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(source: ebayimg.com)

I have a set of rubbers which I used during my pencil drawing sketches, as shown above.Shading techniques I adopted, make use of rubber very much. Consider myself as a self trainer and so do not blame me on this technique. On taking my rubbers back after some months for a new drawing, I am forced to remove the charcoal droppings on it. Can you propose me the best and easiest method to do it, with less time loss? enter image description here

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  • Do you have a picture of a "dirty" eraser? "Charcoal droppings" sounds confusing...?
    – Stephie
    Mar 22, 2016 at 12:11
  • @Stephie Thanks for reminding me about the clarity of the question. I have updated the question. I hope now it is clear. Mar 22, 2016 at 12:23

3 Answers 3

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You need to erase on a blank sheet of paper or a rougher surface to "sand" the dirty part of the eraser out. You can erase on your desk surface to get those dirty crumbles out. Your eraser is getting "slippery" as it's getting dirty, and you'll just be smearing your drawing if you keep using it.

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  • The OP is currently doing this and is looking for a faster solution.
    – cst1992
    Apr 5, 2016 at 7:46
  • @cst1992 Then the next solution is to cut the dark part off or get a new eraser. It's an eraser and usually we rub it against surfaces. Apr 5, 2016 at 18:09
  • How about sandpaper - it'll be a much effective abrasive than paper. Then you won't have to throw away bits of your eraser.
    – cst1992
    Apr 5, 2016 at 18:22
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I also use white plastic erasers such as the Staedler. When they become "dirty," I wash them with liquid dishwasher detergent. (Blue Dawn has no added junk and rinses clean with no residue or odour.)

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When I was in school and I was using erasers, I had 2 levels of cleaning:

  • rub the eraser on some tough surface (usually the underside of the table);
  • wash the eraser with water and hand soap (that was easily available everywhere).

I was always satisfied with the result.

Sometimes, the eraser just did not do its job, regardless of level of cleaning. That was the signal that it was time to replace the eraser.


The looks of the black eraser suggest that you use the eraser not for erasing, but for "smudging". In that case, you are using the wrong tool for the job. I am not a charcoal user, so I cannot pretend to be an expert. But the easiest way is to take a piece of paper (maybe even from an old newspaper) and smudge all you need. Different qualities of paper will probably give different results.

Erasers are not usually designed to remove thick layers of stuff.

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