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Thread: Reviving Old Ink

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    Senior Member SkyCyclePilot's Avatar
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    Default Reviving Old Ink

    I have a nearly full bottle of Diamine Bilberry ink. It's a heavily dyed ink and as a result can be a bit stubborn to flow when new, and the bottle I have is several years old. It stays in a drawer, so is protected from excessive temperatures and light, but it has become more stubborn to flow than ever - it exhibits minor hard starting issues. Is there any way to revive this ink?

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    Senior Member Wahl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reviving Old Ink

    Good question, I would just add some distilled water, but being no expert in inks, letīs wait for some more qualified answers.

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    Default Re: Reviving Old Ink

    I'd say the same distilled water fix (which I do all the time), but try a small amount first in a sample vial.
    My other pen is a Montblanc.

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    Default Re: Reviving Old Ink

    If it’s still not lubricated enough after adding distilled water, try one tiny drop of dish soap in the sample vial or converter. I usually dip a blunt syringe in the soap and then into the ink container.
    Last edited by Prettypenguin; January 6th, 2023 at 10:51 AM. Reason: grammar

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    Default Re: Reviving Old Ink

    Wouldn't using a product like this be better?
    https://vanness1938.com/en-ca/produc...g&_ss=e&_v=1.0

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    Default Re: Reviving Old Ink

    Quote Originally Posted by Yazeh View Post
    Wouldn't using a product like this be better?
    https://vanness1938.com/en-ca/produc...g&_ss=e&_v=1.0
    It may be, however I have been using dish soap since the early 1990s and know for sure that it works.
    Last edited by Prettypenguin; January 6th, 2023 at 03:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Reviving Old Ink

    The recommendation from the man who designed Parker Penman ink for Parker was that you should make a small amount of a mixture of distilled water with the addition of a) something that aids flow and b) a bactericide to prevent bugs forming as both of those products are in the ink in addition to water to start with and they shouldn't be watered down. Obviously if you are only adding a tiny drop or two of distilled water to an ink filled vial and using that ink immediately to fill a pen, then it will matter less, but if you wish to revive a whole bottle of ink like the OP does and you may wish to add something like 5-10ml of water then you risk watering down the bactericide and potentially losing your bottle of ink altogether from SITB.

    I was given this information when I mentioned I was merely topping up old PPS cartridges with water. So adding tiny, tiny amounts.

    The product from Vanness, as recommended by Yazeh, is the only thing I would use if I didn't already have an old product called Cuddles originally produced by Organics Studio. It's a flow aid, that contains bactericide and a shelf life enhancer. Even well past it's use by date it's probably still slightly more effective than just water.
    Last edited by Chrissy; January 7th, 2023 at 12:12 AM.
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    Default Re: Reviving Old Ink

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    The recommendation from the man who designed Parker Penman ink for Parker was that you should make a small amount of a mixture of distilled water with the addition of a) something that aids flow and b) a bactericide to prevent bugs forming as both of those products are in the ink in addition to water to start with and they shouldn't be watered down. Obviously if you are only adding a tiny drop or two of distilled water to an ink filled vial and using that ink immediately to fill a pen, then it will matter less, but if you wish to revive a whole bottle of ink like the OP does and you may wish to add something like 5-10ml of water then you risk watering down the bactericide and potentially losing your bottle of ink altogether from SITB.

    I was given this information when I mentioned I was merely topping up old PPS cartridges with water. So adding tiny, tiny amounts.

    The product from Vanness, as recommended by Yazeh, is the only thing I would use if I didn't already have an old product called Cuddles originally produced by Organics Studio. It's a flow aid, that contains bactericide and a shelf life enhancer. Even well past it's use by date it's probably still slightly more effective than just water.
    Another additive that may be worth trying is glycerin. I read that it would make the ink slightly darker but I haven't noticed that result at the concentration I'm using (one drop, into a sample vial of ink).

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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reviving Old Ink

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguarish View Post
    Another additive that may be worth trying is glycerin. I read that it would make the ink slightly darker but I haven't noticed that result at the concentration I'm using (one drop, into a sample vial of ink).
    I wouldn't ever be tempted to get glycerin in any of my fountain pen feed channels. It's derived from vegetable oils and fats. Not something that is good on the insides of a fountain pen nor particularly good mixed with ink. I would call it a flow inhibitor not an aid.
    Last edited by Chrissy; January 11th, 2023 at 02:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Reviving Old Ink

    [QUOTE=Chrissy;386718]
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguarish View Post
    I wouldn't ever be tempted to get glycerin in any off my fountain pen feed channels. It's derived from vegetable oils and fats. Not something that is good on the insides of a fountain pen nor particularly good mixed with ink. I would call it a flow inhibitor not an aid.
    Interesting info Chrissy - I hadn't ever looked into where it comes from. I simply picked up the idea from various fountain pen advice channels such as this reference:
    https://onepenshow.com/ink/lubricate...all%20batches.

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    Default Re: Reviving Old Ink

    I've happily used food grade glycerin in very, very small amounts when I didn't have access to either photo-flo or Liquitex Flo-aid.

    I don't bother with adding bactericide for small quantities (in a vial), but I do have phenol, which I might add if I were to reconstitute a whole bottle.

    As for the ink in question - I found it improved hugely by diluting 1:1 with distilled water. But I am not a lover of very heavily saturated inks to start with!

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    Default Re: Reviving Old Ink

    I looked on the internet to see the contents of food grade glycerin. Coconut, soybean, olive or palm oils.
    I'm quite happy to stick with the product I have rather than to use these oils for trying to make the inks I use in my pens feel slightly wetter. Even if I didn't have my bottle of "Cuddles flow plus" that will last for more than my lifetime I would personally prefer to use either an alternative product that was recommended for fountain pens, washing up liquid, plain water or nothing.

    I also have phenol and I use that as my bactericide additive of choice if required.
    Last edited by Chrissy; January 8th, 2023 at 11:29 PM.
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    Default Re: Reviving Old Ink

    Glycerin is a specific substance. If you want to get into the chemistry of it, it's called a "triol", basically an alcohol an alcohol that has 3 hydroxyl(OH) groups. Glycerin had 3 carbons, with one OH on each carbon.

    Glycerin can come from a lot of natural sources, and in fact has long been known as a byproduct of rendering fats. "Triglyercides" essentially are 3 fatty acids esterified to a glycerin backbone.

    Like anything, glycerin may retain trace contaminants from its source, but I'd not worry about them for food or pharmeceutical grade glycerin.

    Just be aware that bacteria see it as a yummy meal, so if adding to ink adding a small additional amount of a biocide like phenol is not a terrible idea.

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    Default Re: Reviving Old Ink

    Could just buy a new bottle.

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    Default Re: Reviving Old Ink

    Quote Originally Posted by blopplop View Post
    Could just buy a new bottle.
    Great idea.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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