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How to Refill Prismacolor Markers: It is Unimaginably Easy?

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

how to refill prismacolor markers

Many people prefer using alcohol-based markers instead of water-based ones because their colors have a smoother effect. Hence, result in better outcomes.

Furthermore, the most famous brand that is alcohol-based is the Copic markers.

However, for most people, these markers are too exorbitant to be purchased. Therefore, prismacolor alcohol-based markers become an excellent alternative for its affordable price.

Yet, one issue with these prismacolor markers is that they seem to dry out so quickly. You may wonder, are prismacolor markers refillable? Well, the answer is yes!

If you are curious about how to save your markers’ lives, this article is made for you. In the following sections, I’ll introduce you to two simple methods on how to refill prismacolor markers:

  • Rubbing Alcohol Injection: Use a syringe to inject alcohol into your marker via the marker’s nib. This method requires the use of a needle. Hence, children must proceed under their parents’ surveillance.
  • Taking Your Marker Apart: Open up your marker and let the ink reservoir soaked in rubbing alcohol.

Despite whichever way you choose, you will need to prepare some rubbing alcohol. Preferably, any type of rubbing alcohol with a concentration of 70-99% will work perfectly.

If you don’t have rubbing alcohol, denatured alcohol is also a possible alternative. You can find it in the same aisle as the paint thinner. Any additional materials needed will be mentioned in each section.

Hence, read carefully before you get into practice. Are you ready to learn the two methods of refilling prismacolor markers? Continue reading to find out!

Before You Start


Please operate the steps in a well-ventilated area, for example, your balcony or your garden. It isn’t a brilliant idea to inhale all that alcohol. At the end of the day, alcohol is a kind of chemical, so it is not good for your health.

If you have some respiratory health issue, wear a mask during the whole process so that you won’t have to breathe in too much alcohol, especially the denatured type. Now, let’s get started with the first trick!

How to Refill Prismacolor Markers

1. Rubbing Alcohol Injection


When your marker stops releasing any ink, it might not because it runs out of ink. Instead, there is a high likelihood that the alcohol inside your marker has evaporated.

Therefore, in this case, try to revive your markers by adding some more alcohol before you throw them away. If you are a clumsy person, this method will be your best fit as there can hardly be any spilling here.

Make sure that your children are well SUPERVISED during the whole process to prevent them from harming themselves by using a syringe. We don’t want to see any blood dribbling over some dried-out markers!

Besides some rubbing alcohol, you will need a small syringe whose needle is smaller than your marker tips. A syringe for insulin injection is the best choice. Still, if you don’t have anything readily available at home, you can easily purchase it at the pharmacy.

Lastly, prepare a small container for the alcohol. You might make use of the alcohol bottle cap. And that’s all you need for this prismacolor marker refill trick.

Once you have had everything ready, proceed with the step-by-step instruction below:

Step 1: Fill the cap with a moderate amount of rubbing or denatured alcohol.

Step 2: Remove the cap of the syringe’s needle and place the needle inside the bottle cap, which is currently containing the rubbing alcohol.

Step 3: Hold the syringe with your non-dominant hand and use the other hand to pull the plunger back to the line that marks 20cc.

Step 4: Hold the plunger still until the syringe is fully filled with approximately 20cc of rubbing alcohol.

Step 5: Insert the syringe needle into the marker’s nib. Proceed with CAUTION so that you don’t cut yourself by slipping your hand.

Step 6: Remove the marker cap and inject all alcohol to your marker via the tip.

Step 7: Repeat the steps with the other end of your prismacolor markers.

Also note that the tips may turn white on dark-colored markers during this alcohol injection. However, don’t worry as they will be filled with colors again in no time.

Step 8: Put the caps back on and shake your marker roughly for a few minutes. This step will help the alcohol flow evenly through your marker.

Step 9: Let the marker sit on a flat surface for at least fifteen minutes.

Step 10: Once the time is over, try your marker on a scrap paper, and it is supposed to work perfectly at this moment. Otherwise, your marker might have run out of ink.

So many steps there might be, I’m sure that they aren’t too difficult to follow at all. If this trick didn’t turn out so well and you want to make sure that it isn’t because of alcohol evaporation, read the next section to learn a second method.

2. Take Your Marker Apart

This method is slightly more complicated than the previous one. Nevertheless, I’m sure that it will be worth your effort. Before heading to the steps, we’ll go over several necessary items for this method.

As I’ve said in the introduction, you will need a dying prismacolor marker, some rubbing alcohol, and an airy place. In addition, prepare a sharp knife such as a X-Acto one, and some duct tape.

Last but not least, cover your table, or any surface where you are going to operate on, with some newspaper to protect it from being dyed with marker ink. Once again, be EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS while working with a knife, and ask an adult for help if needed.

Step 1: Look for a small line, or indent, on your marker that is covered by the marker label.

Step 2: Use the X-Acto knife to cut along the indent, around the marker body. Apply enough pressure to cut through the label without damaging the marker plastic barrel.

Step 3: Once the line has divided your marker into half, hold the two parts and pull them apart. Additionally, twisting them in opposite directions will make it easier.

Step 4: You will now see the ink reservoir inside, which is similar to a sponge. Take that out. Set your marker aside, you only work with the ink reservoir for now.

Step 5: Pour some rubbing alcohol into the ink reservoir and let it soak. Do it with a small amount of alcohol at a time. Only pour more alcohol in when the reservoir has absorbed the previous amount of alcohol.

Step 6: Stop adding when the reservoir has saturated and can’t hold more alcohol.

Step 7: Put all the pieces back together and use the tape to secure the indent where you cut in the second step.

Step 8: Shake your marker well so that the alcohol will travel evenly through the marker.

Step 9: Let the marker sit on a flat surface for a few minutes before you start using it again.


Learning how to refill prismacolor markers will save you a great amount of money from purchasing new markers. Try both tricks in the article to see which one fits you better.

That was the end of this tutorial. I hope this article has been a solution to your problem. Let me know what you think in the comment section. If you find this helpful, share it with your friends and family as well.

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