Top 3 Reasons your Copics get Sticky and Gunky and how to avoid it.

You sit down to color and notice your Copic Marker ink isn’t blending right.

The Ink gets sticky and gunky and the more ink you lay down the less you are able to blend it.

Instead of the ink blending into the paper it’s just staying on top of the paper leaving this shiny layer of gunk!

Sound familiar?

This can be so frustrating and even make you second guess yourself why you even bought these expensive markers, right?

Well, don’t give up just yet my friend. 

Reason #1 why your Copic Ink gets sticky and gunky

Marker Caps are dirty

Every time we open up that Copic Marker and slip that cap back on the nib – it rubs against the side of the marker cap.

Every time you take on and off the marker cap.

That old partially dried ink gets on your Copic nib preventing ink to flow out of it. Over time it makes the ink darker, sticky and harder and harder to blend.

Not to mention it makes the ink a little thicker which makes it harder to soak into the fibers on the paper. Which is why you’re seeing that shiny residue on your paper.

Solution: Nibs need to be changed or cleaned.

Reason #2 Why your Copic Ink get’s sticky and gunky

Replacing your nibs

You still may experience the sticky gunky problem even if you keep your caps clean…


I know, annoying, right? 

Copic Marker care is important if you want your Copics to last

You’re probably thinking, “I clean my caps, I’m careful when putting my marker cap back on… why is my marker still gunky?”

Depending on which color and usually it happens more with the darker colors – when we color those small images or narrow spaces, there’s not a whole lot of ink that flows out. Leaving that ink “trapped” in the barrel and at the base of the marker and nib.

Periodically we need to move that ink through the nib with a few scribbles and really press the ink out on all sides. 

This will help ensure proper ink flow through the nib.

Reason #3 Why your Copic ink get’s sticky and Gunky

Refill your Copic Marker

Another reason you might be experiencing the sticky gunky ink is because your marker is dry..

You know when your ketchup bottle is gone and when you take off the cap and try to get some out it’s all gunky around the cap… kinda the same here.

So by refilling your Copic you will add life back to your nib and coloring gunk-free!

While you’re refilling your Copic it’s actually a great idea to soak the nib, clean the cap (using Blender Solution) and check to see if your Copic nib needs to be replaced.

Copic Marker Maintenance

In order to make sure you get the most of your Copic Markers, Copic Maintenance is so important to expand the lifespan of your Copic Markers.

By cleaning the caps, replacing the nibs and refilling when needed will help your markers last longer.

Just like an oil change.….

…and just like an oil change depending on how much you color (miles on a car) will help you determine how often you should be cleaning your Copics. My mostly used Copics when I was coloring a lot, a lot – I would clean once a month – right before I’d teach a class. 

Conclusion: How to fix the Copic marker sticky ink on your paper

Unfortunately you can’t really blend out or fix it – at least I haven’t been able to. I have found ways to making it look better or camouflage it.

  • Stickles – once you finish your image you can add some stickles to it.. I like the Star Dust.
  • Texturize – If you are in the middle of coloring still adding texture (dotting or flicks) can help hide it.
  • Blender Pen – You can take your blender pen and try to smooth it out over the sticky area. I would do this with caution as if your paper is over saturated already you will loose control of the ink and it will start spreading outside the image or area you are coloring.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Alyce

    Thanks! I’m in the process of refilling and cleaning my markers now. Big job!

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