If you have been using gel pens for some time, you probably know they tend to dry out. That’s why knowing how to make gel pens work again is rather convenient.
Are you searching for this guide because you are in the middle of writing and sketching right now, but the pen stops working? Well, check out the quick methods below.
You will also discover why gel pens dry out, and we’ll answer some common questions when reviving gel pens.
Table of Contents
- 6 Ways to Make Gel Pens Work Again
- Frequently Asked Questions
6 Ways to Make Gel Pens Work Again
Method 1: Shake the pen
This technique is the easiest way since you don’t need to use other tools to fix gel pens that won’t write. Giving the pen a gentle shake will help remove the air bubbles inside the ink cartridge.
One of the reasons why gel pens stop working is when their ink cartridge is filled with air bubbles. Consequently, this happens because they are not properly stored.
Method 2: Use warm water
If you tried shaking the pen and you still fail to fix gel pen ink flow, try using warm water in the following ways:
a. Put a small amount of warm water in the cartridge hole.
b. Submerge the lower half of the ink cartridge in warm water.
Follow the first and second steps from the previous instructions, then;
c. Put the ink cartridge above a steaming kettle.
Likewise, you can also try this approach by positioning your hand close enough to unclog the ink buildup on the pen nib.
Hence, heat is the desired element to revive a dead pen. It works wonders to solve one reason gel pens suddenly stop working.
The ink tends to clog on or inside the tip of the gel pen nib. Consequently, this leads to gel pens not working. Continue reading to learn more about solving this problem.
Method 3: Wipe the pen nib with a damp cloth.
Suppose you are wary about making use of heat, given you are aware that plastic refills tend to melt when heated for too long.
Worry not because there are safer ways to get a gel pen to write again.
Method 4: Dip the pen nib in rubbing alcohol.
Rubbing alcohol is an excellent nonpolar solvent. Therefore, utilizing it instead of water may produce better results.
If you are still unsuccessful, you can use acetone instead of rubbing alcohol and follow the same steps above.
Note that acetone is a more potent solvent than alcohol, so you should be careful while using it. Likewise, do not touch your eyes and nose to avoid irritation.
Method 5: Insert a safety pin inside the tip of the pen.
Given that you already used solvents and still have no luck, we got you because we still have tricks up our sleeves!
Method 6: Replace the pen’s nib with an old one from an empty refill.
Upon inspecting the gel pen, you concluded that the problem is with the nib. You also tried all the steps elaborated above, but you still feel more frustrated than ever.
Then, your last resort is to replace the nib with an old one.
Read more: Ways to refill Copic markers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hey, we are glad that you reached this far. After knowing how to pass the “revive gel pen” mission, here are some answers to commonly asked questions.
Why do gel pens dry out?
The simple answer is that gel pens have water-based ink, which makes them prone to drying out.
Likewise, improper storage plays a part in why gel pens suddenly stop working. When the nibs are left uncapped, the air causes the ink to evaporate.
How to store gel pens properly?
As an artist or an enthusiast, it is imperative to keep your art supplies accordingly. You wouldn’t want to waste time having to restore them when needed.
Moreover, we recommend that you store your gel pens horizontally. Storing your gel pens with their tips pointing down might cause leaks since their ink is watery.
Similarly, keeping your gel pens with the tips facing up might cause air pockets in the refill which can cause hard starts or inconsistent flow.
There are some things in life that we cannot undo, but sometimes we get lucky to restore things to the way they were, just like reviving a gel pen.
Simple ways such as shaking your pen, using solvents, or replacing the nib are some ways to restore your dried-out gel pens or dry erase markers. However, your imagination is still the limit.
After reading this article, we hope that we were able to help you answer “how to make gel pens work again”. Good luck with your artistic endeavors!
Hi, I am Eveline Kessler, a content creator. My love for colors and arts draws me here to join the Intermediarts team with Leilani. I am responsible for testing new products and techniques with her and providing honest reviews and tips based on our experience. I have gained a lot of knowledge from this, and I believe you will find her suggestions to be invaluable as well.