Reviving ball point pens

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Danny, 4 Oct 2007.

  1. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    Some years ago I bulk bought a large box of ball point pens in what now appears to have been a sadly mistaken cost saving exercise.

    I have only got half way through the box of pens and now find that the rest have all "dried up" or at least don't write.

    Anyone got a suggestion on how I could revive them?

    Not really a cycling question I know, but a while ago someone was able to come up with a method for reusing cable ties so I am sure there must be some ball point expertise on the forum.
  2. caz

    caz Well-Known Member

    West Midlands
    Not being an expert ball point pen user I have occasionally had a similar problem in the past. Have you tried putting the nib end under the hot water tap? It normally works for me! Alternatively how about putting them in the airing cupboard - not that I've ever tried that, but the warmth may help!
  3. longers

    longers Veteran

    You're best option is probably to strip them down and re-brand them as pea-shooters for petit pois and flog them on e-bay.
  4. OP

    Danny Legendary Member

    I'll try the hot water method first.

    I already have a lot of odd objects stored in the airing cupboard, and I suspect adding any more might result in protests from certain other members of the household.
  5. frog

    frog Guest

    As the memory ain't what it used to be I've taken to carrying a notebook and pencil at work these past three months. The first thing I foind was when it was notebook and pen was I always lost my pen, some bugger would see it on the desk and away it would go. For two months I've been using a pencil. Do loads of writing, handwriting has got very neat again, and I'm still on my first pencil.

    I reckon the other nine I've got in the top drawer will last me the nine years I've got to go to retirement. :biggrin:
  6. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    Just stand the pens point down in a warm place. The ink will run down into the ball and they'll work.
  7. lardarse rider

    lardarse rider Well-Known Member

    As with eggs and metal plates, ball point pens should not be zapped in the microwave. I hope this helps.
  8. simoncc

    simoncc New Member

    Why not just throw them out? Surely you get a couple of biros a week from Oxfam and various other charities?
  9. Jaded

    Jaded New Member

    Take the plastic cap off the non-writing end and heat them gently over a candle. :biggrin:
  10. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    A standard ball point pen has a shelf life of around two to four years, the ink in the tube is a mixture of various pigments and organic solvents, the solvents will naturally evaporate over time rendering the pen effectively dead.
  11. slow down

    slow down New Member

    The ink may be okay, but the ball seized. Try using the pen on a rubber surface - shoe soles are good as the grip is better and the ball will work - revived many a pen this way.
  12. i can't believe that i have just read all 11 posts on how to revive a ball point pen, man i must be bored....:biggrin:

  13. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    Check into a hotel for the weekend and keep the free biro?
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