So How Exactly Does an Eraser Work?

December 20, 2019

So How Exactly Does an Eraser Work?

Ever Wondered.

  • So how exactly does an eraser work?
  • What’s graphite?
  • Who invented the eraser?

2 + 2 = 5. Oops! Not quite… now where did I put that eraser?

Mistakes happen constantly. And that is OK. Everybody makes mistakes. The key factor would be to study from them… and erase them as quickly as possible when you place them!

Maybe you have stopped to consider just how that little pink bit of rubber in the finish of the pencil has the capacity to erase what you’ve written? Could it be magic? Not a chance! There is a perfectly logical , scientific answer.

Prior to getting to how erasers work, though, let us become familiar with a bit about what is around the paper that you are erasing. Although we call the black stuff in pencils “ lead ,” it isn’t the actual metal referred to as lead .

It’s really a mineral known as ” graphite ,” which consists of carbon . Whenever you write having a pencil, graphite particles in the pencil chafe and keep to the fibers from the paper you are writing on.

While pencils are full of graphite , erasers are created mostly of rubber, although plastic and vinyl are occasionally used. The rubber is generally coupled with sulfur to really make it keep going longer.

A softener , for example vegetable oil, can also be usually added to help make the eraser more flexible. Finally, abrasives, like pumice or quartzite, are added, together with dye to own eraser a specific color.

Whenever you rub an eraser across a pencil mark, the abrasives within the eraser lightly provide simple facts fibers from the paper to release the graphite particles. The softeners within the eraser assistance to avoid the paper from tearing. The sticky rubber within the eraser grabs and holds to the graphite particles.

Erasers work due to friction. Try rubbing both hands together at this time. Do you experience feeling them getting warmer the more you rub? The heat you are feeling may be the heat generated through the pressure of friction produced through the rough surfaces of the hands rubbing together.

Because the abrasives inside your eraser are applied against paper, friction produces heat, which will help the rubber become sticky enough to carry to the graphite particles. Because the rubber grabs the graphite particles, small bits of combined rubber and graphite get left out. This is the “stuff” you sweep from your paper when you are finished erasing.

An British engineer named Edward Naime invented the eraser in 1770. Up to that point, people usually used folded-up bits of white-colored bread to erase pencil marks.

Legend has it that Naime accidentally selected up a bit of rubber rather of bread determined it would “rub” out pencil marks. This is where the name “rubber” originates from.

  • So How Exactly Does an Eraser Work?

Question Words (8)

Question What’s Next?

Breathe deeply and prepare to plunge into tomorrow’s all-new Question during the day!

Give It A Try

Erasers allow us to correct our mistakes, but have you realize they may also be used to create a variety of interesting crafts? It’s correct! Check out the next art projects, and select a number of to test:

When you are finished, email or send us instructions having a picture of the eraser art project!

Wonderopolis HQ 325 West Primary Street, Suite 300 Louisville, KY 40202-4237

Have you have it?

Question Words

Rate this question
Join the discussion
Share this question

So How Exactly Does an Eraser Work?


We are glad that you are WONDERing around, phoenix!

This really is so unbelievably awesome! It’s surprising the graphite stays with fiber within the paper and also the ingredients within the eraser release the graphite enough where it’s in a position to grab your hands on the graphite and it their.

So How Exactly Does an Eraser Work?


WOW, addison! We like your enthusiasm for WONDERing!! Appreciate commenting so we aspire to know what you think again! 🙂

This is actually the most amazing and special bit of details about eraser I have seen. Just help! Good info in my research

So How Exactly Does an Eraser Work?


We are glad you loved this Question during the day, Question Friend! It Is Good when we are learning and getting fun! 🙂

A great little article. I’d like to see an electron microscope number of an eraser “obtaining” graphite particles.


Thanks a lot, Koenig541! We believe you are onto something awesome. we’ve another technology Question that you should enjoy: Question #710– So How Exactly Does Technology Make Any Difference? 🙂

Aparajita Guha

If only there is one eraser which may erase our parents’ mind so they will not remember our mischievous deeds. 😛


That’s some really creativity, Aparajita! We are confident it might just get better because of all of us to create good decisions about our behavior, though, therefore we did not need to bother about requiring to erase anything, not agree? -) Hopefully you’ve got a WONDERful day today! Thank you for always causing us to be Question, laugh, think and SMILE together with your comments! 🙂

It is actually weird that individuals accustomed to erase with white-colored bread rather of rubber. No that’s weird? 🙂


We do not think it’s weird, Troy, somewhat diverse from what we are accustomed to in modern occasions! Technologies are awesome, is not it? You never know what we are erasing our written mistakes with later on? 🙂

I began studying the wonderopolis lately also it is amazing to me everyday:) Now i’m began searching in the past ones that we overlooked. Thank you for discussing the great information daily.


We are SO GLAD you’re visiting Wonderopolis, Elango! There are plenty of items to learn and explore here! Appreciate departing us this type of nice comment! 🙂

Is not it made from rubber?


