Copic Re-inking Information

This service is no longer available

You can find more information about why this service is no longer available on The Craft Room Podcast Episode 34, as well as up to date information about cracked lids and other maintenance and handling tips.

Copic Marker Maintenance & Handling

Copic markers are designed to last a lifetime, which is why they can be refilled and the nibs can be replaced. You can re-ink one marker many times (depending which type of marker) from a single re-inker bottle. This keeps marker barrels out of landfill, and best of all … the re-inker bottles are recyclable! It’s not only better for your hip pocket to re-ink your Copic markers, but it’s a little step toward caring for the environment as well.

Loose Lids

Sometimes the lid of your Copic marker may become loose over time. This advice comes directly from the Copic website.

The cap is made of plastic, so if it is stepped on or subjected to strong external pressure, it may crack or deform and become loose. If the airtight seal cannot be maintained, the cotton (ink reservoir) inside will dry out even if the cap is on, and it will no longer absorb ink even if the ink is refilled. If this happens, we recommend that you replace the marker with a new one.

Please check your lids before sending markers for re-inking. If the lid is very loose or doesn’t seal properly, it will most likely need to be replaced with a new marker. If the marker is brand new and has sustained no damage, it’s best to contact the store where you purchased the marker and ask them if it can be replaced by their supplier.

Copic Marker Maintenance

How can I tell if a marker needs to be refilled?

If you’ve had the markers for a while and the colour isn’t really saturating the paper as you colour, or the tip of the nib is beginning to turn white, it is time to refill.

The markers you use most often will need to be refilled first, and Ciao markers will need refilling earlier than Sketch markers, as the barrel holds less ink. Pale colours usually cover a larger area when colouring and shading, therefore the paler colours will usually need refilling before their darker shading counterparts.

When you see the signs that your marker needs to be refilled, don’t continue to use the marker. It can damage the nib, leaving a shiny section on the side which clogs the nib and renders it useless. Super Brush nibs can be replaced, but are expensive, so it’s best to care for the original nib well.

Sticky / gummed up nibs

There are three main reasons why a marker nib could be feeling sticky, like it’s all gummed up.

1. The inside of the cap may be dirty, with built up ink inside the cap and on the marker barrel close to the nib. Two things are happening here. If the inside of the cap has dried ink on it, it’s likely being picked up by the nib every time you remove and replace the cap. This creates a build-up of gunky ink on the nib. It can also lead to the marker cap not sealing properly, causing the nib to dry out. Regular marker maintenance can prevent this from happening. Clean the inside of the cap and the barrel around the nib using a cotton bud dipped in rubbing alcohol or 0 colourless blender.

2. When you color, if you only using the very tip of the super brush nib, rather than the sides of the brush, this can gum up the nib, creating the sticky effect. Clean the nib (see method below), cap and marker barrel, then refill the marker. To prevent this from recurring, make sure you colour with the sides of the nib in the future, which keeps the ink flowing over the entire surface of the nib, preventing the gumming / sticky effect.

3. The inside of the cap may be cracked and not sealing properly. This is why it’s important to store markers out of reach of little hands and be careful with them. If a marker is dropped or stepped on, check the cap to make sure it isn’t cracked. Unfortunately Copic do not sell replacement caps, so in this case, it’s best to purchase a new marker. If you receive a brand new marker that has a crack in the lid, let the store you purchased it from know, and they should be able to secure a replacement from their supplier.

If your marker nib is gummed up due to issue 1 or 2 use, try removing the nib with Copic tweezers or needle-nosed pliers. Keep the marker lids on while you work on the nib, and just work on one nib from a marker at one time. You can soak the nib in a little rubbing alcohol or 0 colourless blender solution, which cleans out the tip. Rinse and repeat with the solution until the ink is removed from the tip. Allow the nib to dry fully, then put it back into the marker and refill.

Ways to avoid nib damage

Use the right ink pad / fine liner / printer ink
If you are colouring a stamped, drawn or printed image it is helpful to test the ink first. When you colour over an incompatible ink, you will quickly notice if it starts to smear and black is dragged into your Copic colouring. If this happens, stop immediately, as continued colouring can clog your Copic marker nib, and ruin it. At the very least it will discolour the nib, at the worst it will be clogged and need to be replaced.

There are some surfaces you should avoid covering over with Copic markers. These will clog your marker nibs pretty quickly, requiring a replacement, so best to steer clear.
* White out / liquid paper
* Unfired clay
* Acrylic paints
* Chalk and oil pastels
* Solvents or oils

It’s also best to avoid pencil and watercolours. They won’t damage the nib, but they are likely to discolour the nib. The best rule of thumb is to use your Copic markers first, and then add these other mediums to your creation.

What if my marker nib needs replacing?

I am happy to replace marker nibs at your request, simply check the box on the order form and specify which nibs require replacement.

Medium Broad (aka chisel nib) $1.60 ea
Super Brush $7.00 ea
Other nibs available on request.