Every parent knows that if you have kids, you need to have some dry erase markers on hand. These colorful writing instruments are the perfect tools for keeping your little ones entertained. They can use them to draw on paper, canvas, or whiteboards. Alternatively, they can be a helpful educational supply if you’re homeschooling your little one.
However, ultimately, markers are made for writing messages. The bright, bold colors and thick lines ensure your messages are conspicuous. Plus, if you write them in a place with high visibility, like your mirror, then you’re definitely not going to miss them.
While mirrors are an unconventional place for notes, they actually work really well. The reflective surface provides a sharp backdrop for the writing, making it highly visible. In addition, you see your mirror every day, especially in the morning. Therefore, it’s a great way to remember all the little tasks you’re supposed to do that day.
But is it safe to use dry markers on mirrors? Some markers are notoriously difficult to remove. Therefore, writing messages could potentially end up permanently damaging your mirror. So, can you use dry erase markers on mirrors? Stick around for this complete breakdown on markers and if you can safely use them for your messages.
Types of Markers
Most people buy markers based on two things — price and color range. However, experienced artists know that there is so much more that defines markers, and by extension, their quality.
Markers have been around since the 20th century. Inventor Sidney Rosenthal came up with the concept when he accidentally placed a felt tip inside a bottle filled with permanent ink. He decided to call his invention ‘magic markers’ and the rest is pretty much history.
Ever since then, manufacturers have come up with a plethora of different types of markers that suit different purposes. However, when it comes to telling them apart, we use two distinct criteria.
1. Tip Shape
The shape of the marker tip is the most defining trait of this implement. It determines what the marker is best suited for. While the most common shape is the classic chisel, there are several other types you can choose from to meet your writing needs.
When you think of art, you probably think of paintbrushes. The tip shape allows you to create thin, delicate strokes while drawing. But you can also flatten the said tip to a duller point, to fill in larger areas, and create variable-width strokes. Overall, it’s one of the most versatile tip shapes out there.
So, it’s not surprising that manufacturers repurposed it to fit on top of markers. The vibrant ink allows you to do beautiful and precise artwork of varying degrees of complexity. However, the only downside is that these pens get worn down fairly quickly, especially if you use them on a daily basis. Luckily, some brands allow you to replace the tip so that your maker can be as good as new!
The chisel tip is what most people define as the classic marker shape. It has a flat top that slants at a slight angle, making it perfect for highlighting. The point itself is excellent for thinner strokes, but overall, it isn’t as precise as most finer tips. But, for everyday messages, it can work just fine!
If precision is what you’re after, then the fine tip marker is for you. This implement has a sharp pointed end that is only 1 millimeter thick! Thus, it’s a favorite tool of architects whose drawings require immense precision and attention to detail.
However, it isn’t ideal for coloring since the small tip makes filling out large areas very taxing.
Like the chisel, the bullet tip is one of the most quintessential marker tips. It has the same shape as a fine tip but a much thicker base. Therefore, it’s better suited for coloring and writing bold, highly visible messages.
But, the thick end is also somewhat of a disadvantage in the precision department. Unlike the chisel, the bullet is entirely dull, with sharp edges to help you pull out those finer lines. Likewise, if you press down a bit harder on the tip, you run the risk of squirting too much ink and smearing your drawing.
Do you need a chisel tip marker, but do you also want to have a brush tip marker on hand? Worry not! Now, you can have the best of both worlds with double-ended markers! As their name suggests, these markers have tips on either side of them, which are connected to a central ink reservoir.
They most commonly have a brush tip on one end and a chisel tip on the other, but you can find other types in specialty stores. These markers are the perfect solution when you want a diverse marker selection but don’t want to spend a lot of money buying two marker types, separately.
2. Ink Type
Next to tip shapes, another distinguishing feature of markers is the type of ink they use. Here we can differentiate between permanent and erasable markers. Like their names suggest, permanent markers leave behind ink that you can’t erase. They contain ink resin that is non-polar, meaning that it won’t dissolve when it comes into contact with water.
Erasable markers, on the other hand, have polar resin. So, you can easily wipe it off with a cloth. However, the kind of cloth you use to remove the marker differentiates dry erase from wet erase markers. Dry erase markers contain SD alcohol, isopropanol, and resin. Therefore, you can easily wipe it off non-porous surfaces using a dry cloth.
Wet erase markers rely on a paste instead of alcohol-based ink, which means the marks are semi-permanent. However, the paste reacts to water, so you can remove it with a damp cloth and various cleaning solutions. These markers won’t bubble under extreme heat or fade when exposed to the elements. Therefore, they’re ideal for a classroom setting where you’re using projectors on the whiteboard.
Using Dry Erase Markers on Mirrors: Yes or No?
Now that you know the basic types of markers available on the market, you may be wondering: can you use them to write on mirrors? The answer is a resounding yes!
Both types of markers can be used on non-porous surfaces such as glass, plastic, metal, whiteboards, and black marker boards. However, when it comes to mirror writing specifically, dry erase markers are the superior choice.
For one, wet erase markers are semi-permanent. Therefore, they work better for writing complex messages you want to keep around, such as calendars, schedules, or display boards. Plus, while wiping them away with a wet cloth will remove the ink, it may also leave behind tracks.
This can dirty your mirror and cause you to spend an extra 5 minutes wiping it with a window cleaning solution. What’s more, if your mirror is in the bathroom, you run the risk of the marker smearing before anyone has had the chance to read your intended message. Why? Well, bathrooms have high levels of humidity. So, every time you turn on the tap, any ink left on the mirror could react and start dissolving. Therefore, you’re much better off using dry erase markers.
Not only are they easy to wipe off, but the ink will stay firmly in place even if you expose it to a blast of steam. These markers are perfect for writing daily reminders or for leaving notes to your family members or significant others. Thus, they make for the ultimate writing tool for doodling on your mirror.
Writing things with markers can be fun! You can use them to make creative drawings, anti-stress doodles, or leave messages on various surfaces.
But can you use dry erase markers on mirrors? The answer is yes! Dry erase markers are perfectly safe to use on mirrors, since you can easily wipe them off with a dry cloth. Thus, they’re ideal for writing simple daily reminders, grocery lists, or endearing messages that will make your loved ones smile!