Updated: Oct 20, 2020
I have owned copic markers for about 5 years now. I dont use them as often as I should. The other day I pulled my set out and started using them within a few minutes I noticed I needed to do a better job caring for them. Most of my markers are drying out or the caps are filled with extra ink. I thought I need to be a better caregiver for my markers. So I did a little research to find out what are better ways to care for my markers. I learned a few things and I thought I would share them with you.
1. The first thing I realized is that my marker caps were filled with a ton of dried up or sticky ink. When I looked around, I read that there are a couple of things that cause that. A couple reasons the caps get this way is by over filling them or not closing the caps all the way. This is not totally fail safe but it will definitely cut down on the ink collecting in the cap. It is a good practice to use rubbing alcohol to clean your caps regularly. There are a couple of good ways to do this. One way is to pour rubbing alcohol into a bowl about 2 inches deep and submerge your caps in the solution. If you let them sit for about 5 minutes, it will break up the ink in the cap and in the deep crevices where it is very easy to wipe clean with a paper towel, tissue or a cotton swab. Another way is to soak a paper towel or a rag in rubbing alcohol and then use it to clean the inside of your cap. This method works quickly and is a good practice to do each time you are done using your markers for the day. If you have a really inky cap, I would suggest using the submerging method.
2. Storing your markers lying flat (on their side) will cut down on your marker ink drying out or excess ink dripping into the end of the cap. I didn't realize this would be an issue, but it completely makes sense. I have a travel case where I keep my markers because I usually use them when I go to an art class, so I thought it was easier to keep them standing up in the travel case. Now I see keeping them like this for long periods of time is not great for the maintenance of these markers. Now I see why I have a lot of inky caps. I just thought the markers were messy, but reality is that I was adding to the problem by keeping them on their end (upright) all the time. There are a lot of desk storage cases that are perfect for storing markers while keeping them flat. You don’t have to go out and buy an expensive storage unit. You can simply reuse items you already have in your house. Even something as simple as a shoe box can be put on its side to hold your markers just fine.
3. Don't over fill your markers. As you guys know I am not about precision in most things I do. Usually I just eyeball something and just go with it. Kind of like my cooking I don't ever follow the recipe I simply know it needs 2 eggs and a cup of milk so I just go with it - I don't measure out how large the eggs are or if the cup of milk is perfectly to the 1 cup line on the measuring container - I just eyeball it and if it looks good I go with it. Well I can tell you from experience just like my cooking - eyeballing it does not really work out right each time. When I eyeball the amount of ink to refill my marker there is always a problem. Usually, I over fill or I under fill the marker. At first, I believed that over filling would be ok cause a juicy marker would last longer. Ha ha ha ha - that was very silly of me to think because that is further from the truth. I know better now. I am sure each of you, at some point, have experience of an exploding marker while you were coloring. Yes, over filling can contribute to the explosion experience. It is never fun to try to deal with too much ink on your project. Also, as I stated earlier when the marker is over filled and you store it standing up the ink will drip into the cap causing a dried-up sticky mess. The best thing to do is weigh your marker before and after filling. Yes, this is the precision I am not great at but to really care for your marker well weigh it to ensure you have the right amount. A good marker should weigh 14 grams with both caps on. Take care not to over fill beyond 14 grams or you may enjoy an inky mess in your future.
These are 3 ways I just learned to be a better care giver for my Copic markers. If you have other tips that would be helpful, tell us in the comments below. Caring for your markers does not have to be a daunting task as long as you do little things each time you use them. Then you won’t have to deal with the arduous task of full maintenance on all of your markers at one time. Be good to your markers so they will be good for you for a very long time.
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