How Long Does Ink Last in a Fountain Pen?

Ok, fountain pen nerds, let’s chat about ink.

(and how much it costs and how long it lasts lol).

So, how long does fountain pen ink last?

The lifespan of ink can vary based on the type of ink, how frequently you use your pen, and how you store your pen. However, as a general rule of thumb, if you use your pen regularly, one ink refill or cartridge can last for several weeks or even months. On the other hand, if you don’t use your pen frequently, you run the risk of the ink drying out, which can cause problems and be annoying to clean.

(I speak from experience).

As a long-time fountain pen nerd myself, I’ll do my best to provide a quick overview of how long ink typically lasts, as well as offer tips on how to make ink last longer, properly store a fountain pen, avoid dried-out ink, and decide when to change the ink.

fountain pen bottled ink
One bottle lasts me FOREVER it seems, but only because I switch inks constantly

How long does ink last in a fountain pen?

Ink longevity in fountain pens can vary based on several factors, including:

  • type of ink
  • usage
  • storage

INKS: Some inks are naturally dryer than others, and can dry out the pen in LESS than a week. Sometimes you can save the ink in the reservoir and get the pen to work, other times you’ll have to dump that ink out and clean the nib!

USAGE: If you use your pen frequently, the ink won’t matter. Plus, some inks are wetter and can last a long time without drying out.

But naturally, the more you use your pen, the quicker the ink will run out!

With normal daily usage, one ink refill or cartridge can last for several weeks or even a month.

STORAGE: There’s nothing worse than having to dump out ink. That’s wasteful!

In order to prolong the life of your ink, use it regularly and store your pen properly (see more below).

Can I Make Ink Last Longer?

While ink longevity is influenced by factors like ink type and usage, there are some steps you can take to make ink last longer.

One option is to use a finer nib, which puts less ink on the page and helps the ink last longer.

Proper storage can also help prolong the life of your ink. Be sure to store your pen in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and ensure the cap is securely fastened.

Using higher-quality paper can also help make ink last longer, as it can reduce feathering and bleeding, which can cause excess ink to be used. (but that said, thicker gsm paper can also ABSORB more ink, so this is possibly still a wash).

How Do I Store a Fountain Pen?

Proper storage can help prolong the life of your ink and prevent issues like clogs and ink evaporation.

Be sure to store your pen in a cool, dry place to prevent heat and humidity from affecting the ink.

Keep your pen away from direct sunlight, as this can cause fading or discoloration of the pen or ink.

Lastly, make sure the cap is securely fastened when you’re not using your pen. This helps prevent ink from drying out and reduces the risk of leaks.

For more detailed tips on how to store your fountain pen, check out my article here.

Does fountain pen ink dry out?

If you don’t use your pen regularly, you run the risk of drying out the ink, which can cause clogs and other problems.

To prevent this, it’s important to clean your pen if you haven’t used it in a while. This can involve flushing the pen with water or using a pen flush to remove any dried ink or buildup.

If you notice any signs of dried ink in your pen, such as a scratchy nib or inconsistent ink flow, it’s a good idea to give your pen a thorough cleaning before using it again.

By taking these steps, you can help prevent dried-out ink and ensure that your fountain pen is always ready to write when you are.

How often do you change fountain pen ink?

This also depends on how much you use your pen, the ink used, etc.

As a general rule of thumb, one ink refill or cartridge can last for several weeks or even months if you’re using your pen regularly. I personally tend to change my ink every few weeks or so, but this is largely because I enjoy trying out different ink colors and don’t like to stick with one for too long.


That being said, there are some cases where you might want to change your ink more frequently. For example, if you’re using particularly light or pale ink, you might find that the ink runs out more quickly than you expected. Similarly, if you’re using a pen with a larger nib size, you might go through ink more quickly than someone using a finer nib.

Ultimately, how often you change your ink is a matter of personal preference. Some people like to change their ink frequently to keep things fresh, while others prefer to stick with one ink for a long time. My advice would be to experiment with different ink colors and see what works best for you. And if you find yourself going through ink more quickly than you expected, don’t worry – it’s all part of the fun of using fountain pens!

F.A.Q: How long does 30 ml ink last in a fountain pen?

The length of time 30 ml of ink lasts in your fountain pen depends on usage and ink capacity. Typically, 30 ml of ink last for several months if you write regularly, but can differ based on the amount you write and pen capacity. A larger ink-capacity pen will last longer. However, a smaller pen or frequent writing will use ink faster. Ultimately, how long 30 ml of ink lasts in your fountain pen is determined by your individual usage and preferences.