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What Are EXPO Markers Made of? – Inside Your Favorite Marker

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

what are expo markers made of

So, what are EXPO markers made of? They are primarily made of four components. The plastic housing which is made of the barrel, bottom cover and cap, marker tip, filament and the ink.

According to Expo markers company SDS, the dry erase marker ink solution composition includes ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, n-Butanol, Diacetone alcohol, and other ingredients.

What to Know About the Ingredients of EXPO Markers

Some might not be satisfied with those brand declarations, so I dug deeper and found a more sensible ingredient list from episode 10 of Ingredients With George Zaidan.

What’s in Dry-Erase Markers? | Ingredients With George Zaidan (Episode 10)

Following his research, dry erase ink is composed of solvents, resin, pigment, release agent and wax. This composition makes dry erase markers work.

The resin and pigment go together, this combination makes the color uniform. The solvent serves as the base and the wax serves as the protective coating that prevents the ink from drying on the tip.

Now when you use the dry-erase marker on the whiteboard, the solvent readily dissipates, the resin/pigment combination stays on top, and the releasing agent sticks to the whiteboard.

This layer of releasing agent is responsible for the erasable properties of dry erase ink. One edge of dry erase marker vs whiteboard marker of other types.

This is applicable to whiteboards and other non-porous surfaces like glass. For other surfaces, dry-erase markers may not be washable and could be permanent on clothing.

How Are EXPO Markers Made?


Similar to other markers, EXPO markers are basically made or manufactured mechanically.

  • The manufacturing process of how are markers made starts with molding the plastic parts.

The plastic parts include the barrel, filament, cap, and bottom cover. The tip is usually ready-made.

  • Then, it’s time to formulate the ink, the most important part of the marker. Before mixing the ink, raw materials first undergo quality assurance and are measured according to the standard formulation. Formulations may vary per color and marker type.
  • The ingredients are then concocted to make the final ink solution. This ink solution is transferred into containers or transported directly to the manufacturing lines filling tank.
  • After the barrel is printed, it goes to the assembly followed by the filling process. Once it is filled with ink, it is sealed with the bottom cover.
  • Most bottom covers are removable for dry erase marker ink refill. The final assembly is where the tip is fixed into the barrel and capped before it goes to the packing section.

Frequently Asked Questions


Are Expo markers water or alcohol-based?

This depends on the type of Expo marker. For this brand, you will find two categories, the wet erase and the dry erase marker.

Expo Vis-a-Vis wet erase markers are water based while Expo dry erase markers are alcohol based. Aside from the difference in the base solution, they also differ in application.

Dry erase markers are best for whiteboards while Wet erase markers are intended for laminated surfaces. Be careful not to interchange them, dry erase is difficult to remove on laminates.

For this application, put wet erase markers in to use instead of a dry erase marker.

Are Expo markers bad for the environment?

The toxicological information declares that this product post no significant toxicological and ecological hazards provided that it is treated and disposed according to national standards.

This may not make EXPO marker toxic, however, note that it contains a significant amount of alcohol that is flammable and is classified carcinogenic at certain levels.

The good thing is that Expo has made an effort to eliminate potential environmental issues through their marker recycling program in partnership with TerraCycle.

Are Expo markers vegan?

Expo does not claim their products to be vegan but their dry erase markers made of mostly synthetic ingredients and do not contain animal derivatives.


Dry erase marker contains a releasing agent that makes it erasable on whiteboards while Wet erase is water base that makes it erasable on laminates.

Now that you know what’s inside your favorite marker, I hope that the facts of what are EXPO markers made of helps you to be guided on Expo markers composition and types according to use.

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