighters are generally used to mark important information in documents and books. The bright ink in highlighters is translucent but extremely visible due to its neon pigmentation. Highlighter ink is water-based, so it can dry out if the highlighter is left sitting without a cap. When this happens, they can often be fixed with the addition of more liquid. As long as there is still ink in the highlighter barrel, it takes as little as a minute to get the highlighter in working order.

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  1. Fill the cap of a rubbing alcohol bottle with rubbing alcohol.

  2. Submerge the tip of the highlighter in the rubbing alcohol cap for no more than five seconds.

  3. Hold the highlighter with the tip pointed up to let the rubbing alcohol seep through the pad and loosen and dried material.

  4. Flip the highlighter over so the tip faces down. Hold the tip against two layers of paper towels for 30 seconds to soak up any excess liquid.

  5. Repeat the process if it doesn't work the first time.

  6. Tip

    If you do not have rubbing alcohol, warm water may work as well.

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Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paper towel

About the Author

Kenneth Coppens began his freelance writing career in 2008. His passions in life consist of extensive personal research on food, gardening and finding natural and eco-friendly alternatives to nearly all aspects of life.

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