How to Revive Dried Ink Pens

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Whether you use ballpoint, gel or fountain pens, chances are you have had the ink dry out. Pen ink can dry out from improper capping and storage techniques, infrequent use or old age. While tossing the pen in the garbage is always an option with the cheaper ballpoint and gel pens, you can save precious money by reviving the ink.

Make circular patterns with the pen on the top of a stack of five or six sheets of paper. This stack of paper provides a softer writing surface, which will hopefully dislodge a bit of dried ink on the tip of the pen. By using circles as opposed to straight lines, you are forcing the tip of the pen to rotate, thereby loosening any bits of dried ink.

Rub the tip of the pen on the palm of your hand. Because the surface of your hand is softer than paper, the dried ink at the tip of the pen might dislodge more easily. Be sure to wash your hand immediately after writing on it.

Heat the pen by holding it under warm water. Change the position of the pen so that the water heats up the entire pen.


  • You can prevent the ink from drying out by capping the pen when you are not using it and by storing your pen with the writing end facing down.