Are Posca Pens Permanent Or Can You Wash Their Ink Off?

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Although Posca pens can still be a pain to find in Europe and North America, more and more people are starting to import them directly from Japan to sell them on sites like Amazon. Due to the excellent reputation that Posca pens have managed to earn over the years and their increased availability to the western markets, we have noticed more and more people asking questions about getting the best possible performance from their Posca markers.

Although we have noticed a wide range of different questions being asked over the last few months, more and more people have been specifically asking if Posca pens are permanent or not. Due to seeing so many people asking about the permanence of the Posca range as well as their popularity growing at an exponential rate right now meaning more people will probably have the same question, we have decided to publish this article.

Our goal is to try and help our readers who are using Posca pens for their artwork and need a permanent ink to ensure that you are producing the best work possible. We have also included a number of other commonly asked questions related to Posca pens and the permanence of their ink in the article too in the hope we can help our readers as much as possible.

Are Posca Pens Permanent?

“Schetsboek, Posca Pens” by Nik Morris (van Leiden) is licensed with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Posca markers are permanent once dried and their ink formula can easily last you decades when your artwork is stored correctly. That said though, there are a few things that you have to factor in that can cause mixed results when using the markers with the main one being based around not letting the markers ink actually dry before adding additional layers to your work!

We have seen a number of people make this mistake and post on social media saying that their Posca pens are not permanent and presuming that they have purchased fake pens. Due to the Posca pen ink formula being water-based with high pigmentation, you have to give it time for the water to evaporate and let the pigment set into the material that you are working with.

Provided you are using a porous material such as paper, card, wood, rock, textiles, metal, glass, and some types of plastic, this should take no longer than a few minutes before the permanence of the ink takes hold. If needed, once the ink has dried you can then work with additional layers without having any issues with the ink and continue with your work as required.

Will Posca Pens Wash Off?

Posca pen ink can often wash off but it will depend on the material that you have been using your marker pens with. The easiest material to wash their ink off is definitely glass and you will often be able to wash the ink off with nothing more than warm soapy water on a cloth. You can also sometimes wash Posca pen ink off some types of metal and plastic too using warm soapy water too but sometimes you will have to use a detergent product.

When it comes to paper and card, the ink from your Posca pens will not wash off once it has been left to set for a few minutes after the initial application to the material. If you have been using your Posca pens with fabrics then you are able to wash their ink off but it usually does take many washes with a detergent before their ink will start to fade so please keep this in mind prior to using Posca pens.

Do Posca Pens Last Long?

The paint inside of Posca marker pens has been designed to last for as long as possible once applied and left to dry on the material that you are working on. This ensures that you work is able to last you for decades if required and due to the paint inside of the markers being lightfast, they also hold up well in gallery condition lighting or in UV lighting too.

Your actual Posca pens can last you for a very long time without drying up too provided you store them correctly when not in use. As with all other capped stationary pens, be sure to always re-apply their cap when not in use and store them in a cool dry place when possible to ensure that they will last you for as long as possible without issue.

In theory, if you have purchased some Posca pens for yourself and don’t plan to open them and use them yet then they can last you for years without issue in their shipping state provided that they are kept in a cool, dry place outside of sunlight. This was common practice until the last few years as it was difficult to find Posca marker pens in Europe and North America so most people would bulk order them from Japan and then store them for years and work through their markers as required.

Do Posca Markers Fade?

Posca marker pens tend not to fade due to their paint formula having lightfast properties that protect your work from both UV lighting as well as high-powered lighting too. That said though, the pink and orange formulas for the pens do tend to fade slightly over time when exposed to UV lighting for extended periods of time. This is color specific and due to the pigmentation requirements of pink and orange paint marker pens with competing brands of pens having the exact same issues with pink and orange.

The rest of the colors within the Posca pen range hold up well though and show minimal signs of fading even if your work is stored or displayed in less than ideal conditions. On top of this, the Posca pen range actually scores some points over the competing brands who offer similar products due to their yellow marker formula holding up well where as other brands will often have fade issues with their yellow pens too.


That brings our article going over if Posca pens are permanent or not to a close. Although some people don’t give the pens enough time to actually dry for their permanence to take hold, once you wait a few minutes for your work to dry so the pigment can take hold, Posca pens are permanent on most porous materials commonly used for arts and crafts. As we touched on earlier in the article though, depending on the specific material that you are working with, you may be able to remove the ink even once dried with the aid of chemicals but this does not tend to work for paper or card.