Artltdmag is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How to Refill Alcohol Markers – Super Easy Steps to Follow

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

how to refill alcohol markers

The expansion of markers has been tremendous over the last few decades thanks to their utility. Hence, a variety of colors and types has been introduced to serve customers’ needs.

Moreover, alcohol markers are chosen by a majority of people who work in various industries, such as fashion design, office, education, and architecture due to their blending effects and wide range of colors.

Furthermore, it is inevitable that at some points, your markers will dry out or run out of ink. In that case, don’t worry about having to waste more money buying new ones.

Do you know that some brands provide refillable alcohol markers? Even better, there are several methods for refilling markers that you can try at home! Hence, I’ll show you the best way to refill alcohol markers without using any special tools:

  • Dripping Method: Drip the ink refill onto the tips of your marker gradually and let it soak.
  • Squeezing Method: Remove your marker nibs and squeeze the refilling ink directly into the ink reservoir.
  • Using A Booster: Attach the booster needle to the ink refill and inject new ink via your marker tip.
  • Rubbing Alcohol: If ink refills are not available, add rubbing alcohol as a solvent to your marker as a temporary method.

Additionally, before detailing the instructions for the four aforementioned methods, I’ll describe several indicators of your markers needing to be refilled. Are you ready to learn how to refill alcohol markers? Let’s begin right away!

How Do You Know It’s Time to Refill Your Markers?


It can be troublesome when using your alcohol markers, and finding that they don’t work at all. Hence, below are a few signals that will help you determine when you need to refill your beloved markers.

Firstly, when your markers run out of ink, their tips will gradually turn white. The reason is because a marker nib is soaked with ink which includes the color pigments. Consequently, as there is no ink left, it will return to its original color: white.

The second signal is the squeaky sound created by your marker during writing. Normally, the marker ink acts as a substance that reduces the friction between the writing surface and your marker nib.

Therefore, when there is no remaining ink, the friction will increase and create that squeaky sound while you are writing. Don’t try to continue writing in this case. Otherwise, you may risk damaging our marker tip.

Lastly, if your marker creates streaky ink, and its color is inconsistent, there is no doubt that your marker has run out of ink. Another possibility is that it has dried out because of alcohol evaporation.

For confirmation, you can compare with the strokes made by a brand new marker. You will notice that the strokes have some skipping, or the color is a lot lighter than the new one.

If your markers have any of these three signals, don’t throw them away yet. Instead, purchase some ink refills provided by your marker’s manufacturer. Then, continue reading to find out how to revive your marker!

Before You Get Started


Before processing the methods, you must conduct some preparation steps, and the most important thing is to make sure you work in an area that can be cleaned easily.

For instance, proceed with all steps on an old table that you will longer use. If it’s not available, an alternative is to recycle old newspapers or used paper and cover the table with them.

Marker ink often consists of dyeing substances that adhere to your table, and the ink is difficult to get rid of. Therefore, make sure you completely cover the surface that you are working on.

Furthermore, prepare a rag with some rubbing alcohol beforehand so you can instantly clean any spilled ink before the alcohol evaporates, leaving a stain.

In addition, put on a pair of gloves so you won’t dye your own hands while refilling the markers. Once again, alcohol marker ink is hard to wash away as the ink can adhere to the surface and stick there for good.

If you have prepared all the necessary materials, read below to find the trick that suits you the most.

Remove the marker cap in the first place. If your marker is dual-ended, make sure you remove both caps since this action will balance the pressure on both ends, so the refilling ink flows more thoroughly.

Dripping Method

This method works the best for alcohol markers whose tips are not removable. Moreover, if you are afraid of damaging your marker while attempting to remove its nib, this method is the perfect fit.

Gradually drop the new ink onto one tip of your marker. Do it slowly as you don’t want to overfill the marker and waste your ink. Squeeze the ink refill, add one or two drops at a time, and wait until the ink has been completely absorbed.

Continue adding more ink until the marker is saturated or when you notice the ink is no longer being absorbed but is dripping down the side of the marker tip. Ideally, it should take up to twenty to thirty drops of ink to fully refill your marker.

A small tip for this dropping technique is to tilt your marker slightly at an angle of 45 degrees. It helps the marker ink to go through the marker tip and to the ink reservoir inside.

Let it sit for a couple of minutes so the refilled ink can be evenly absorbed through the whole marker. Remember to put the cap on while letting it sit. Then, try out your marker to see if it works.

If it starts to work again, congratulations! In case the result doesn’t live up to your expectation, repeat the process until you can use your marker again.

Squeezing Method

For this technique, you might need a tweezer to remove the marker nib. Using your hand is fine, but it’s going to be messy, and you may risk dyeing your hand or the gloves with marker ink.

Firstly, use the tweezer to grip the marker tip at its base and pull it straight up. You will need to put some effort into pulling it out, so ask somebody for help if needed.

Once you have removed the nib, place the tip of your ink refill bottle to the opening of your marker, which you just have created. Operate this step quickly so you don’t spill any ink outside.

Now that you have had the ink bottle on top of the marker, gently squeeze the bottle to add more ink to the marker. As noted above, proceed with this step slowly so you don’t overfill your alcohol marker. About 2 – 3cc should work in this case.

After that, put the tip and caps back on and wait until your marker is ready to use. Refer to the previous section for more detail.

Booster Method

This method requires an ink booster to operate. In addition, this technique will give more precision while refilling the alcohol marker using a booster. However, it is NOT advisory for children to proceed with the steps on their own.

Step 1: Remove the marker nib, whose instruction is the same as above.

Step 2: Screw your booster onto the refill bottle. Make sure it is tight enough so it won’t fall out while you are refilling the marker.

Step 3: Insert the booster needle to the opening of the marker into the ink reservoir and gently squeeze your marker.

Step 4: Add approximately 2cc of ink to your marker and remove the booster.

Step 5: Put the nib back on and refer to the instruction in the first method to learn the next steps.

Rubbing Alcohol

Although ink refills offered are a great way to save your alcohol markers, some brands’ refills, such as Copic, are quite expensive. Therefore, here is how to refill Copic markers with alcohol to save you some money.

Step 1: Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol into a container, such as a water bottle cap.

Step 2: Dip your marker into the rubbing alcohol and let it soak for a few minutes.

Step 3: Remove your marker and put the cap on so the alcohol won’t evaporate.

Step 4: Let it sit for ten minutes before you start to use it again.

Note that this is only applicable if your marker dries out due to alcohol evaporation. Furthermore, the more alcohol you add, the lighter your marker will become. Hence, this is only a temporary method before you can afford an ink refill.


Instead of purchasing a brand new marker, refilling it is more cost-effective and time-saving. It can be quite messy the first few times, but I promise that you will be a professional after several trials. Besides, if you are also interested in other types of markers, you can refer to the category of markers and pens above.

So, that is all on how to refill alcohol markers. Let me know which method you choose in the comment section. If you find this helpful, share the article with your friends and family as well.

5/5 - (4 votes)