If you make a mistake when you are drawing your guide lines with the pencil, DO NOT at the end of your pencil to try and remove it.

Remember, the pencil lines (if drawn on lightly) will not show up in your final design–they will usually be removed along with the wax–so mistakes are OK. Attempting to erase with a hard or rough eraser can scratch the cuticle of the egg, and this may cause the problems: the dye may take poorly in that area, or scratches may appear on the pysanka.                                                    

Not all erasers are bad–art gum erasers and white architect’s erasers often do a nice job of removing pencil lines without marring the cuticle of the egg. 

But those dried out, hard pink erasers that are found at the end of pencils are horribly destructive and should never, ever be used. Never!

If you feel compelled to remove some excessive pencil marks–if, for instance, you’ve really messed up the pattern and want to start over–remove the lines instead by gently washing the egg with some Ivory dish soap (original scent). You can even use a Scotch-Brite (or other Teflon-safe scrubber) to help remove the marks.  You can also use Goof Off wipes to wipe down an egg and remove all the lines, or even segments of lines (see here for details).

In either case, though, let the egg dry thoroughly before you go back to work on it, as pencil (and beeswax) don’t stick well to wet surfaces.  And make sure to re-acidify the egg by placing it in a vinegar rinse (if you’ve used either soap or wipes) before you try dyeing it!

Summary: using erasers on an egg that will require further dyeing is not a very good idea.  Wash off the pencil lines instead.  If you must erase, use a soft, gentle eraser only.

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Pencil Erasers