Can You Leave Ink In A Fountain Pen?

The art of scribing is beautiful, and there are so many tools at the disposal of the modern writer. Fountain pens bring great joy to many people, and these pens are very commonly used by many modern writers all over the world. Many writers use multiple pens, depending on what they need or what they feel. Due to the fact that writers often have many pens going at once, many find themselves asking, can you leave ink in a fountain pen?

You can leave ink in a fountain pen. The type of pen and the type of ink in the pen determines how long the ink can be left in the pen. If the pen has good seals, the ink can be left in for longer. If the ink has solids in it, it should not be left unused for very long. 

If you like to keep multiple fountain pens going at once, it is vital to keep track of how long the ink has been in the pen. There is a limit to how long ink can be kept in a fountain pen, but if the ink and the pen are good quality, then it may be safe to leave the ink in the pen for a good while. Let’s look at how long ink can be left in a fountain pen, what can happen to the pen if the ink is left in for too long, and what to do if the ink has dried inside the pen.

Can You Leave Ink In A Fountain Pen?

You can leave ink in a fountain pen. Some pens can handle having ink left in them for long periods, and some inks are perfectly fine to leave in the right fountain pen.

Whether or not you should leave ink in a fountain comes down to the type of pen, the quality of the pen, the type of ink, and the length of time that the ink is going to be left in the pen for.

Good quality pens usually have good seals in them, which prevents air from getting to the ink, which dries it out more quickly.

Poor quality pens tend to have inferior seals that allow ink to dry out surprisingly fast.

Thick inks and inks that have solids in them, such as pigment or gold flakes, tend to solidify quickly when left undisturbed.

Thin inks tend to last longer within a pen without drying out.

Leaving ink in a fountain pen will probably lead to the ink drying in the nib of the pen, but this is not usually a big problem.

A fountain pen that has ink in it should not be left in the sun, in areas that get too hot, and should be rotated or shaken every day or two when not in use.

You can leave the right fountain pen ink in the right fountain pen for months at a time if the ink is well behaved and if the pen has good, tight seals and a sealed cap.

Some pens should not have ink left in them at all if the pen is not in use, and some very expensive pens are made from exotic or delicate materials that can not handle ink being left in them for long periods.

It is good practice to drain the ink and to flush and clean your fountain pens if you are not using them for a long time or if you do not intend to use a particular pen for longer than a week or so.

Usually, it is safe to leave ink in a fountain pen for about a week but check on it after that. Some pens can last for a month without removing the ink if you shake them regularly, and others can last for a year if the seals are good.

Does Leaving Ink In A Fountain Pen Damage The Pen?

Leaving ink in a fountain pen may damage the pen, but it is more likely to stain it.

Fountain pens are designed to have ink in them, and so leaving the ink in the pen does not usually cause severe damage.

The part of the fountain pen that is most likely to be damaged is the nib. The nib of a fountain pen is very delicate, and if ink solidifies in the nib, it may ruin it.

If the ink is left in the fountain pen for extended periods, the ink is not likely to damage the body of the pen, but it is very likely to stain the pen.

This staining is usually not a very big deal, as the parts of the pen that will be stained, such as the converter or the feeds, are not typically visible. If the pen has a transparent body, staining may be an issue, but there are ways to remove stains from most pen materials.

Leaving ink in a fountain pen is likely to stop the pen from working unlit it is cleaned, but it is unlikely to damage the pen permanently.

How Long Can You Leave Ink In A Fountain Pen?

Good quality fountain pens that have tight seals and good caps can handle having ink left in them for a long time.

Thin inks are less likely to solidify than other inks, and so these inks can last for a very long time in a fountain pen without being changed if the pen has good seals and a good cap.

A general time frame for leaving ink in a pen that is unused is about a week. After that, it is good to check the ink to see if it has solidified, or start using the pen again to get the ink flowing out of the chamber and to prevent it from hardening.

If the ink that you use is very thick or contains solids, the solids are likely to settle within the chamber of the pen very quickly, and this can cause it to solidify quickly.

These inks tend to harden within the nib of the pen, especially quickly.

These inks should not be left unused within a pen for more than a few days.

If you are using the pen every day, you are more likely to use up the ink in the pen before it dries. This is a good thing, but it is good practice to top of the ink in the pen before it entirely runs out.

This is because the ink will leave a thin layer within the chamber of the pen and the nib as it is used, and topping up the ink will ensure that the chamber stays wet and the thin layer of ink left over does not dry and clog the pen.

What To Do If You Leave In A Fountain Pen For Too Long

If the ink has dried in the nib only and is still liquid within the chamber, then dip the tip of the nib in water for a few seconds, and dab the nib dry on a towel. This will allow the ink to flow normally again.

If you accidentally leave ink in a fountain pen for too long, it is unlikely to damage the pen, but the ink may not work until the old ink is flushed out.

Flush the pen out with water or flushing ink, and leave the nib of the pen to soak in room temperature water overnight.

Once all of the old ink has dissolved, flush the pen and nib one more time with clean water.

Reinstall the nib and replace the ink in pen, and you should be ready to write again.


It is good practice to change out the ink fountain pens regularly and to remove the ink from a fountain pen if the pen is not going to be used for a while, but you can leave ink in a fountain pen without causing severe damage.

Some light stains may occur, but even the oldest, driest inks can be cleaned out of a fountain pen with water and flushing ink.

Thin inks in good pens with good seals can last up to a year without drying out; thick inks in pens with poor seals or delicate materials may dry out our damage the pen within days.

It is essential to know the pens and inks that you use and know how they interact with one another.

Change the ink regularly, and clean out a pen that will not be in use for a while, and you will never go wrong, and your pens will last a lifetime! 

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