An Important Message About Sharpies

A colleague walks into the lab and says, very casually, “Your sharpies are upside down.”

The Sharpie is very common in the laboratory for the obvious reason that we use it to label things (on the glass directly mostly) and then it can be removed with a little acetone once we are done. So imagine my surprise when I found out yesterday that I had been storing them wrong. If you want maximum performance from your writing implement then you need the ink at the business end and that means keeping them point down. I didn’t want to just take my colleague’s word for it, so I asked the smart word box and the font of all some wisdom, Yahoo Answers, confirmed the story.

Cleverly, the company sells them with a clip on the cap so you can hook them in a top pocket. This is convenient and also brilliant, as the ink runs away from the tip and makes the pen run out quicker, thus making you get a new Sharpie sooner. Fiendish.

They might claim it is so they don’t leak all over your shirt, but we are onto them now.

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One comment on “An Important Message About Sharpies

  1. uwo says:

    I always tape sharpie lids to a shelf above my lab bench so that I have a convenient marker sitting by at all times. Nobody dares walk off with it or leave it on the bench because they know it will dry out.

    I had one sharpie for my entire 2 year MSc. Somebody accidentally left the lid off and dried it out, but a couple drops of toluene or methanol brings it right back to life.

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