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Erasable highlighters come with a 2-way science behind them in order to work and erase. First, the ink is known as thermo-sensitive Metamo ink which gets erased when you heat it. Second, this heat comes from the friction of the rubber cement that the highlighters come with.
So, the ink is formulated in such a way that when you conduct the rubber cement on the ink, it gets automatically removed just like a rubber does with pencil lead. However, to make this erasable highlighter work, its pigmentation, ink formula, rubber, and everything help together.
It might seem magical that you can also erase highlighter ink as most of us are generally used to the fact that the lead of the pencil can be erased only. But there are some highlighters that come up with the same advantage so you can erase the ink if you conduct it on wrong lines.
The mechanism of these highlighters is also not so different than that of pencils. It is all about the components of ink and the rubber that comes along with it. We will be learning about this mechanism soon in our later segments.
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What Are Erasable Highlighters?
To put it in simple words, erasable highlighters carry ink that you can erase whenever you wish. The best fact about this erasable highlighter is, it does not penetrate through the GSM of the paper. Rather it draws a layer on the top of the paper making the ink erasable without damaging the surface.
These erasable highlighters often look like the type of hybrid pen that has chemically formulated ink. This formula includes ink of thermo-sensitive metamo, Microcapsules pigmentation, and other many important substances.
The thing is, there is nothing called erasable ink. It is the substances and formula that make the ink flexible enough so you can erase them. But another fact is these substances together have to give the ink a temperature so it can work when heated.
Also, an erasable highlighter has to have the leuco dye as it has the potential to be colorful and colorless at the same time. To make this dye more effective, the ink carries color change and color developer temperature regulator. Together they balance the temperature of the ink.
Also, the rubber cement that these highlighters carry along gives the ultimate freedom to you to use as much of this pen as possible. This rubber is engineered accordingly so it can generate temperature to make the lines vanish.
Benefits of Using Erasable Highlighters
When it comes to highlighters, we all know how conscious one has to be because you cannot remove them after you draw a line on the wrong page. But things with an erasable highlighter are pretty much different. It provides a strong line and ink which you cannot get from a pencil. The permanent-like ink will definitely catch your eye which a pencil will not offer easily.
Then again, you are free to do mistakes now as you can erase the ink of these highlighters any time you want. To fix this, you will have to take no extra pressure. Within seconds, you can fix your mistakes and move on. Also, the consciousness that you had to put earlier will not have to be put now.
You can relax and do your highlighting process reluctantly. Besides that, rubber cement helps to generate a more comfortable process for you. This rubber does not leave any ink remain on the page and also, does not make any damage to the page in the process.
Even some rubbers for the lead of pencils happen to damage the GSM of paper but this is an uncommon case for these erasable highlighters. The fun fact is, once you make the ink of these highlighters disappear, you can make them appear again.
It’s all about the game of temperature. Put the disappeared ink under -10 or -20 degrees Celsius and see the ink appear again. So, the process of the erasable highlighter concludes to be invisible under an expected high temperature. You can make it visible again by cooling the ink down at a low temperature.
However, another useful benefit is you can get durable, fixed, and long-lasting ink on your important pages. Also, because it just put a layer on the top, you don’t have to fear making the page bleed through or blot. Now you make error-free write-ups or drawings easily.
How Do Erasable Highlighters Work?
Erasable highlighters work almost like pencils with lead works. But there are some variations in erasable highlighters. They come in two types – one with the chemical effect which helps to erase highlighters ink and the other type is the friction effect.
The friction effect comes from the rubber cement that the highlighter bears with it. The ink of these highlighters is thermo-sensitive. This ink works best under friction effect and easily gets removed. The heat comes from the eraser both have the capability to disappear and reappear the highlighter ink on the page.
When you rub the eraser on the ink and make the temperature 10 to 20 degrees, the heat actively makes the layer of ink on the page disappear. But then again, when you cool down the ink by lowering the temperature to -10 to -20 degrees C, then the layer of highlighter ink reappears again.
The chemical effect on erasable highlighters is a little bit more convenient than those that come with erasure cement. It’s because you don’t have to fear with chemical effect of erasable highlighters that in cold temperatures, your lines might reappear which you erased once. But if you don’t live in weather below -10 degrees, then you will not face problems like this.
However, these chemical-loaded erasable highlighters come with a unique structure. It has two tips on both ends of the pen. One tip carries color in it and the other carries an eraser. The eraser tip has chemicals in it. Once you conduct this chemical-based erasure on the ink, it will be removed permanently.
Also, you will not be able to redraw the chemical and we see it a little bit problematic. On top of that, you cannot erase the ink of a particular highlighter with another highlighter. For example, if you are using a pink highlighter, then it’s better if you erase the ink with the same erasure it comes along with. If we see from this perspective then it’s always better to make the friction-based erasure of the highlighter a go-to marker for your days.
When to Use Erasable Highlighters?
Definitely, erasable highlighters are not for all-time use. You have to be specific while using these highlighters. Otherwise, it will cost you a lot as these erasable highlighters are not durable and get wasted easily. However, for some specific jobs like making a clean spreadsheet, notes, journals, doodles, bullet points, and other important agenda, you can use these erasable highlighters.
Many times a job holder has to make spreadsheets to have clean criteria of his job and its monthly or annual results. In a serious case like this where a single mistake can ruin the whole spreadsheet and its result an erasable highlighter can be a great help.
Also, students, who badly want clean class notes for full satisfaction, can use these erasable highlighters. They can easily wipe out their mistakes without feeling any pressure while capturing the class notes. Also, to make bullet points, these highlighters come with significant help.
For passionate journalists, making bullet points is like an addiction. If you want to be one of them and want an easy solution for erasing ink, then these highlighters with erasure cement should be your best friend. As the ink of these highlighters is durable and does not fade away, your journey with them in doodling will be easier as well.
Does Heat Erase an Erasable Highlighter?
Heat erases an erasable highlighter as we have already mentioned it before. But don’t mistake it for putting flame on the ink. If you try to inflame ink with fire, then it will make no sense as fire will only burn your pages.
So, it will be a failed experiment. What heat means here is the hotness that the friction of rubber cement will create. The rubber cement reacts with the acid of ink and generates heat. It is the friction of the rubber cement that helps the acidic components of the ink to change its temperature.
Make the temperature increase to 10 to 20 degree Celsius and will disappear the ink instantly within seconds.
How Long Does Erasable Highlighters Last?
Erasable highlighters are unique and their ink is legit durable and permanent big time. Still, we would say that the long-lastingness of these erasable highlighters greatly depends on the weather and the way you are using them.
Also, the two types – chemical-based and friction-based – highlighters determine their longevity of them to a great extent. How much you are using an erasable highlighter pen and how much ink it has matter also in this case.
If you use too much, then it will not last longer. Also, if you keep it open then the ink will dry before time. Usually, the ink of the highlighters lives on more than the erasable pen or marker itself. So, you have to keep several things in mind while using it.
To conclude, erasable highlighters are coming into the limelight because of their promising ink and erasure. Both chemical-based ink and friction-based rubber cement will tell how these erasable highlighters work. For clean and clear notes and drawings, these erasable highlighters provide permanent-like strong ink as well.
Hi, I’m Andy Gary, the founder of Writers Need and a stationery enthusiast. I love to blog about anything regarding writing and have created lots of pages that I can now share with others!