Do Pens Dry Out If Not Used?

We all have those pens in our house that just sit around, waiting to be used. Whether you have another pen that you use more often or just don’t write very much, you may be wondering if you should be using your pens more. Specifically, do pens dry out if you don’t use them?

Most pens shouldn’t dry out from not using them enough. If you are having issues with your pens drying out, it probably has something to do with how old they are or how they are being stored. However, if you have a fountain pen, it may be more prone to drying out if you don’t use it.

If you want to learn more about storing your pens correctly and how to stop them from drying out, this article will give you some useful information. Let’s get into it!

Table of Contents

How Do You Keep Your Pens From Drying Out?

Keep Them Somewhere Cold

It may seem like a strange thing to do, but storing your pens in the fridge can actually keep them from drying out. The solvents in the ink will evaporate slower when the pen is in a cold place, which means that the ink will stay fresh for longer and be less likely to dry out.

The opposite is also true. Don’t store pens in the warmest part of your house. Doing so can quicken the evaporation.

Store Them Tip-Down

If the pens you’re storing have a felt tip, such as sharpies or other markers, it’s best for you to keep them stored tip down. This is also true for fountain pens. This allows the ink to stay in the tip of the pen at all times and makes it flow out easier when you finally want to use that pen.

However, if you have a rollerball or ballpoint pen, it might be more beneficial to store it on its side. Storing it with the tip down could lead to leaking or cause the ink to coagulate at the tip, both of which would be annoying to deal with.

Storing your ballpoint or rollerball on its side is the next best thing because the ink won’t be gathering at the top, which would make the pen hard to use later.

Make Sure The Cap Is On Tightly

Another tip to keep your pen from drying out is to always make sure that the cap is on tightly (if it has a cap). This may seem obvious, but many people do forget to put the cap back on their pens or don’t put it on all the way, and this is a big contributor to the drying out of pens.

If your pen doesn’t have a cap, just make sure it’s closed with whatever mechanism it came with. If you really want to go out of your way to make sure your pen doesn’t dry out, you can store it in an airtight bag or container. This will make it harder for the ink to dry out because air won’t get to it as much.

How Can You Revive A Dried Out Pen?

how to revive sharpies

If your pen is a felt tip marker, the easiest way to revive it is to dip the tip in rubbing alcohol. This works because alcohol is the main ingredient in most marker pen ink, and when the ink is dried up it’s usually as a result of too little alcohol. So adding the rubbing alcohol will help the ink start flowing again because it will have its missing ingredient.

Rubbing alcohol can also work for ballpoint and rollerball pens, but it works because it dissolves any dried-up ink that could be stopping fresh ink from flowing out.

If you have a ballpoint or rollerball pen, you can also revive it by using heat or friction. Scribbling the pen quickly on a piece of paper can help get the ball moving again so that ink will flow out.

If the paper isn’t working, you can even try scribbling it on something rubber such as the sole of a shoe, which will create more friction and hopefully get the pen moving again.

The best way to use heat to revive your ballpoint or rollerball pen is to put a lighter to the tip for just a few seconds. This will loosen any dry ink that is preventing new ink from getting out of the pen.

How Often Should You Use Your Pen?

Do pens dry out if not used?

Unless it’s a fountain pen, it really doesn’t matter how often you use it. If a pen is dried up, it’s probably because of how old it is or how it’s been stored. So whether you use a pen often or never use it at all, it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.

Generally, pens will last about 1-2 years before drying out indefinitely, though some can last as long as 10 years without having any problems. Again, this is all about how they were stored, and you can decide how often you want to use your pen without any consequences to worry about.

When it comes to fountain pens, that is a bit of a different story. Most fountain pens should be used daily if you don’t want any trouble with the ink, but some can get away with being used once a week without any problems.

You will have to experiment with your fountain pen if you want to know how often it should be used, and this might mean that you will have to do some troubleshooting along the way. But if you don’t want to experiment, you should go the safe route and use your fountain pen every 1 or 2 days to avoid problems with it drying out.

Final Thoughts

Luckily most pens aren’t super finicky, so you don’t have to worry about them drying out if you don’t give them enough attention. As long as you make sure they’re stored correctly, you shouldn’t have too many issues with dried ink.

And if your pen does happen to dry out, you can feel safe knowing that there are plenty of easy ways to revive it and get to using it again.

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