Since my mom has recently been in a skilled nursing facility for rehab, it was necessary to label most of her belongings. This required the purchase of a permanent marking pen that could endure many washings. The pack that I chose had three markers in the colors of black, red, and blue. (I even shared one of them with a CNA, who had been especially helpful to my mom.) The nurse's assistants are always needing them, for marking the valuables of new patients, who aren't familiar with the nursing home policies.
Much to my delight, I not only found the traditional Sharpie Permanent Markers, but I also found something, that was at least new to me-Sharpie Retractable Markers.
What a great idea! How many times have you taken the cap off of a marker and forgot to put it back? You later find the pen completely dried out and useless! With this marker, you simply push the button on top (just like many ball point pens.) The permanent marker point comes out for use, and when you are finished, you simply hit the button again, and the marker retracts back into the pen (where it won't dry out.)
Of course, there's always a chance that you'll forget to retract it, and still have a dried out marker. But it's worth a try, right? I'll let you know in an update if it continues to perform well, as time goes on. It really is a simple, but very helpful idea!