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Thread: Water Erasable Pens

  1. #1
    Super Member weezie's Avatar
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    I've a question that am hoping someone can answer. Several months ago, I bought a pair of water erasable pens, 1 blue, 1 white. I used the blue a bit to design for practicing FMQ and I used the white to mark designs on another quilt for hand quilting, a block at a time. I got 7 blocks done, a bit of FMQ practice done and then put the pens aside for the next 2 months to work on The Farmer's Wife Sampler quilt. A few days ago, I went back to my other projects and I cannot get either one of the water erasable pens to give forth any ink. I'm assuming they've dried up, but the caps were on and it seems a bit absurd that they dried up in 2 months' time so I've decided I'll not be buying any more of those. Have any of you had your WEPs dry up if you don't use them regularly?

  2. #2
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    tho I don't use them regularly, I've also had problems with them drying out and don't purchase them any more.

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I have one that I have been using off/on for a couple of years...

  4. #4
    Super Member newquilter10's Avatar
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    Mine tend to dry out too even with the top on them. I just bought Fons and Porter chalk and really like how it works.

  5. #5
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    I keep my marking pens in a zip-lock bag when I'm not using them and try to store that with the "business ends" down - seems to help some, but I've also found the F & P white marking pencils work very well (also available in grey if you need).

  6. #6
    Super Member weezie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    I have one that I have been using off/on for a couple of years...
    Wow! That's amazing. I wonder if the brand is a factor.

    I've bought so many marking tools that are useless or virtually useless that I've lost count, so I'm frustrated and really leery about buying anything new. When I couldn't get my pens to write the other day, I used white artist chalk on a black quilt block. I'll be interested to see how well that comes off when I get the quilting done. I have loads of both white and blue artist chalk. If it comes off o.k., I can use it whenever I use templates; I suspect it is too fat for freehand drawing. I also have tiny chalk sticks and a special holder for them, but they are too flimsy and break at the least little pressure put on them, so that's one of the virtually useless items in my collection.

  7. #7
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    yep, they dry out. i bought a $6.50 clover iron off one and it was dry right out of the package!!! i'm still trying to get a refund from them.

  8. #8
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    I wonder if they actually dry up or if they just don't have muck ink to start with, I use my blue often and they don't last long

  9. #9
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I wonder if their shelf life is indicated anywhere on the packaging or if the supplier even keeps track of shelf life. I have had some that seem to last forever and others peter out after a short life.

  10. #10
    Super Member Lynnejean's Avatar
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    My pens dried up also. I also bought some fabric glue sticks from JoAnn that were dried up right out of the package. I threw away the first time it happened but then it happened again and I got my money back. I won't buy them again.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I wonder if it would help to put them in the refrigerator, to keep them moist. Just an idea...

  12. #12
    np3
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    Power Poster np3's Avatar
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    I've used them for years and the shelf life depends on how long I use them at any one time. If one hasn't been used much but has been stored for a bit, I dip the tip in water and it starts working again. If it has been used a lot, then the water doesn't work as well.

  13. #13
    Super Member weezie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by np3
    I've used them for years and the shelf life depends on how long I use them at any one time. If one hasn't been used much but has been stored for a bit, I dip the tip in water and it starts working again. If it has been used a lot, then the water doesn't work as well.
    Thank you. I'll try that with mine. Over the years, I've encouraged ball-point pens to work by holding them under warm water and it crossed my mind that I should try wetting these water erasable pens before I give up & toss them out.

  14. #14
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    Mine dried up soon after I bought them too - haven't purchased this type of marker since.

  15. #15
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
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    I had some that dryed out. I took the white top off of the pen a added a couple of drops of alcohol into the top. It at least got me through the rest of the class.

  16. #16

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    Just wanted to say that no, there's not much product in them. Yes, it helps if you store them 'business end down'. And no, there's really nothing else I've found that helps much.

    I spend a fortune in these markers, as a longarmer, but just have to do it. I do use school chalk when I can, but since it rubs off and is white, it's usage is limited. I'm also using now the Crayola Washable Markers, and found they last a bit longer. (But never the red, blue, pink or yellow colors as people have reported issues with them.)

    I'd like to hear if anyone found any other ways to save these pens or make them last longer? I really don't think brand matters, at least in the blue pens, as I've not found one works better than the other. The only thing that works for me is to buy one every time I have a JoAnn's coupon and don't need anything else!

    Debbie in Austin

  17. #17
    Super Member weezie's Avatar
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    I did end up throwing my erasable pens away and am now using a fabric marking pencil. I am hand quilting and it's working fine for me; the white pencil comes off easier than the erasable "ink" did. Although just water alone is not enough ... I have to scrub a bit with a sponge, there's very little scrubbing involved and it's doing no noticeable harm. I used to have to scrub the erasable ink also and it didn't come off nearly as well as the pencil does. I have a basket full of bar soap slivers I could use as markers, but am not very keen on attempting to wipe soap marks off with a wet sponge and it could be years before the quilt is completed and laundered.

    If the erasable pens "erase" for you, as a longarmer, then I agree that keeping working pens available is the best way to go.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    For short term marking, the Marvy purple fabric markers are wonderful. The marks disappear after a while - it depends on the humidity in your room - usually 24-48 hours. To speed it up, you can use the eraser tip or spritz with water. I've had a few have lasted over a year, and I use them a LOT.

  19. #19
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I bought a colver pen and opened it and nothing!!!
    i store what pens i use in a plastic storage box and they lay on their sides, not vertical. hope that helps.

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