Pencils are one of the most common art tools. Artists cannot even think of sketching without pencils. So, simply erasers come as a pencil companion to fix errors quickly.
But what will you do if you don’t find your eraser in an emergency? How would you fix those errors and erase pencil marks without an eraser?
Well, I have good news for you. There are actually some alternatives to erasers that will help you remove pencil marks completely. They work as same as the actual pencil erasers.
For example – soft bread, hot glue, clay, correction fluid, rubber bands, and adhesive putty. By going through this article, you’ll learn how these methods work and how to use them for better results. So, let’s dive into the article without any further delay!
How Do Pencil Erasers Work?
Before thinking of any alternatives to erasers, you first need to know how they actually work. You have to get acquainted with the science behind the regular eraser action on pencil marks. There are three basic principles of standard eraser removing pencil marks from paper.
Pencil leads are made with graphite. So, pencil marks are not like ink that absorbs into the paper. Graphite particles write on top of the papers and don’t permeate, making it easier for any rubber eraser to remove them.
Graphite is a refined form of carbon that is really very hard. It easily sticks on the paper surface without getting into the paper fiber. So, any rubber-type material can effortlessly remove them.
Standard pencil eraser mainly removes graphite particles through abrasion. When erasers create abrasion on the paper, graphites are picked up by it without tearing the paper due to the softness of rubbers. So, if you use anything soft in nature and still create abrasive action, it’ll work like a regular eraser.
Ways of Erasing Pencil Without Eraser
All of you know how to erase using an eraser. But now, I will show you the different types of eraser alternatives that will work similarly. So, without wasting any time, move forward to the substitutes of regular erasers.
Method 1: Soft Bread
Have you ever thought about what people used for erasing pencil markings before the invention of erasers?
The answer is, “Soft Bread.”
What worked before still works today. And yes, bread can remove graphite-based markings just like the regular soft erasers.
So, first of all, take a piece of soft bread without the outer crust. You’ll see that every bread has an outer crust that is harder than the inner part. That’s why to keep the crust aside, only take the white inner part.
Remember that the bread should be old, not stale. Old bread works better than fresh ones as the latter can get damaged due to over softness.
Now, start to roll the piece of bread and make the shape of a ball. Compact the bread as tightly as you can to squeeze all the air inside the bread.
While rolling the bread, add a small amount of water to moisten it. It doesn’t mean to soak it with water and make it soggy! To make it pliable, you can dab water.
Then keep it in the open air for 5-6 minutes to evaporate the excess moisture inside. Otherwise, the paper can get damaged due to its dampness.
But don’t make it over dry. Before using the bread erasers on the main area, test on a scrap piece of paper. If it works perfectly, then use it for fixing original errors.
Method 2: Hot Glue
Hot glue guns can be found in every craft lover’s house. But have you ever thought that you could use it as an alternative to a pencil eraser for emergency purposes?
If you have a hot glue gun in your house, you don’t need to worry about pencil markings. Here, I’m giving you a quick solution that is possible with hot glue.
You can use this glue in two ways. Firstly, hold the glue gun in one hand and your pencil in another hand. Then apply the glue on the opposite end of the pencil.
Allow it to dry for a few minutes. Once it is dried up completely, you can use it to remove pencil marks from the paper. It works effectively as the glue acts like rubbers when it’s dried.
On the other hand, keep wax paper or baking paper on a smooth surface. Then apply a blob of hot glue on it. Now, let the glue dry properly for a few minutes like before.
And yes, your hand-held eraser is ready to use. You can follow the video below to do the whole process. Hope it’ll help you to do it easily.
Method 3: Rubber Bands
Rubber bands are by nature soft and made with rubber material, obviously. So, it can be a logical alternative to standard erasers. But it doesn’t mean any of the rubber bands will work.
There are mainly two types of rubber bands – soft and hard. You must need to pick a soft one to erase pencil marks effectively.
So, find out a rubber band and loop it around any of your fingers. I’m suggesting using a wide rubber band to make the task more manageable as the thin ones won’t be able to erase correctly.
Now, use that finger for removing pencil marks. Apply slight pressure and rub the area. While rubbing, be careful about one thing that your finger shouldn’t contact the paper. It can cause tearing. And rubbing too hard may also cause paper damage.
So, use a good quality and soft type rubber band. Also, remember to put that much pressure which is needed. Hopefully, you’ll be able to remove those dark marks easily and without any eraser.
Method 4: Adhesive Putty
Adhesive putties are a trendy joining item. It doesn’t contain any chemicals to make bonds. Instead, it works on pressure. It means that the more pressure you put on it, the more strongly it’ll bond with other items. It doesn’t need water, solvent, or such items to make bonds rather than pressure.
