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How to Make Old Pencil Erasers Work Again

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Pencil eraser is a piece of rubber attached to an blunt end of a pencil. It erases graphite pencil marks left on paper by absorbing or picking them up. When the pencil eraser gets old, dirt may accumulate on the surface leaving dirty marks on paper whenever used. It also hardens, looses shape or becomes brittle making it unfit for use. You can bring back its beauty by using simple household items.


Identify smudged, hardened, twisted or brittle pencils and arrange them in piles according to conditions they share.

Pick out dirty erasers from the pile. They usually contain a dirty smudge on the surface. Lay an ink pen eraser on a flat surface and rub the dirty smudge against it.

Stroke it to the ink pen eraser gently in the same way you would erase a pencil mark off a paper. Ensure that the eraser doesn’t break since it may also have hardened and become brittle.

Turn and press it gently against ink pen eraser until the smudge is totally wiped out on all sides. Ink pen erasers is blended with pulverized pumice that makes it abrasive or course enough to remove the dirt.


Select a pencil eraser with a hard or brittle surface from the pile.

Hold it in the palms of your hand. Wrap your fingers over it making sure that the eraser is not covered and faces outward toward you

Knead or squeeze the eraser with your fingers. Switch it back and forth between your hands to soften it with your moist hands and body heat. Feel it with your thumb to confirm whether it has softened. Use a paper towel to wipe the eraser clean.


Select brittle pencil erasers from the pile. Pencil erasers are made from thick rubber that has the tendency to harden and become brittle when exposed to direct sunlight. Moistening them can make them work again.

Pour a cup of warm water into a bowl about a quarter of the way full. Place the bowl on the table or any raised flat surface.

Dip the eraser into the water. Gently knead it and squeeze it with your fingers until you can feel it begin to soften.

Find a paper towel and dry the eraser. Place it in a cool dry place to completely dry to normalcy.


Select twisted pencil erasers or those that have lost shape. Reshaping them might give back a desirable regular surface fit to erase a pencil mark on a paper.

Hold it over a dustbin or waste basket. Scrape off the dirty smudge with sandpaper to remove any dirt. Rub the sandpaper all around the eraser until the inner, cleaner and softer layer is revealed and it acquires a regular shape.

Direct the scrapes of rubber or shavings to fall into the dustbin. Alternatively, use a craft knife to scrape off the deformed part of the pencil eraser until it acquires a regular shape.


John Derrick has been writing since 2004. His work has been published in "Thames Leisure Week," "Legalease," "Canary Wharf" and "City Life." Derrick holds a Master of Arts in literature from the University of London.

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