Does Fountain Pen Ink Evaporate?

Keeping your everyday pen inked ensures that you’re ready to go at a moment’s notice. Whether you’re signing a document or jotting down notes, it’s always good to have ink in your trusty fountain pen. However, you might have experienced inking a pen and leaving it for a short while, only to find that it has already dried out. Did it leak or just evaporate into thin air?

 

If this has ever happened to you, don’t fret. Fountain pen inks do, indeed, evaporate, and here we’ll explain why that happens and what to do when it does.

 

How ink evaporates

Ink may look magical on a page, especially if it has sheening or shimmering properties, but it is simply water that is heavily dyed. And as we all know, water evaporates.

 

Fountain pens that don’t get much use for a few days will still have some ink left in them. But if you leave your pen for a couple of weeks, then the ink may evaporate. This happens even when the pen’s cap is kept on tight because the air circulating in the pen makes it possible for the ink to evaporate. When the water in the ink evaporates, it leaves behind solute crystals from the pigment used. These can clog your fountain pen.

 

How long can a pen stay inked?

To avoid ink evaporating in your fountain pen, it’s important to know how long it can stay inked. Ink may evaporate in as fast as a few days or as long as several weeks, depending on several factors:

 

Nib size

If water is placed on a greater surface area, then it will evaporate more quickly. Given that, fountain pen ink that is in contact with a larger surface area, such as a bigger nib, will evaporate more quickly. The finer the nib, the less air enters the pen, which will lead to a slower rate of evaporation for the ink.

 

Type of ink

The type of ink will also determine how quickly it evaporates. Higher-quality inks tend to use more pigment and are less watered down, so they will evaporate at a slower rate. 

 

What to do if ink has evaporated in my fountain pen

The first thing you should prioritize is resuming good pen hygiene. Flushing will dissolve any dried-up pigment solutes left in your pen and allow you to use it again. Maintaining best practices in fountain pen maintenance and cleaning helps to ensure that your pen is in good working order at all times. 

 

It also helps to prepare beforehand if you know you won’t be using your fountain pen for a while. Remove the ink cartridge or converter and clean your pen out before storing it properly. 

Another option if you’re in the market for a new pen is to get one that doesn’t dry out so easily. Platinum, for example, uses what they call the Slip and Seal mechanism that prevents ink from drying out in the pen. Their nibs and feeds are also designed to regulate the ink flow. This ensures that your fountain pen won’t dry up for longer periods of not being used.


Maintaining your pen and knowing when to refill it is important in pen maintenance. Whether you use a Pilot, a Montblanc, or any other favorite pen brand, keeping it in tip-top condition will allow you to use it for many more years to come. 

 

Happy inking and happy writing!

 

 

Written by EndlessPens Blogger Ramona Kabigting

Author: RamonaTutorial

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