Now, you may think about how can it work like erasers? Well, it’s the adhesive putty, also known as sticky putty. So, you can easily use it similarly to a kneaded eraser.
You just need to tear up a small piece from the putty, make a round shape like a ping pong ball and start erasing the pencil marks. Erase the marks gently until it goes away completely.
These putties are great for picking up graphite particles. So, you can easily use it as a regular eraser alternative. There are many adhesive putty brands like Elmer’s, Duck Brand, Scotch Brand, etc.
You can use any of them. Sometimes silly putty and poster putty also work. But some people claim that it doesn’t eradicate the marks, and a faint line remains. There is no harm in trying!
Method 5: Clay
Clays are not only for playing, but you can also use them as an eraser. Clays are pretty sticky and rubbery in nature, making them a beautiful eraser alternative.
Some brands’ clays can be used directly. You have to take a generous amount in your hand for these types of clay and give it a round shape by rolling. Then press it hard to compact it tightly to not break into pieces while rubbing the pencil marks.
You’ll see that a semi-hard type round-shaped eraser has been made. Now, use it gently on the marks and remove them effortlessly.
However, another type of clay needs to be baked in the oven to get the perfect shape. So, follow the instructions given on the label and make your eraser substitute.
Method 6: Rubber Sole
Most of the shoe soles or sneaker soles are made with rubber. So, it can be another great substitute for regular erasers. But the sole must need to be soft enough so that it doesn’t tear off the paper.
Find out a shoe with a soft rubber sole among all your shoe collections. You should check for your sneakers mostly. After finding one, take a scrap sheet of paper and write on it using carbon pencil (mostly graphite artists use it). You can use regular writing pencils too.
Now, use an edge of your shoe sole and gently rub over the carbon pencil mark. You’ll see that the graphite is coming out of the paper slowly. Continue the process until all the marks come out.
If you can eradicate those marks, use it in your main project area. Hopefully, you’ll be able to remove those pencil ink marks successfully. Remember to use a soft rubber sole. Otherwise, it won’t be able to remove the marks and damage the paper surface.
Method 7: Correction Fluid
Whether it’s the pen ink marks or the pencil marks, you can always use correction fluid. It has another name also which is “White Out.” Though people think it’s only for pen marks, you can use it for pencils.
You have to use it the same way you do for pen marks. If I talk about the BIC Wite Out Pen, then just take the cap off and use it to cover the marks.
There is no such difficulty in it. When it comes to fixing any errors, correction fluid works like blessings. So, use any quality white-out pen or liquid fluid and get your work done.
Whatever method you use, remember that these are not the original eraser. These things were not meant to erase pencil marks.
So, always go slow and be gentle with rubbing. Keep the paper quality also in mind. It would be best to test every method in an inconspicuous area before using it over your original mistakes. It’ll help you understand which method will work best for fixing the errors you’ve made.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How do you erase pencil without damaging the paper?
Having a soft eraser is the primary step of not damaging the paper. You have to take time and start erasing gently. Go slow and gentle while erasing the pencil marks. Always rub from one direction to the other edge of the paper.
Remember not to rub back and forth as it’ll increase the chance of damaging the paper fiber. Only put pressure that is needed. Hard rubbing may do the opposite.
Q: How do you remove colored pencil without an eraser?
You can use eraser pencils instead of rubber erasers to fix minor errors. It is only applicable for minor mistakes. Besides, you can use artist tape to lift the color from the area you want to. Just cut a piece of tape, press it against the area, rub it properly and lift the tape.
You’ll see that the colored pencil marks have stuck to the tape and lifted up. But you must need to be careful while using tape as there may remain a chance of paper damage.
Read also: Will Colored Pencil Wash Out
Q: What can I use instead of eraser?
Since rubber erasers remove pencil marks effortlessly, you can use any rubber-made things instead of a normal eraser.
But remember, that rubbery thing must need to be soft enough. I’ve already given some of the alternatives to eraser above. So, you can use any of them and get your desired result.
Q: How do you make your own eraser?
Who says clays are only for kids? You can easily make your own eraser at home for emergencies using clay. Moldable and breakable clays are the perfect choice for it.
For making an eraser using clay, bake it at 230˚F for 30 minutes in the microwave oven and then cool it for one hour. It’s a usual scenario. But I recommend you read the label first before baking any clay.
After coming to this point, you may have got that erasing pencil marks are possible without erasers and with our daily life items. Any such item can perform the task that can lift up the graphite and is soft enough not to damage the paper.
So, you can easily erase pencil marks even if you lose your eraser from now on. Apart from the list above, you can experiment with other items too!