How Do Erasers Erase?
Really anything stickier than paper will be able to erase graphite. Pencil writing is really a mix of graphite and clay that clings onto the fibers in paper. Rubber erasers can lift up these flakes of writing simply by being stickier than the paper.
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from Brain Stuff
Key Facts In This Video
Pencil lead isn't actually lead—it's graphite. (0:23)
The earliest erasers, which date back to the 1500s, were just bread. (1:20)
The word "rubber" originated from a scientist who discovered how easily it picked up graphite when rubbed. (1:40)