The Ultimate Guide to Fountain Pen Ink Storage
fountain pen ink storage

Fountain pen calligraphy is an early form of writing that has now become more of a culture. The fountain pen can be described as the later version of the dip pen. The dip pen is an old writing tool that consisted of a nib, capillary channels, and a holder or case. 

A fountain pen is very similar to a dip pen, with the major difference being the ink reservoir. The ink itself is another important component that defines the fountain pen. This is why fountain pen ink storage is so important. 

In this article, we’ll cover different fountain pen ink storage methods, ways you can extend the shelf life of your ink, and some reasons your ink goes bad.

Storing Fountain Pen Ink 

Fountain pen ink is made of dye, water, and other pigments. There are different brands and types of ink, and their compositions vary slightly. 

We’ve compiled a list of all the best tips and tricks for storing fountain pen ink. Read more below!

Ensure the Cap Is Screwed On Tight 

Ink, Fountain Pen & Book On Table

The first step seems very obvious, but it is one of the major reasons why most people’s ink gets spoiled. It is surprising how easy it is to forget to close the cap of your ink instead of just placing the cap over the ink and not screwing it shut.

The ink is made from dye and some other pigments that are air sensitive. It is okay for you to leave your fountain pen ink slightly exposed when you’re using it. However, if you plan to store the ink for an extended period of time, you need to ensure it is shut tight. 

Leaving your ink exposed to the air will cause the ink to start drying and eventually clump up.

Protect Your Ink From UV Light

Some of the components that make up fountain pen ink are light-sensitive, and they tend to change color when exposed to UV light for a while. 

You don’t need to hide your ink from light when you’re actively writing because it will take longer than that to alter the color of your ink. However, if you want to store your ink, don’t leave it near a window or someplace where sunlight can get to it (sunlight is a major source of UV light).

If you want to keep some ink at hand and also store some for later, you can arrange all your ink in a box and leave the ones you’re using close to the front. 

Another thing to note is that sunlight is not the only source of UV light. A regular electric light source also emits UV light. It is safer to store your ink in a box or cartoon that doesn’t allow light to penetrate. 

Store in a Glass Container 

Most times, our first instinct is to store our ink or paint in a plastic container. However, storing your fountain pen ink in a plastic container is not a good idea. In the structural formation of glass and plastic, glass particles are more tightly packed compared to plastic. 

This means that plastic is more porous in comparison to glass. Keep in mind that water is one of the main components of the ink, and water tends to escape from porous vessels. Keeping your ink in plastic bottles for extended periods of time can result in your ink drying out. 

You can avoid drying by leaving your fountain pen ink in a glass jar or container. 

Be Neat With Your Pen and Ink 

Contamination is a big reason why ink goes bad. Some of the ingredients used in making fountain pen ink are suitable for the growth of microorganisms. You can easily transfer microorganisms from your hand into your ink bottle.

This is one of the reasons why we emphasize regular cleaning of your pen and nibs. Germs can accumulate at the nib and neck of your fountain pen, and these germs can get into your ink bottle when you dip the nib in for a refill. 

Ensure that you clean your nib with disinfectants after writing, and also ensure that you brush out ink clogs with a toothbrush. 

Now that you’ve read about our preferred methods of fountain pen ink storage, you should have no problem keeping your ink safe. These methods work for both ink bottles and ink cartridges. 

Reasons Why Ink Goes Bad 

Ink Well and Fountain Pen

We mentioned a few reasons in this article’s section about ink storage that explain why ink goes bad. Let’s review them again in more detail. 

Exposure to UV Light 

UV light causes a reaction to occur in the ink which results in it changing color. If you’ve been observing this in ink, then try changing the location you store your ink. 

Place your ink in a dark place, and you’ll see that the color change will stop. 

Water Loss

Your fountain pen ink is in liquid form because of the water content present. However, if the water is lost, you’ll end up with a dried pigment. This is why we advise you to store your ink in a glass container instead of a plastic one. 


The growth of microorganisms in your ink can result in the ink developing molds and clogs.

You can avoid this by simply being neat when using your fountain pen and ink container.

Exposure to Air  

Leaving your ink jar exposed to the air will make it dry up and start forming clogs as a result of loss of water content. 


Ink is an essential part of fountain pen calligraphy, and it needs to be cared for accordingly. You can store your ink for decades if done properly. 

We’ve given you some fountain pen ink storage methods as well as some reasons as to why your ink goes bad. Follow our instructions and storing your fountain pen ink will be a breeze. 


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