Fountain pens brilliant things, but they do come with their own set of challenges. These pens are not as straightforward to use as regular pens, and they require regular maintenance. The ink used in fountain pens is vital, and there are many different types of ink to use. Bottles or cartridges of fountain pen ink are often left unused for a while, so being sure that the ink is useable before writing with it is essential. This leads many fountain pen users to ask, should you shake fountain pen ink?
Some inks need to be shaken before being used in a fountain pen. Some thick inks have particulates in them that sink to the bottom of the ink, resulting in an uneven color if the ink is used in this state. Thinner inks are fine for use without shaking. Color inks should always be shaken before use.
Fountain pen inks are versatile, and they come in many different types and are made by many different manufacturers. Each type of fountain pen ink has its own characteristics and should be treated accordingly. Ink care is just as important as pen care, and fountain pen ink should be treated well. Should you shake fountain pen ink before use? Does every ink need to be shaken? Will shaking somehow damage the ink? Let’s find out!
Should You Shake Fountain Pen Ink?
The ink that is used for fountain pens is specially formulated for use in these unique pens.
The ink must be fluid and free-flowing enough to run smoothly through the pen, and it must be thin enough that it will not clog the mechanism of the pen or the nib.
Simultaneously, fountain pen ink must still be viscous enough to not leak through the chamber or the seals in the fountain pen and not evaporate easily.
This is a difficult recipe to perfect, and there are many different fountain pen ink manufacturers who have their own take on this unusual ink.
Most fountain pen ink is water-based, and even the inks that are not water-based still contain a lot of water compared to other inks.
This means that the ingredients in the ink are likely to separate if the ink is left to sit still for a long period.
This is especially true for very saturated inks, colored inks, and inks with heavy pigments.
Due to the nature of the ingredients of fountain pen ink, it should be lightly shaken before being used in a pen, and a fountain pen that has been lying still for a while should be lightly shaken before being used to write with.
Shaking fountain pen ink before use ensures that all of the ink’s components are well integrated, ensuring a smooth and uniform mix in the ink.
Fountain pen inks that contain particulates other than pigment, such as glitter, must always be shaken before drawing the ink into a fountain pen, and a pen that contains this ink should always be shaken before writing.
The ink should not be shaken too vigorously. The simple act of turning the bottle end-over-end a few times will do the trick.
It is important to maintain a uniform mix in the ink when using it in a fountain pen. If any of the particles of the ink have settles into one area, and that area is loaded into the pen and used, it is very likely to clog the pen and ruin it forever.
For these reasons, it is good to shake fountain pen ink lightly before using it in a fountain pen, as well as lightly shaking the pen itself before writing.
Do All Fountain Pen Inks Need To Be Shaken?
The fountain pen inks that need to be well mixed before use are the inks that have color pigments, heavy particles such as glitter, densely saturated inks, and any other inks that contain particulates.
Inks that have a very high water content should also be shaken, as the more water that the ink contains, the more quickly the components of the ink will separate from each other.
However, not all fountain pen inks need to be shaken before use.
Inks that are thin, with relatively low water content, and are not heavily saturated with pigment or other particles should be safe to use in a fountain pen without being shaken first.
This usually applies to black or dark brown inks, as these inks require less pigment than colored inks, and they can be made to be very thin without losing saturation, which makes them ideal for use in fountain pens.
Fountain pen inks do not need to be shaken if the ink is used regularly. The only inks that need to be shaken before use are inks that have been sitting still for a while with no movement or stirring.
This is also true for pens that are used regularly. If the pen sits unused for a while, it must be shaken before use, but if it is used a lot, it should not need to be shaken.
To determine whether or not your fountain pen ink should be shaken before you use it, inspect the ink and look for any color gradients or settled particles. If the color shifts from dark at the bottom to lighter at the top, shake the ink. If there are any settled particles, shake the ink.
Most manufacturers will print care instructions on the labels for fountain pen inks, and this will usually indicate whether or not to shake the ink before use.
If the manufacturer indicates shaking the ink, then do so, but if not, it may not need to be shaken before use.
When To Not Shake Fountain Pen Ink
While most fountain pen inks will do well to be shaken from time to time to keep them mixed well and safe to use in fountain pens, there are some instances when shaking fountain pen ink is not advisable.
Before shaking your ink and loading it into a fountain pen, inspect the ink to determine whether or not the ink has been contaminated or has any mold or slime growing in it.
Fountain pen ink that has been contaminated has mold in it or has become slimy should not be used in any fountain pen. It is very likely to ruin the pen entirely.
Contaminated ink, or ink that has gone bad, will have a strong chemical smell, and it may have a layer of mold or slime, or it may be stringy with slime.
This is usually due to contamination from the manufacturing process or dipping a contaminated pen into the ink.
This ink should never be shaken, as mixing this ink will not solve the problem, and using it in a pen will damage the pen.
Will Shaking Damage Fountain Pen Ink?
Shaking fountain pen ink will not damage the ink, and it will usually help the ink to last longer rather than shortening its shelf-life.
There are some who say that fountain pen inks should not be shaken in order to maintain the quality of the ink, but this is not true.
An ink that is left undisturbed for extended periods will degrade much more than the ink that is regularly mixed, shaken, or stirred.
Shaking your fountain pen ink will ensure that it does not damage your fountain pen, that it does not lose pigment and become desaturated, the color will not fade, the ink will be dense and even on paper, and t will help the ink to last much longer on the shelf.
Shaking fountain pen ink is not bad for it, but rather it is helpful for the ink.
Fountain pen ink is very carefully designed to be used in fountain pens, and this design means that the ink usually contains water.The water separates from the other components of the ink and can result in many problems if the ink is used.
To avoid this, shake the ink lightly before use.
Shaking fountain pen ink will not damage the ink and will help it to last longer, and it is less likely to damage your fountain pens.
Fountain pen ink does not need to be shaken if it is used regularly, and it should not be shaken if it is contaminated, but it should rather be discarded.
Fountain pen ink should be shaken before use to ensure that all goes well when using the ink; even the ink manufacturers recommend this process!