Can Markers Mold?


Can Markers Mold?

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A marker is a type of marking pen used to make semi-permanent or sometimes permanent marks on an object. The ink usually contains a main carrier solvent, glyceride, resin, and colorant among other things.

Many people use markers for various projects. 

They can be used for art projects, for school projects, construction projects and even for highlighting text on a page when you want to remember a key point you’re reading about. 

These are just a few things markers can be used for.

Markers can be used on materials such as paper, plastic, wood, ceramic, stone, and cardboard just to name a few.

The permanent marker was invented in 1952 by Sidney Rosenthal.

It is entirely possible for markers to become moldy. In more humid climates, if the lid is left on a marker for any length of time, the moisture that builds up inside the lid of the marker can cause mold to start to grow.

Imagine if you have just bought a new set of markers, let them sit for a while on a shelf in your home waiting for that perfect time and place to use that new set of markers.

What a disappointment you would experience if you opened the lid of your marker in anticipation only to find a questionable substance growing on the tip of your marker.

You will notice the mold because it will be characterized by displaying a woolly substance on the damp surface. If your markers get moldy, it will probably be next to impossible to clean it off permanently. 

It is best to dispose of the marker or markers, and use another one that isn’t moldy. 

The mold on markers may not be toxic, but it’s best not to let the mold hang around in your house or apartment. The markers with mold attached to them will at that point be useless anyway so it’s best to dispose of them. 

Before the fuzzy substance characterizing the mold becomes evident, you may find that your marker begins to emit a brown substance mixed in with the color that should be coming from the marker. 

It may smear as you try to use your marker. This may be the first sign that mold has started growing inside your marker.

To see the most popular markers available just click here. 

How Long Do Markers Last?

If you or your family love markers you might be wondering how long you can expect them to last. 

Most markers will remain fluid for up to 24 hours with the cap off. As long as a marker is not subjected to extreme temperatures, it can be stored unopened for up to 2 years without drying out. 

If you find that your marker has dried out, just submerse the tip of the marker in a bit of lukewarm water and let it soak for 1 to 2 minutes. Then replace the cap and wait about 24 hours. 

You should be able to use the marker again.

Interestingly enough, how long a marker will last when it is closed will depend on the color of the marker. 

Some colors will actually last longer than others.

To ensure your markers last as long as possible, make sure to store them with all lids tightly closed and in a cool and dry environment. Just be aware that even though markers don’t usually have expiration dates printed on the packing, they won’t last forever. 

You’ll know if your marker has passed it’s usefulness if you find it has become thick and rubbery, or if it has dried out completely.

It’s a good idea to check your permanent and semi permanent markers periodically to see if they are still in good working order.

Are Alcohol Based Markers Better Than Water Based Markers?

Alcohol based markers are typically called permanent markers. Alcohol based markers are alcohol soluble, but not water soluble. 

Alcohol based permanent markers are usually preferred by artists because they tend to blend more smoothly and predictably. Alcohol based permanent markers can be used by professional artists to create tints, shades, and fine illustrations. 

Alcohol based permanent markers are also great for artists who are working on a project that incorporates ombres by overlaying colors. It is easy to avoid the streaked color fields that water based markers would create.

There are other advantages to alcohol based markers. 

Some of the markers have the option to be refilled with ink and some have the option to purchase replaceable nibs. Alcohol based markers tend to work well on card stock, sketchbook paper and watercolor paper.

The ink from water based markers is water soluble. Water based markers are usually filled with water and pigment, or a combination of water, glycerin and pigment. 

Water based markers are great for watercolor art. 

Student grade markers are typically made with water based pigment as this ensures that if there is a need to, the color can be removed from hands, clothing, canvas and other materials. 

Water based markers are a great way to practice applying color as a student is learning their craft as water based markers take longer to dry than alcohol based markers.

It is entirely possible though to use alcohol based and water based markers on the same project. 

It is recommended to use the alcohol based marker first. After this layer has dried, the water based marker could be used on top of the alcohol based color.

The water based color will not make the alcohol based color run. If the reverse were to happen, there would be a possibility that the water base would run as the alcohol base went on the top of it.

The advantages of water based markers are many. 

  • Water based markers can be purchased in packs. 
  • Water based markers are generally more affordable. 
  • Water based markers can be used by younger aspiring artists.

Both water based markers and alcohol based markers can be purchased in a wide array of colors. The key is to do some research on the best marker for the shade of color you are hoping to achieve.

And most importantly, with both water based and alcohol based… be sure to store them in a cool dry environment. Nothing is worse than opening up a beautiful color marker, only to find that nasty moldy fungus growing on the tip.

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