How to Get the Ink to Flow in a Stubborn Pen
I love pens. I collect pens. I have pens from all over. I am not talking about exotic pens. I'm not talking about expensive pens, either! I am talking about the kind of pens that are given away by realtors, insurance agencies and maybe your doctor's office. I have so many that several of them will often dry up at once. There is not a whole lot more frustrating than reaching for a pen that doesn't work and having the next one do the same. I have learned to be somewhat resourceful in bringing them back to life.
"You want to be a writer, don't know how or when? Find a quiet place, use a humble pen."~Paul Simon
With a fountain pen, there are a couple of things to check first. Is your cartridge empty? Is it in properly? If it isn't empty and is placed correctly, you can start by putting it upright with the nib down. This should get the ink flowing for you. If that doesn't work, you may have a clog. Remove the nib and soak it in warm water for about 5 minutes. If the clog is in the nib, that should clear it out. If it still doesn't work, you can remove the bottom of the pen. You will be holding the nib and ink cartridge. Gently squeeze the cartridge until you see the ink reach the nib. If the ink begins to flow, reassemble and try it out! If not, you may want to bring it to a professional.
Interesting facts about pens
A ballpoint pen can draw a line 4000 to 7500 feet long or...
It can write approximately 45,000 words!
The word pen comes from the latin word pinna
The first fountain pen was produced in 1884 by Lewis Edson Waterman and the first ballpoint pen was invented in 1938 by Laszio Biro.
Ball point pens
The thing that works the best for me is to scribble with it. It may just need to get the ink flowing again. Before you do anything else, there are two things you need to watch out for: the surface your paper is on and the material you are writing on. Often, all you have to do is put another piece of paper under the paper you are writing on and voila, it works! If that doesn't help, try shaking your pen. Many people make the mistake of shaking it really hard and almost frantically. Just shake it up and down in a smooth motion. If it's not working yet, you can try my dad's trick. He used to lick the tip of the pen. I'm not sure if there is a scientific explanation for the success of this but it often worked for him! Another thing he taught me was to heat the nib of the pen. That one is almost always successful for me. Just be careful not to burn/melt your pen and be aware, they are sometimes false starts. Heat can bring the remaining ink to life for a very short run but that may be all the ink that is in there. If you are still not having any luck with any of these methods, I recommend getting a new pen!
The above methods are what I do when I have a pen that doesn't work. I did research this issue and found some very interesting and somewhat complicated, difficult methods for getting your ink flowing. I decided to forgo those for a couple of reasons. Most of my ball point pens were complimentary. While some of them may have sentimental value, none of them have any monetary value. So...unless I need that pen RIGHT now, it will get tossed. With fountain pens, it is the opposite. I will try the methods above and if those don't work, I will put a new cartridge in anyway. If it still doesn't work, I will take it to a professional. I won't risk ruining it.
Pens, pens, pens!
For the serious only!
Waterman, the original maker of fountain pens!
"The pen is the tongue of the mind."~Horace
thank you to Brainy Quotes!