Fountain Pen Inks That Stain But Shouldn’t


Just because an ink is considered good quality doesn’t mean it won’t leave a stain. Is it any wonder that most pens are black?

Diamine Steel Blue

Iroshizuku syo-ro

Private Reserve Arabian Rose

Oh, these inks still go in my pens, but usually in black ones that sport converters so replacement is easy. Learned my lesson with the aqua Esterbrook desk set. Hrumph!



  1. I left Noodler’s #41 Brown in one of my Lamys for 24 days and now have a brown tinge to the convertor. I am reducing my pens in use down to a number that give a 14 day time in use.


    • So you think it was the length of time rather than the ink’s composition that caused the stain? At least it could have been a contributing factor in one of my three examples. Not as relevant with the other two. Still there are plenty of inks that don’t stain even if left in a pen for months. Your point is well taken and goes back to pen hygiene being critical. Converters will always be at risk since they hold the ink, but keeping ink off the body of the pen is easy even when a refill isn’t needed. I’ve recently added cleaning caps to every refill and at other times when I suspect a drop of ink has gotten loose. Prolonged contact with the nib and section is just asking for trouble.


      • I think the ink’s composition plays the larger part (that is why I ban certain inks from my lighter coloured and/or expensive plunger fill pens) . In my case the weather may have also played a part as it was quite hot during the time (into the high 30s celsius) which may have concentrated the ink through evaporate of the water component and might have softened the plastic of the convertor. A stained convertor is better than a stained ink window…


        • That’s only one of the reasons I prefer converters over other fillers.

          Agreed on the effects of weather and evaporation. A limited summer rotation helps, but some inks will stain regardless of our best efforts. Demonstrators are so susceptible to staining that I will only purchase inexpensive ones. Not much of a risk taker am I? 😉


          • Yes, I would love to buy a Pelikan M1005 Clear Demonstrator but I think I would then be too scared of staining it to actually ink it up. Sad buy true.


  2. I prefer to use Vademecum mouthwash. It does not harm clothing or color. Wash in clean water afterwards.


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