How to clean kneaded eraser

A kneaded eraser is a major item from the toolset of any artist. Rubber and vinyl erasers are often recognized techniques to get rid of errors, however, your understanding of drawing is changed by the experience of using one. It might be a new thing for newbies, but it has been used widely by artists for a long time.

You might find this item strange, however, it’s used to eliminate any marks of graphite, charcoal, chalk, colored pencils, and more. Of course, dirty erasers can create stains and traces across your work, ruining your efforts which is exactly why you should clean them.

How to clean kneaded eraser

But the question remains, how to clean kneaded eraser?

Well to answer that question, let’s take a look at the details below.

What is a kneaded eraser made of

A kneaded eraser is like a putty rubber. It’s like you’re playing with polymer clay, but that clay can erase many things on your art paper. A kneaded eraser is made of several materials among which the most common one is the “rubber.” A kneaded eraser is usually made up of both synthetic rubber, and natural rubber called styrene-butadiene rubber.

Synthetic rubber is developed through different sorts of polymer used within the process. After that styrene-butadiene rubber is used. Next, different chemicals are added up to the rubber on the heat of 800 degrees Fahrenheit.

Afterward, different solutions are added to the rubber including soap, catalyst, and water. All these things form the rubber we are looking for. In the end, some other chemicals along with a stabilizer are added to ensure the rubber doesn’t break, converting it into a kneaded rubber. Once it’s formed, the rubber is cooled down and ready to dispatch.

The difference between synthetic rubber and natural rubber is that synthetic rubber is the one used in making tires (artificial rubber) while natural rubber is like latex, and is extracted from a rubber tree, producing latex rubber.

The kneaded rubber works like clay. It can be molded in various shapes, cut, dyed, and even rolled and made into a sheet. The rubber is used for highlighting, making sculptures, shading, and erasing various elements on the paper.

Do kneaded erasers dry out

Okay, so most people get confused whether kneaded erasers dry out or not? Well, the answer is simple, they DON’T! Now, how cool is that right? Yep!! Kneaded erasers do not dry out like the sponge in the kitchen which is wet and then eventually dries out. The best part about kneaded rubber is:

  • They do not dry out
  • They do not shed crumbs or noodles when used, unlike the ones we use to have in school.
  • They aren’t even oily like plasticine (modeling material like putty made for kids to play with)
  • They do not shed charcoal or graphite, they simply absorb it.

Of course, proper care and maintenance are required. Kneaded erasers can become brittle over time but never dry. To avoid that, simply put or store them in a container and then use them. This will ensure their longevity and won’t damage the quality.

Are kneaded erasers self-cleaning products

A kneaded eraser is like a putty material. It’s more like chewing gum. When you put chewing gum on a surface, whatever that surface has, the gum picks it and absorbs it. The same goes with the kneaded eraser. They simply absorb the material you want to erase.

Of course, they get dirty with usage over time, and then black patches began to appear on them, making them look dirty. However, if you don’t know how to clean kneaded erasers? They let me tell you, you don’t need to know. Because they CLEAN THEMSELVES! That’s right!

If you see your kneaded eraser dirty, simply start stretching it and kneading it. Break it into parts, then mix those parts, and begin stretching and kneading. Keep doing this till you see that all the rubber turned grey and absorbed everything in it. Such types of erasers last far longer than the rest, which is exactly why they are artist favorites.

Can you clean a kneaded eraser

Like I mentioned previously, kneaded erasers don’t need to get cleaned. They clean themselves. They absorb all the colors, graphite, charcoal, or anything you want to erase with their help. If you still want to clean the eraser, simply stretch and knead as mentioned previously till they absorb everything and turn grey again. And then, you’re good to go.

There might be a time when they get extremely dirty and absorb so much of the stuff, that they can no longer look clean. Well, you can always switch to a new kneaded eraser then I mean it’s not that expensive.

How do you clean a kneaded eraser

A kneaded eraser does not need cleaning with the help of a detergent or being soaked up inside a soap mixture. Instead, a person can do the following:

  1. Knead and stretch the eraser
  2. Divide the eraser into parts and mix and mold
  3. After mixing and molding, stretch and knead
  4. Keep repeating the process till your rubber is fully grey and you don’t see any remaining particles or black patches
  5. Your eraser is now good to go

Everything in the world requires proper care and maintenance. This also includes cleaning. The more a product is properly cared for, cleaned, and well maintained, the more it lasts long. The same goes with a kneaded rubber. The more you maintain, the higher its usage.

But let me tell you, these erasers are often long-lasting. These erasers last a lot longer than the rest, in fact for years so artists can work with no worries. Below are a few more tricks to prevent getting dirty:

  • Do not put a kneaded eraser in a pencil pouch, as it will make it dirty.
  • Do not put a kneaded eraser in a place full of dirt (i.e. near open windows), as it will make your eraser dirty.
  • Store your eraser in a clean container so that it doesn’t get brittle over time.
  • Knead the eraser on a usual basis to keep it clean and soft.
  • When erasing anything on paper, press it gently and rub. Do not go too aggressive as it might spread the colors along with making your eraser dirty.
  • Do not put your eraser in a soap mixture. Kneaded erasers are made up of different oils and carbonated rubber. They’ll eventually dissolve in soapy water, leading you towards disaster.
  • Graphite can make the eraser dirty easily. To clean the eraser after graphite, simply break it into parts, then mold it, then mix it all, then knead and stretch. Repeat the process till eventually the eraser absorbs graphite and becomes clean again.


A kneaded eraser is one of a kind item that is highly beneficial for artists who work to bring life into their artwork. The product lasts far longer than the rest of any eraser, ensuring its high quality and durability for users. It’s not too hard to clean as well, since it can clean itself. Therefore, use the product wisely, store it in a proper container with a cap or a jar, separate from any other artwork material, and enjoy making art.

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