How to Fix Dried-Out Prismacolor Markers

If you have a dying Prismacolor marker, you may be surprised to find that you don’t need to throw it out right away. The ‘good news’ is, there are ways that you can revive your permanent marker, and the ‘even better news’ is that the step-by-step methods are laid out for you below.

These methods can work great for Prismacolor markers, Copic markers, alcohol markers, and any other dried-out marker.

Rubbing Alcohol

Using rubbing alcohol is a quick fix if you find that your marker tips stop working.

  • Apply a small amount of denatured alcohol or rubbing alcohol into a bowl.
  • Use a syringe to extract the rubbing alcohol until you fill it all the way to 20cc. 
  • Take off the marker pen cap and inject the marker nib with the denatured alcohol from the needle. Be careful with this method whilst dealing with the syringe. 
  • You can apply this process to all ends of your Prismacolor markers to revive them quickly and easily. This can also work for water-based and alcohol-based markers that have a dry tip.
  • Place the marker caps back on and let the marker sit in an upright position for a few minutes for the alcohol to soak through completely. 
  • You can then test out your marker on scrap paper to draw and see if the ink works. 

Dismantling Your Markers

  • Find a small indent on your pen that’s covered by the label. 
  • Use a small knife to cut around the body of the marker and along the area that’s indented. 
  • Be careful not to cut through the plastic barrel. 
  • When you’ve successfully cut the marker in half, pull them apart until they’re separate.
  • You’ll then be able to see the ink reservoir. Remove this and apply a few drops of rubbing alcohol to the ink reservoir. 
  • When the ink reservoir absorbs the alcohol, apply a little more until it stops soaking up the liquid.
  • Put your permanent markers back together and use tape over the area that you cut into. 
  • Make sure to shake the marker and let it rest horizontally for a couple of minutes to remove any excess.
  • Test out the pen by writing on some paper. 


Being able to revive your Prismacolor markers is a fantastic skill to have. It ensures that you can keep your pen working as normal for longer, meaning that you can save money on new art supplies.

If the above methods don’t work, it’s likely because the ink has completely run out, and of course, in this case, the only option would be to purchase new markers. Prismacolors also provide you with a refill option. These can be found online on their website by doing a search or in-store.

We hope that the details throughout this post have been useful in helping you understand how to bring your dried-out markers back to life. 

Also read: How to Revive a Dry Erase Marker


Are these methods safe?

Yes, so long as you’re careful when following the steps, these methods are safe. 

It’s best to perform these techniques in a well-ventilated area. This is because the solution contains chemicals and you want to avoid inhaling too much alcohol in an enclosed space. 

You may also want to wear a mask and gloves to keep yourself better protected. 

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.