One of the advantages of using alcohol-based markers is that they dry quickly on the page.
But you don’t want the ink inside your Copic markers to evaporate before the ink even hits the page.
So you want to take good care of your Copic marker to prevent them from drying out.
With normal use, your Copic markers should last for several months before you need to refill them. However, there are many reasons why Copic markers might dry out earlier than that.
In this article, you will learn how to know when your Copic markers are dried out, how to fix dried out Copic markers, and how to store alcohol markers correctly to prevent them from drying out again in the future.
Let’s get started.
There are several signs that will tell you that your Copic markers ran out of ink.
The first one is the dreaded squeaking sound.
If your markers suddenly start to make a lot of noise, it probably means that it’s about to run out of ink.
So even if you might be able to squeeze a little more ink out of them, it’s general better just to refill your Copic markers right away.
The second telltale sign of a dried up marker is a white tip.
Normally the nibs of your Copic markers should have the same color as the ink.
If the nib starts to become lighter or has completely turned white, you should refill your markers.
Normally, the nib will start to become lighter from the very tip. So it might be a little difficult to notice at first.
Where did all the ink go?
If your markers ran out of ink there could be two reasons for it.
First of all, you might just have used up all the ink in your markers.
And depending on which type of Copic marker you are using, this might happen sooner or later.
That’s because each type of Copic marker holds a different amount of ink.
The Classic markers hold 2.5 ml of ink, the Sketch markers hold 1.8 ml of ink, and the Ciao markers hold 1.4 ml of ink.
The second reason is that the ink in your marker has completely evaporated.
Copic markers all dried out?
The most common reason why one of your Copic markers suddenly dried out is because you left the cap off for too long.
I probably don’t need to tell you that you should put the cap back on as soon as you finished using your marker. Even if you are planning on using that marker again a little later.
As long as the cap is on your Copic marker, the ink won’t evaporate.
However, sometimes things can go wrong when you are storing or travelling with your markers.
If you don’t have a good way store your markers, the cap can easily come off on accident.
And if you only discover it a few days later, you might find your Copics completely dried up.
How long do Copic markers last
If you don’t forget to put the cap on your Copic markers, how long you can use Copic markers depends on a lot of factors.
I already mentioned that some type of Copic markers can hold more ink than others. That’s an obvious one.
Another factor that you probably though of already is how much and how often you use your markers.
But there are also some less obvious things to consider.
The type of paper you use for your Copic markers can also have a big impact on how much ink you use. In general, thicker paper absorbs more ink than thinner paper.
Also, you don’t use color evenly. So some colors will run out of ink much faster than others.
However, with average use most Copic markers will last for several months before they need to be refilled.
This is just from my own personal experience. So take it with a grain of salt. (Preferably with a big one!).
You will really have to give it a try yourself to really know how long Copic markers will last.
How to fix dried out Copic markers
If you accidentally forget to put the cap back on, there is no need to despair right away.
There are several things you can try to revive dried Copic markers.
- Refill the markers: In the best possible scenario all that you have to do is refill your Copic markers with new ink, so I would try this first. Fortunately Copic refills are cheap and you can refill them within a few minutes.
- Dip the tip into water: If a lot of ink evaporated and refilling doesn’t help, it might be because your nib is clogged. You can try to save your nib by dipping it in water for a while. Afterwards, try to draw on some paper to see if the ink started flowing again.
- Replacing the nibs: If your nib is beyond saving you can also try to change the nib with a new one. Copic sells replacement nibs, and they aren’t very expensive.
- Buying new markers: sometimes none of the above suggestions help and all you can do is buy a new marker.
I would always try out steps 1 to 3 before buying new markers since refill ink and replaceable nibs are much cheaper than just buying an entirely new marker.
How often do you need to refill Copic markers?
It’s best to refill your Copic markers before they run completely dry. For casual users, this might mean refilling them once or twice a year. For more avid users, you might have to refill your copic markers every few months.
How much does it cost to refill Copic markers?
Fortunately, the refill ink is a lot cheaper than buying new markers. Since each type of Copic markers holds a different amount of ink, I calculated the price for refilling your markers to be roughly:
- $0.80 for Sketch markers
- $0.70 for Ciao markers
- $1.10 for Classic markers
However, keep in mind that you can’t buy refill ink in these small quantities. You’ll have to buy a bigger container of ink that you can use multiple times to refill markers of that color.
Do Copic markers dry out without use?
If you are not a professional artist or designer, it’s quite likely that you don’t use your markers every day.
They might sit for several days, weeks, or even months without use.
And you might be worried that you Copic markers will be completely dried out next time you want to use them.
Fortunately, I can give you a very short answer.
No, Copic markers do NOT dry out without use.
This is assuming that you put the cap on correctly.
Because the cap is designed to be airtight, it’s pretty much impossible for the ink to escape.
Also, you don’t want to be storing your Copic markers in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures for a long time.
But in general, you can store your Copic markers on the shelf without worrying that they will dry out.
Copic markers don’t dry out without use. This is because the cap is airtight and will prevent the alcohol-based ink from evaporating.
However, if you leave your markers uncapped for too long, they do eventually dry out.
In this case, you can try to revive your dead Copic markers by refilling them with ink or replacing the nibs with new ones. If that doesn’t help, you will probably have to buy new markers.
So make sure to always store your markers correctly and take good care of them to prevent any accidents.