Yes, Jacob! It’s made from rubber! We think it is interesting to understand that before rubber was utilized as erasers, people used folded up bits of bread! That which was Your preferred thing about this Question from the Day®?

Hey awesome, glad my little stop-motion countdown may help illustrate your publish


Hi, Mike! Thanks for visiting Wonderopolis! We search to find the best videos as one example of each Question from the Day®, and thought yours was AWESOME! Appreciate departing a remark and letting all of us know there is a real person behind the animation! 🙂

Sister Jane

I simply completed a Thinkfinity seminar on Monday and so i have recently lately been brought to the marvels of Wonderopolis! I’ll inservice another teachers relating to this great website and we’ll introduce Thinkfinity with Wonderopolis to all the parents on To School Nite!


Hello, Sister Jane! We’re so pleased to count you like a new Question Friend! Thank you for departing this excellent comment today as well as for discussing Wonderopolis and Thinkfinity with other people! 🙂

Andrea Keller

I’m So looking forward to using Wonderopolis this season for thus a lot of reasons! I’ll really be utilising it tomorrow being an ice breaker for staff within my Existence Tech Training. Teaching kids with autism along with other special needs I’m always searching for something that can help in telling tales, imagining, and taking advantage of descriptive words. I can not wait to make use of Wonderopolis and find out what ideas I’m able to get my students to convey!


Many thanks for discussing your WONDERful suggestions for engaging students with special needs, Andrea! Thanks furthermore discussing Wonderopolis together with your colleagues. you are an excellent Question Friend!


We simply desired to have a minute to state how absolutely WONDERFUL many of these ideas are! We appreciate our educator Question Buddies and therefore are grateful for that thought and time that entered your opinions! 🙂

Dee Sypherd

I am really looking forward to the inquiry and vocabulary facets of Wonderopolis! I plan for doing things for cooperative learning team development possibilities. Teams will read the fundamental question and interact to create predictions before studying the content. After teams share their ideas, they’ll browse the article. Teams or men and women make use of the vocabulary list to choose a thing for his or her word collection. Occasionally, we’ll also employ the day’s subject like a springboard for more analysis!


We are liking what we should hear, Dee! They are AMAZING suggestions for instilling Question inside your students (both as teams so that as individuals) within the classroom setting and beyond! Appreciate commenting today! 🙂

Erin Gannon

Like a school having a health focus, we take some time out every single day to talk about a proper snack. While your meals are passed out, we review the Question together. Because the kids eat, they discuss it in their tables. The discussions will always be great! When the subject really strikes a chord, we tweet the kids’ opinions or spend time writing within our journals about this. 🙂


What a terrific way to bring Question in to the classroom, Erin! Select few discussions can surely result in bigger discussions and activities when Wonderopolis belongs to your day! Appreciate commenting and discussing this with everybody! 🙂

I love to use Wonderopolis in my Challenge Question — I publish “Wonders” and let my students go lookup the solutions — ideal for research and discovery of the amazingly Wonderful site !


What a good idea, Suzanne! Engaging students in research and discovery means they are more outfitted to become existence-lengthy learners! Thanks a lot for discussing! 🙂

Dorene Tabat Bates

I intend to use Wonderopolis this season introducing Thinkfinity to teachers. I will demonstrate to them how they may make use of the vocabulary and inquiries to promote literacy. And to make use of the Wonders as daily question and conjecture starters.


Hello, Dorene! We actually recognize how you go that step further to talk about Wonderopolis together with your fellow educators! The Question Words Are a good way to boost vocabulary! Thanks a lot for commenting on today’s ERASER Question! 🙂

Traci Porter

There are a handful of ways I personally use the Question during the day. Once the question is surely a compare/contrast subject, for example #248 – “How are Dolphins and Porpoises different” I’ve got a student browse the publish individually. He then will complete a T-chart to record the variations learned and share that information using the class. On other days we browse the question, discover the shocking truth, have a couple of minutes to jot/discuss our opinion may be the answer, then browse the publish like a class. I in addition have a connect to Wonderopolis published on my small blog for simple use of all the fantastic information! Traci Porter Lincoln subsequently Trail Elem. School N. Spencer School Corp.


We like using the T-charts to help learning from the compare/contrast Wonders, Traci! Thanks a lot as a friend of Wonderopolis as well as for encouraging your students to Question! 🙂

Wendy Daniel

My district, Wilson New York, just began using Thinkfinity and thru working out provided by the website I discovered and explored the truly amazing things with wonderopolis. I intend to make use of this site with my junior high school students in lots of ways. I’ll begin using these creative details to inspire critical thinking and responding every day like a warm-up, they are able to discover the details, respond within their journals after which discuss how this might connect with our curriculum. This website is going to be great to utilize common core standards making learning highly relevant to their lives. The erasers is a great indication that learning isn’t ending, that learning from mistakes could be ok since it allows us to develop and also be.


