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I write a lot of notes in notebooks and on text books that I only want for a short period. I find erasable pens very handy for this process. But is there some way I could blank my whole notebook, textbook and/or worksheet book between uses (or use "disappearing ink" with a few hours legibility) so I could start over?

(The erasable pens I currently use claim to erase using the heat from friction, so I have been eyeing the stove, but I'm not sure whether the temperature required is higher than "Fahrenheit 451".)

2

Heat sensitive eraseable pen and a clothes iron

Tools:

  1. Eraseable pen that erases by the heat of friction, (the manufacturer of my pen's claims 65oC.)

  2. Standard clothes iron set on high.

  3. A blank sheet of printer paper. (To protect the iron from any ink as it becomes visible if exposed to cold temperatures.)

Procedure:

Once the iron has heated up, place the paper over a page and go quickly over it as if you are ironing it, about 2-3 pages deep are reliably erased, while sections you covered less begin to appear a few pages down.

Results:

It took about 10 minutes to erase the 50 or so pages I'd filled in a 180 page workbook. It looked like the page may become too warped by the heat, but they seemed acceptable/normal range of my other used books afterwards. On inspection, I missed 1 page fully and some corners of 3 other pages. Other ink, pen and pencil notes were unaffected.

Disadvantages:

  • Some Page Buckling

  • Some visible scratches from the pen remain (tried 2 versions of the pens)

  • Limited availability of the heat based eraseable pens. (Are they still under patent?)

Alternate heating methods:

  • Laminator- really cool and unlikely to set paper on fire without a manufacturer's defect, but only useful for loose leaf paper. (I tested this first to make sure there is a safe temperature for the entire page that reliably erases all the ink.)

  • Blow dryer- mine seems to max out right around 65oC since it just disappeared in spots, but it looks like a hotter dryer or a heat gun with a paper safe setting would be almost as easy with some finer control.

  • Oven- I've decided not to try this for for now though my oven does go down to as low as 50oC so it should be possible to do safely.

  • I wouldn't heat non-food items in my oven. – Carl Apr 13 '15 at 18:34
1

Try using an electric eraser. Borrow one from your artist/architect buddy. It's basically a cross between those white eraser sticks and a drill. They work great on pencil, erasable pen, and some more permanent types of media. It will still require some time, but not nearly as much as a manual eraser.

These videos reviews a few different models. This should give you an idea of how they operate. I have the corded model he shows at the end of part 1. I lucked out and found it at a thrift store for about $5, and it suits my needs well.

Part 1: https://youtu.be/jzFGb5YE3bg

Part 2: https://youtu.be/AWhOKS4UwiE

  • FYI, for your purposes, you wouldn't need to sharpen the tip like he's doing in the videos. – GuitarPicker Apr 11 '15 at 5:07
  • I had no idea those existed, but for my current usage they aren't ideal since I really need to be able to erase more indiscriminately if it requires a device I would only use at home. – lossleader Apr 11 '15 at 13:03
  • You can also try using kneaded erasers. I can't think of anything that I would consider quick, but in the mean time, keep on using those erasable pens. If you ever do find that ideal solution, they will be much more likely to work. Experiment with a hair dryer before you play with the stove. – GuitarPicker Apr 11 '15 at 13:26
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    I just tried an iron and I must say it worked pretty well, going a few pages deep! Though the scratch marks seem more noticeable than with rubbing, so the electric eraser may be ideal for final appearance. – lossleader Apr 11 '15 at 13:31
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    That sounds like a great way to do it. I wouldn't have guessed that erasable pens worked by heat until reading your question. Try using a paper towel or scrap cloth -- something absorbent -- between the iron and the page. See if slightly damp or dry works better. – GuitarPicker Apr 11 '15 at 13:42
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Some cool answers have been given using heat erasable pens, but what about simply make the notes outside of the book, and use a referencing system to link the notes? Then you can make and keep (or delete) notes without cluttering up your books at all!

  • That is essentially where I began, the trouble is that I am doing elementary language learning with speaking partners, so writing in place for immediate correction and review is very helpful but my notes even in context are pretty useless later. If there is formalized system (like a double book keeping process) that I could get so efficient at that it doesn't become a distraction, that may change things though. – lossleader Apr 14 '15 at 18:34

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