How to Get a Ballpoint or Gel Pen to Start Writing (or Stop Skipping)

Sometimes a brand new pen can take a minute to get the ink started. Or if you have a pen that has not been used for the while, the problem and solution can be the same. If you wrote on a waxed paper, you may need to get it unclogged. We have had a customers think that perhaps their new pen came without ink in the cartridge, when in fact it was just a matter of getting the pen started.
Why does it not just write the moment I first try it?
  • While most of the time the ink will start on first attempt, sometimes they do not.  
  • The ball in the tip can get clogged, or the ink can congeal or coagulate. 
  • Another reason, especially on a brand new pen, is that the cartridge is filled at the factory from end opposite from the tip. The ballpoint needs to be wet with ink and then it will work going forward. Until it gets wet, the pen will not write.  So, until the ball in the tip is wet with ink, or until any small air pockets are removed, or if the ball is stuck, then the pen may not write or may skip
  • But 99.5% of the time the ink cartridge it is not defective, it just needs to be started.
  • And once it is started, there will be no further issues.
Tips on getting it started:
  • Dip the tip in a drop of oil. Cooking oil is fine, any oil will do.
  • Water can also work, but we suggest oil.
  • Let it soak for 5-10 seconds, swirling it around in the drop of oil is best.
  • Scribble vigorously on a piece of paper until the oil is gone and only ink starts to flow.
  • If it does not start, then soak the tip in oil for an 20 minutes and try again.
If this did not work, Here are additional tips 
1.  A second way to get a pen to start writing
2. If none of the above works, then warming the ink just a little can tried.   You should remove the refill from the pen before you warm the ink.  Warming it can thin the ink or melt a clog, allowing the ink to flow easily. 
Here is a video.   NOTE: We are NOT responsible for any damage to the pen or refill if you choose this method.