After using my markers for years, I decided to try cleaning the caps; I know some folks are religious about doing this, but it’s a huge task to take on – and I’d rather make art!

But seeing a discussion recently about how pricey it is to clean them with Colorless Blender, and then an ensuing question about just replacing the blender solution with alcohol, I did some testing.

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When to clean:

Cleaning caps just for “beauty” purposes is overkill; Copics work just fine with dirty caps. Ask yourself: Am I cleaning because I’m procrastinating actually making art? Clean the caps, however, if you have trouble with ink spattering when you remove caps during use, or if nibs are drying out due to the seal not closing completely.

What to clean with:

Using Colorless Blender is “healthiest” for your markers, though it can be expensive for something like cleaning. You can use 99% Isopropyl Alcohol (available in your local pharmacy) instead, BUT in limited fashion:

  • Alcohol can eat the printed text off your marker, so don’t use it to scrub the barrel of your pens.
  • DO NOT touch it to the nibs – if it can damage printed ink, what will it do to a delicate foam nib?
  • If leaving caps to soak in alcohol, it can “scuff” the edges of the caps, making them look more used. (No actual damage is done, it’s just cosmetic.)

When using alcohol to clean, use the 99% – it’s stronger but works better than lower % alcohol.

How to clean:

Put a small amount of 99% Isopropyl Alcohol in a ceramic or glass container, and swish caps for about a minute. Remove using tongs or tweezers of some sort, and wipe off with a paper towel. Clean out remaining ink with a Qtip, and replace on the marker.

Feel free to pin the graphic below to share these tips with your friends!


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