Do Felt Tip Pens Dry Out? What You Must Know

Felt tip pens were invented in 1910 by Lee Newman as a cylinder filled with ink that led to a pressed fiber tip. They have since gained momentum as a pen used wisely in schools, universities, offices, and homes. You can use the felt tip pen for various purposes, but more importantly, Do Felt Tip Pens Dry Out?

Felt tip pens like any other pen will dry out over time. There are, however, contributing factors that will help determine how long it takes to dry out. Some of these factors include the storage of the pen, the room temperature, how often you use the pen, and the pressure applied during the process.

It may be pretty daunting if you have had to deal with a felt tip pen that has dried out in the middle of a project. The good news is that although the felt tip pen may have dried out, there is a possibility of revival. Join me as we gain a deeper insight on the lifespan of the felt tip pen, factors that contribute to them drying out, and, more importantly, their revival process.

How Long Do Felt Tip Pens Last?

Felt tip pens have an anticipated shelf life of two years on average. However, as soon as you open the pens, the expected lifespan may vary depending on the writing usage and pressure. Other factors like room temperature, moisture, and storage may also contribute to the pen’s longevity.

Often after a couple of weeks of usage, the felt tip pens start to show signs of fading color and eventually lead to the drying out of the tip.

Factors That May Cause A Felt Tip Pen To Dry Out?

If you have ever wondered why felt tip pens dry out. Let me satisfy that curiosity by highlighting some of the main reasons;

Uncapped Felt Tip Pen

An uncapped pen or a pen that is not properly closed can lead to the felt tip drying out. The ink will eventually evaporate, and the tip will fray. The ink on the tip dries out first. Dried ink on the felt tip restricts ink flow from the rest of the pen.

A capped pen also helps equalize the pressure within the pen and prevents the ink from leaking out.

Using Too Much Of Pressure

When using a felt tip pen, you need to be cautious about not applying too much pressure. Due to the fineness of the tip, too much pressure can not only cause the tip to break, but it can also damage the tip, causing the ink to run out and the tip to dry out.

Using The Pen Frequently

Fine tip pens have a limited amount of ink; excessive use of the pen can cause the ink to become lighter in color and eventually dry out, especially if you are placing pressure on the ink by frequent coloring.


The cool temperature will slow the evaporation of solvents, while dry temperatures will cause the ink to dry out. Hence, storing the felt tip pen in a cool place is advisable.


The best way to prevent the tip from drying out is to ensure that the pen is stored vertically with the tip facing towards the bottom.

 How To Revive Dried Out Felt Tip Pens?

Although repairing a dried felt pen is not a permanent fix, you can restore it temporarily. I have listed three different options; you opt for the one that works best for you.

Option: 1

  • Cut a piece of string or cord. Alternatively, use a shoelace.
  • On the back end of the marker, tape the string. Ensure that the string is secure.
  • Replace the cap and swing the pen vigorously, using circle motions, with the tip facing upwards.
  • You can uncap the pen over a piece of paper so that the ink does not leak out.
  • The movement would have helped any ink still in pen to move towards the tip, which would cause it to write.

Option: 2

  • Grasping the end cap with tweezers, pull out the pen casing. You will sometimes need to wiggle the cap until you can pull it from the case.
  • Place the felt rod in a glass of water for about a minute.
  • After a minute, using tweezers, remove the rod and place it on a paper towel.
  • Once the rod dries, re-insert the pen casing and replace the end cap.
  • For approximately 30 seconds, dip the felt tip in a glass of water.
  • After 30 seconds, drain the excess water from the tip and test on paper; this process will help the dried ink start flowing again.

Option: 3

  • Dampen the felt tip with some water. Use a small drop of water for thin markers and a little extra for thick markers.
  • Using the cling film, wrap the felt tip and use a thin tape to help keep the plastic tight. The cling film will help hold the moisture in the felt, free from any air.
  • Place in a cool place for an hour.
  • Remove the plastic wrap after an hour and test the pen.

Tips When Buying A Felt Tip Pen

Although a felt point pen will eventually dry out over time, the factor that determines its longevity is the quality of the ink. Hence you must purchase a fine point pen with good quality ink that will not dry out quickly.

Felt Tip Pens That Won’t Dry Out Easily

We have determined that the felt tip pen will eventually dry out. You may see the felt tip pen last longer if you follow the proper care routine of appropriate storage, temperature, and usage. However, you will note that some people have followed the care routine and still been privy to seeing their felt tip pen dry out.

The quality of the ink on the pen is also essential. Below are recommended felt tip pens with good quality ink,

  • Paper Mate Felt Tip Pen
  • Felix Felt Tip Pens
  • Amazon Basics Felt Tip Marker Pen
  • Zenacolor Colored Felt Tip Pen
  • Mr. Pen Felt Tip Pen
  • U Brands Soft Catalina Pen
  • Sharpie Felt Tip Pen
  • iBayam Black Ink Felt Pen
  • WallDeca Felt Tip Pen
  • Monamii Felt Tip Pens
  • Reason Felt Tip Pens
  • Zebra Felt Tip Pens
  • Crayola Felt tip Pens


Felt tip pens are very simple to use. You need to open the cap and start writing or marking. Felt tip pens, like any other pens, unfortunately, have a limited lifespan. Over time with usage, they will eventually dry out; however, their longevity depends entirely on the care process. The best way to ensure an undried felt tip pen is to take careful note of the factors that cause them to dry out.

Similar Posts