There are few things more frustrating than going to write on a whiteboard only to find that your pen has dried out. The lively discussion, the creativity, the great ideas all grind to an unexpected halt as you desperately scramble to find another that works.
Now, this isn’t so bad when there’s another pen nearby, but we know this isn’t always the case – not to mention how costs can quickly mount if you’re replacing pens on a frequent basis.
Some might have you believe that a drywipe pen can last no longer than a couple of weeks at best, however they can last for much longer if they’re properly looked after.
So, how do you properly look after drywipe pens?
Firstly, it’s best to keep your pens away from any sources of heat, whether it’s beneath a lamp, near a radiator, or soaking up the sun’s rays on a windowsill. Since drywipe ink is heat-sensitive, any prolonged exposure to moderate heat will prevent the ink from effectively transferring to the pen’s nib.
This can usually be remedied by popping the pen in the freezer for a short while. Just be sure to retrieve the pen before it turns into a drywipe ice pop!
Secondly, and while it may seem obvious, replacing the cap each time is the most steadfast way to maximise your pen’s lifespan.
Of course, everyone knows this, but then again it isn’t always possible. The caps are often made from thin plastic that’s prone to cracking – and a cracked pen cap is about as effective as not using a pen cap at all since any excess exposure to air will ultimately dry out the nib.
Pen caps are also prone to becoming lost in the busy classroom or office, where they can roll off the desk to never be seen again. Luckily, Show-me pens feature a clever anti-roll feature on each cap that helps prevent this from happening.
Show-me pens also benefit from a 72-hour cap-off time, so if your pen cap does happen to go astray you have plenty of time to find a replacement.
So, the next time you go to throw away a spent pen be sure to retain and store its cap in case it can be used in the future.
Speaking of storage, much debate surrounds the correct way to store a drywipe pen.
Storing them cap-end up is an absolute no-go as this will pool the ink away from the nib. On the other hand, while some believe storing them cap-end down prolongs the pen’s life, others believe that this leads to pooling ink which floods out when the pen is next used.
All we can say for certain is to store your pens horizontally – that way the ink won’t pool at either end, avoiding any flooding or drying out.
If your marker is on its last legs, then try storing it cap-end down to pool any last remaining ink towards the nib. You could try to carefully remove the tip with pliers and then replace it the other way round, which will refresh the nib’s ink transferability.
Non-water-based markers can often be revived with a few drops of isopropyl alcohol as this loosens up any remnants of ink. Just be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area!
We hope these tips help to prolong the useful life of your whiteboard pens.