How Long Does Fountain Pen Ink Last? Detailed Guide with Tips

Purist fountain pen lover people use ink bottles to refill their favorite pen and use the same pen for years. I assume this is a hobby of people, and a hobby is something from which people can’t run after.

How Long Does Fountain Pen Ink Last

Whoever buys lots of fountain pen ink bottles purchase this not only for writing purposes, but also they love this. A single bottle of ink can serve you for a long time as fountain pen ink doesn’t get rotten for even a decade, half of a century, and century.

For people who don’t have any practical knowledge about the longevity of fountain pen ink, this article is for them because they’ll know about the lifetime of an ink bottle.

In this article, we will give you the answer to how long does fountain pen ink lasts. Throughout the article, you’ll know which brand provides the best ink bottle to you. Also, here you’ll know why the ink can get nasty and how to preserve your fountain pen ink for a long time.

We believe our article will satisfy you with your desired questions. Stay with us, my friends!

How Long Does Fountain Pen Ink Last? How About in A Pen?

know How Long Does Fountain Pen Ink Last

It is believed that fountain pen inks normally last at least 10 years to 60 years. Some of the pens can stay fresh even more than 100 years.

If the bottle is unopened, then its life is probably countless. Even if the bottle is used, if proper precautions are maintained, the opened bottle can serve more than a decade.

Usually, fountain pen inks are made of using water and dyes. Along with these two, there has lubricants, chemicals for the binding purposes of inks. To bind ink, surfactants are primarily used.

Do you know the core ingredient used to make the ink remain fresh year after year? It is biocides that kill harmful bacteria from ink and let the ink remain suitable for a long time.

Let me tell you one exciting information. Fountain pen inks after the year 2008 are comparatively getting worse than earlier; probably its lifetime is a few years now. Do you know why?

After the year 2008, through regulation, the use of biocide has been demotivated. Biocide is helpful to preserve things from harmful bacteria, but this causes severe damage to the human body. Especially, the biocide is harmful to pregnant women and their children, little kids, and serious patients.

Yeah, the demotivation of using biocide has made ink life worse, but nothing is above when it is about humankind.

So if you have an ink bottle before 2008, it is going to last longer than your updated and modern ink.

Ink’s Lifetime for Different Brands

There is various ink in the market, but people are mostly satisfied with a few brands. Sometimes, luck works with them, and their using process increases their lifetime. Yes, I am telling you no ink is terrible, actually. It is us who are responsible for getting ink bad.

After doing several research on ink, I have found that Montblanc, waterman and waterman south seas blue, parker quink, diamine, noodler, scarter, pelikan, and Sheaffer Skrip, these ink serve more than a decade at least.

Another research claim that waterman, parker quink, pilot, other Japanese ink (diamine and noodler) serve more than half a century. Well, these inks are amazing, for sure. But I am not sure modern ink from these brands will serve so long or not. Probably not because of less existence of biocide.

How to Know If The Ink Is Contaminated?

If your ink is very much contaminated, you’ll get the scent of rotten eggs, and it is a curse for a pen if you intend to use this. Understanding this is comparatively easier.

Basically, most of the fountain pen Ink isn’t included with an expiry date. Only Montblanc includes expiry date(5 years), but Montblanc inks last two to three times more without any simple issues.

When there is an expiry date, people remain concious about the ink after the expiry date is over. The ink that doesn’t have any expiry date, how to know that your ink is contaminated.

  • The first step of ink getting worse is that the water will start to separate from pigmented ink.
  • You’ll find the ink losing its vibrant.
  • The ink will lose its moisture, seem to be dried, and become oddly slime.
  • When water separates, it will come up, and the pigmented ink will stay at the bottom as sediment.
  • In the bottle, you’ll find a matrix.

While you’ll find all the symptoms in your ink bottle, it has started getting bad, and these have the solution, but not 100% successful. There is no remedy when the ink has got a bad smell. Never ever try to use the ink in your pen; this is how you may lose your favorite pen.

How to Protect Your Fountain Pen Ink? Tips for You

How to Protect your fountain pen Ink

To protect your ink, you’ll have to know what contaminates your ink. If you know these, you know how to protect your ink.

Packaging is vital for ink, and if your ink is stored in a tight glass jar, then there is less possibility of your ink getting bad.

How you use the ink is also a significant reason. If you use unhygienically, directly refill ink from the bottle through the nib without cleaning it, don’t put the cap on the ink bottle after use, then there has the possibility of ink getting bad.

Even you place the ink in direct sunlight; it loses its effectiveness. In the dark, cool place, ink remains good decades after decades.

Lastly, if the ink has ingredients that increase the possibility of inks rot, then nothing actually works to protect the ink. Suppose there has less biocide in ink; it will be rotten fast, indeed.

Now you know all the problems that how your ink can get bad. So probably you have understood how to take care of your ink.

Place your ink bottle in a tight glass jar where no air can come in and go out. And don’t forget to keep this in the dark and cool place.  Let me tell you that if your ink is protected in a tight jar, sunlight doesn’t cause severe damage for at least 3 to 5 years.

Maintaining hygiene is very important. When you require to refill ink directly from the bottle, make sure you clean the nib first. And make sure after every use you remember to post the cap.

Before buying a bottle, know the ingredients carefully.

The Ink That Will Never Go Bad

An ink that has many biocides will not get bad quickly. And unopened ink bottles never get rotten as nothing facts the ink inside the bottle. Moreover, nicely packaged ink and hygiene-maintained ink also never get rotten.

Now I’ll tell you some ink names that usually satisfy most customers(Though I have mentioned already).

Japanese inks are excellent (Noodler and Diamine); whoever has used this doesn’t complain about these inks.

Also, waterman, waterman south seas blue, Montblanc, Sheaffer Skrip, parker quink, these inks are awesome. Probably after buying a bottle, you can get older or die, but these remain young.

If I don’t mention a few ink names that didn’t get good reviews from the users, it will be a crime. Although parker is a nice brand for pens, a few of its ink didn’t increase customers’ attention, and these are parker 51, parker super chrome ink.

How to Fix Ink?

When the ink start smelling, you can never fix this ink. And if the sediment under the bottle is too much, you can probably fix this ink by shaking, but how long it will stay good also demands concern.

If you understand that your ink has started getting dry and losing its moisture, then you can add some water to the bottle and shake it hard. This will help to bring the consistency back. I suggest you not use it immediately; wait for at least two days to examine if the ink dries again or not.

Suppose, after adding water and shaking the bottle, somehow you get the moisture, but after filling it in a pen, if the ink gets dry, you’ll have to face an unwanted problem.

Moreover, when the bottle has much sediment, adding water will not help so much. You can give it a try if you want. But then wait at least 10 days to examine if the ink is ok or not. Before that, we suggest you not use ink in pen.

Ink Cartridges

Ink cartridges are usually sealed, and there has less possibility of getting ink bad. As ink has water, and we all know water evaporates, so plastic cartridges water can evaporate and make the ink dry.

You don’t need to worry because it takes so many years to dry ink cartridges completely.


Although I have mentioned before how to take care of your ink, here I’ll repeat this to make sure you value my advice.

Maintaining hygiene for ink bottles is very important. When you do this, your ink will abide by you. Otherwise, it will behave naughtily. So be careful while you’re using ink.

Don’t forget to post the cap after every use. Keep the bottle in the dark place if you want to make it acceptable decades after decades.


My dear friends! I hope this article is valuable enough for you and has fulfilled your thirst for all the questions related to fountain pens ink. For pen-lover people, this article is mandatory to read.

We collected all the information from the users and then provided this to you. So we demand each information valuable.

Thank you so much for staying with us.