How to Refill Alcohol Markers

Alcohol-based markers are incredibly popular due to how they can be used for art projects, writing, as well as for architectural designs. 

If you find that your pens have run out, you may be pleased to hear that instead of buying a brand-new marker, you can simply refill the ink. This post outlines the best methods to refill your alcohol-based permanent marker, whether it be a Copic marker, a Sharpie or a Ciao marker.


  • Start by making sure that you’re working in a space that you can easily clean. You may want to lay down some paper towels or old newspapers on the surface that you’ll be working on.
  • This is because the marker is prone to staining surfaces which can be a pain to remove. 
  • If you do accidentally get marker ink on a surface, use rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth to wipe it away. 
  • It’s also a good idea to wear some gloves whilst refilling your alcohol markers to prevent your skin from being stained

Dripping Technique

  • The dripping method works well for alcohol-based permanent markers where you can’t remove the tip.
  • Grab your ink refill bottle and slowly drop a small amount of the ink directly into the nib of your dried-out marker. 
  • Wait until the new ink has completely dried on the marker tip before you continue adding more. 
  • To expose the ink reservoir, it’s best to hold the pen at a 45-degree angle. 
  • Let the ink refill soak into the marker for a few minutes with the cap on. 
  • You can then test out the pen on scrap paper. If it’s still too dry, you can repeat the steps. 

Squeezing Technique

  • Put gloves on and use a tweezer to take out the marker nib.
  • When the nib is removed, put the ink refill bottle into the marker.
  • Once the ink bottle is inside, gently squeeze it to release the Sharpie or Copic ink.
  • Make sure to do this slowly, as you don’t want to overfill the reservoir. 
  • Put the marker cap back on and leave it to sit for a few minutes.
  • Test the permanent marker on a piece of paper and repeat the steps if necessary. 

Booster Needle Technique

  • Wear gloves and remove the marker nib using a pair of tweezers. It may also be best to wear something with short sleeves to prevent the alcohol-based ink from getting on your clothes.
  • Put the ink booster on your refill ink cartridge, ensuring that it’s screwed in tightly. 
  • Next, put the needle of the booster into the marker and apply gentle pressure to the pen to release the ink into the reservoir until it has been refilled.
  • Put your marker nib and cap back on and let it rest for a few minutes before trying it out. 

Rubbing Alcohol

  • Pour some rubbing alcohol into a small bowl or container.
  • Gently insert your marker nib into the solution and let it sit upside down for a couple of minutes.
  • Remove the marker nib and place the cap back on.
  • Let it sit for a few minutes before taking the cap off and testing out the dry-erase sketch markers. 


One of the main signs that you need to apply new ink to your marker is if you notice streaky ink on the page. This means that there isn’t enough remaining ink making its way to the brush nib.

  • These methods are cost-effective and can be done within a matter of minutes.
  • Ink refills can be purchased easily online or in stores.

After reading through our post on how to refill alcohol markers, we hope that you’re feeling more assured about doing it for yourself. These steps can all be used to refill Copic markers aswell as other brands. (Using Copic various ink options will be available, so ensure to select the correct product). 

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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.