My Rubber Tip Stylus Fix – Hairspray

Yep, you heard me right.

My favorite rubber-tipped stylus is clearly starting to degrade – rubber was rubbing off on my iPad surface, the nib was sticking and bending while I was writing – it didn’t have the smooth flow it had before.

I tried everything.  Baby powder.  Cleaning the nib.  Cleaning the screen.  Nothing worked.

Then I remembered that when I hairspray in the bathroom, if I miss my hair, the floor gets verrrry slippery.

So I tried it.  It took 3 cycles of spraying and drying – don’t touch the nib while it’s wet!  The last drying time took longer, about 5 minutes to go completely dry.

And now my stylus is back to working like a charm.

I hope this works for you too!




27 Responses to “My Rubber Tip Stylus Fix – Hairspray”

  1. 1 Fritz May 16, 2012 at 3:30 am


    I’m a faithful NotesPlus user and I saw your post on their website regarding your stylus challenges. I take extensive notes at work every day (using NotesPlus, of course!) and I’ve never liked the rubber tipped stylus – the point is too big, the tip wears out, etc. About a year ago I invested in a Jot Pro stylus from Adonit and I’ve never looked back. It is rugged and well-built, it has a fine tip for accuracy, and the clear plastic disc allows me to see what I’m writing. Every once in a while it begins to skip and I discovered that shaving some graphite from a pencil into the plastic pocket clears the problem (I’ve probably done this twice since I purchased it). Anyway, I wanted to let you know so you can investigate it for yourself. BTW, I’m not affiliated with Adonit in any way – I’m just a NotesPlus user and wanted to share my findings.

  2. 3 Timme May 20, 2012 at 10:40 am

    What do you mean with the statement that you made one? Made a jot pro like stylus your self? If that is the case I really would like to hear more!


    Ps. I wlii try that hair spray next time I’m having problems with my stylus.

    • 4 Gail (Maya-G) Taylor May 21, 2012 at 1:46 pm

      @Timme, Yes, I made one 🙂 It’s the closet engineer in me 😉 I found youtube videos (lots of them) for how to make your own stylus for free that are the same design as the Jot Pro – a capacitative something connected to a slotted flexible round tip. So I made one. For the body, I used an old “ink nib holder” (a kind of pen artists use to do calligraphy – the body is plastic and shaped like a pen but there is a slot where the metal nib connects to the tip). I left a broken nib in the tip, and taped a long strip along the body that I had cut to match the youtube video specs.

      It works like a charm. I just don’t have a way to keep it connected to my iPad like my purchased styli that come with a lanyard and earphone jack insert. Also, the pen doesn’t have the weight that I like, and the flex-tip is not very durable (can be bent, torn off or crushed.)

      So I opted out of the Jot Pro.

      Let me know how the hairspray works for you 😉

  3. 5 Terry Hatmaker May 24, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I attempted to use my wife’s hairspray and what I discovered was that a layer of spray began to come off the tip as I used the stylus. Did you have this happen?

    • 6 Gail (Maya-G) Taylor May 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      Hi @Terry, no, it didn’t happen to me. I don’t see how you got that, my hairspray does not layer on my hair in flaking layers, and it didn’t on the stylus tip either. It just created a flexible sheen over the tip that flexes as my stylus tip flexes. But then again, different types of hairspray have different ingredients…

  4. 7 james July 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    can you tell me which brand model of hair spray you’ve used?

    • 8 Gail (Maya-G) Taylor July 24, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      @James – is where I get my hair supplies. Not the cheapest; made special for fine curly hair. You may want to try something cheaper. Note: humidity ruined the affect.

      I’ve switched to fabric-tipped (mesh) styli.

      • 9 BeloSolo January 27, 2014 at 4:33 pm

        Maya-G wrote:
        “Note: humidity ruined the affect.”

        I’m trying the hair spray right now, but yes, it’s water-soluble. I’ll see how long it lasts, but then replace it with a thin film of cyanoacrylate glue, and see how that works. Maybe, a silicone-based polish on top of that, if it needs to be more slippery. At least, cyanoacrylate isn’t water soluble, and it’s not hard enough to scratch.

  5. 10 james July 25, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    hmm i see. thanks Taylor, i’ll see how it may work on me 😉

  6. 11 SchneiderIS August 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Just as a note for others. I have the Jot Pro and it worked well for a little while and then started to be less effective and even started scratching the screen. That was my experience and grave disappointment. I will look at the self made units for the future.

  7. 12 Tine April 14, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Hi Maya,

    thanks SO much for the great hairspray tip!!! My pen writes like it did when it was new =o)

  8. 15 Gerrit November 13, 2013 at 2:59 am

    Hi Gail
    Found this discussion while worrying about my rubber tip Maglus started to fail. Like yourself, I switched from rubber to microfiber. Lynktec’s TruGlide Pro to be specific – great stylus.
    Take care!

  9. 19 openpotion April 14, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Super glue is far more effective.

  10. 20 DiDi July 31, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Does the super glue or clear nail polish scratch the screen?

  11. 22 DiDi July 31, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Well I tried it with my Pantene hairspray … and just because I was busy … waited a good hour or more between sprays and after the 3rd spray … probably several hours before I tried it … no go … it dragged worse then before … 😦 was really hoping it would work as I am tired of paying a premium price every couple of months for a new stylus … they really need to get this worked out. I know pens run out of ink and I know pencils have to be sharpened … but you don’t pay high prices for them. I have tried cheaper ones and they are the pits too 🙂

    • 23 Gail (Maya-G) Taylor August 1, 2014 at 11:25 am

      I don’t know about Pantene; didn’t test that one. Other hairsprays worked for me and others. Honestly though my new Mesh Stylus’s work the best – you can get cheap ones on Amazon – search or ‘mesh’ or ‘fabric tip’. Good luck!

  12. 24 Luana October 31, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    I am sort of addicted to a popular drawing app and am always looking for the thinnest, most affordable, stylus. I know it seems odd, but I buy one at Walgreens. It’s the Zebra and has the smallest nib I could find. Since I use it so much, I do need to replace it about once a month because it does get gummy. But it’s only about 7.00, so not too painful. There’s a new Bamboo Fine Line, but it’s way too technical and I really don’t need another device that I need to charge and it’s really pricy.

  13. 25 Donna June 8, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Thanks so much for these wonderful tips. I actually cleaned my tip with a damp napkin, it being my first one, and now it doesn’t work smoothly at all. It’s very frustrating. I see I shouldn’t have done that. Still, it’s only because of that and is otherwise in good condition.

    Do you think hairspray or superglue would be the best choice? I am reading some like the superglue, too. I am hoping to get it working today.

    Thanks again!

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