How to Fix a Dry Ballpoint Pen

There is nothing worse when you are trying to write something down that is important and you find out that your ballpoint pen is dry. If this happens in front of someone important then it can be quite embarrassing for you. Although ballpoint pens are relatively inexpensive nowadays, there is nothing wrong with trying to get your dry ballpoint pen working again. Some pens might not work when you first purchase them as the ink might be dry. If you want to fix your dry ballpoint pen then there are some basic methods you can follow to help you.


  • 1

    Shake pen:

    Shake your pen using a quick but firm motion. Be careful not to poke yourself in the eye, so do this where there is some space to move around. You can also hit the pen on the table a few times to get it to work. This will hopefully get the ink to start moving again and your pen should begin to write properly.

  • 2

    Roll tip on paper:

    Take a piece of scrap paper and roll the tip of the ballpoint pen making long sweeping motions. This will get the ink to start moving downwards and hopefully get your ballpoint pen working again.

  • 3

    Heat tip:

    You can also carefully heat the tip of the ballpoint pen using hot water or an open flame from a match or lighter. This heat will melt away any dried up ink that is clogging the ballpoint pen tip. Be careful when using a lighter or hot water as you do not want to melt the pen or damage it beyond repair. Remember children should never play with matches, lighters or hot liquids unless supervised by an adult.

  • 4

    Open pen:

    Gently pull apart the pen and inspect the ink. If there is still a fair amount of ink inside then tip it back and forth to get the ink moving again. Put the pen back together and try writing. Remember to not leave out any parts and put the pen back together in the same way that it was before opening.

  • 5

    Blow on the tip:

    You can also blow on the tip of the ballpoint pen to dislodge any dirt or dust that might be clogging the mechanism. If that doesn’t work then try to blow on the back of the ink tube inside the pen. Sometimes this can get the ink to move downwards.

  • 6

    Use water:

    You can dip the tip of the ballpoint pen in water for less than a minute to see if any ink comes out. This method can help clean out anything that might be blocking the flow of ink.

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