Hello, Wendy! We thank you for comment! We believe your opinions are wonderful, and extremely like the way you noted that Wonderopolis tends to make learning relevant inside your students’ lives! 🙂

Marie (mso) Snow

This summer time I’d the chance to understand more about Wonderopolis – it’s so engaging and filled with visuals. This is ideal for my ELL population! I must invite my students as well as their family/parents to Wonderopolis after-school sessions. I’d faciliatate navigation with the website, possess the family pick one activity to understand more about and make up a project in your own home. Students will share during “show and tell” sessions at school.


Thank you for commenting today, Marie! We’re so pleased to hear you have been exploring Wonderopolis! Your idea is really a this type of creative method to engage British Foreign Language Learners As well as their families. TOGETHER! Many thanks for discussing! 🙂

Is going to be featuring clips once per week around the morning bulletins. Already began a kind of interactive bulletin board (CREDITING The Origin, obviously) with a few questions after which switch the coverage over to locate a summarized answer. Wishing to begin a kind of Question Analysis Team where kids respond to questions posted by other kids. Because the librarian inquiry and curiousity are my personal favorite! (PS For other teachers, I simply finished a magazine known as A spot for Question: Studying and Writing Non-Fiction however Grades which is so great. No, I am not connected using the author you will find, it’s easily tweakable for teenagers!)


Hi, Angie! So happy to have a librarian commenting today! Appreciate discussing your interactive bulletin board idea with everybody. seems like WONDERful situations are available for that students at the school this season!

This really is my very first time visiting Wonderopolis and that i like it! I’m a fourth grade teacher and would utilize it within my homeroom time. Afterwards whenever we do personal journals, I’ll ask them to react to the things they saw and browse! Just opportunity to win some awesome erasers!


We are glad you stopped by today, Sandyh50! We like to learn about students journaling with Question. interesting comment! 🙂

Karole Warfield

Wonderopolis works WONDERFUL in my homeroom block to interact interest and combat behavior issues and also the inclination to need to be yak, yak, yaking in the kids to locate something to complete. With Wonderopolis, they’re engaged and we could possess a discussion later on. Thanks a lot! 🙂


Thank you for discussing this AWESOME comment, Karole! We like to learn about individuals WONDERful conversations! 🙂

Debbie Selfridge

Wonderopolis is the greatest site ever!! I’m in an grade school that’s an IB school – inquiry and demanding thinking is the content. Then when I discovered Wonderopolis I figured I’d struck gold! It is ideal for the finish from the school day. The scholars are extremely excited to talk about what they already know that, then we discover the shocking truth, after which discuss the “are you aware” info and also the word bank. They frequently go back home having a challenge to recover more information for the following day’s morning meeting. So rather to be just ready to leave & go back home, they leave excited & prepared to “question” & uncover more!! Thanks!


Delivering your students home using the need to Question and uncover more is AMAZING, Debbie! Thanks a lot for discussing your finish-of-day techniques for utilizing Wonderopolis inside your classroom! 🙂

Maria Caplin

I’m excited to begin my year off using Wonderopolis within my classroom with my morning warm-up. It’s fun to achieve the question up and also have the students enter into the area unpack their book bags, hands within their HW and start thinking and speaking concerning the question during the day. When we have enough time we discover the shocking truth after which later within the day our exterminator will come to the question and browse the content like a class to find out if i was correct about our guesses. Only then do we have experienced an excellent day.


Hi, Maria! Using each day’s Question like a morning warm-up is definitely an AWESOME idea! Thanks a lot for discussing this with everybody! 🙂

Karyn Lewis

I’m a new comer to Wonderopolis and that i like it! I intend for doing things to inspire curiosity within my students. I really hope to have a question subject at least one time per week in my students to create and react to. I would like to share the Wonderopolis erasers with my 70 fifth graders to inform them it’s alright to get some things wrong making changes.


Thanks for visiting Wonderopolis, Karyn! Thanks a lot for commenting today about how to engage your students with Wonderopolis! Exactly what a GREAT thought. we are able to become familiar with a lot and also be from your mistakes! 🙂

Related Wonders that you should Explore

What’s Synthetic Biology?

What’s the Exposure Triangular?

Are Swordfish Fierce Fighters?

Exactly Why Is sleep issues from the Pillow Always Cooler?

Are Days on the planet Getting Longer?

So How Exactly Does an Eraser Work? So How Exactly Does an Eraser Work?

So How Exactly Does an Eraser Work?

Drag a thing to the definition

Pick a Question Word:

Match its definition:


You’ve matched all the definitions properly.

Share results

Spread the Pleasure of Question

Get The Question DAILY

Sign up for Wonderopolis and get the Question from the Day® via email or SMS

Join the excitement

Don’t miss our deals, gifts and promotions. Be the first one to know!

Tell the planet

Tell everyone about Wonderopolis and it is wonders.

Share Wonderopolis

Wonderopolis Widget

Thinking about discussing Wonderopolis® every single day? Wish to give a little question aimed at your website? Help spread the question of households learning together.

2014–2018 © National Center for Families Learning

You Have It!

© National Center for Families Learning (NCFL)


Is it MAGIC? | All About Magic Eraser