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Revive a dead ballpoint pen with these 2 simple tricks

Revive a dead ballpoint pen with these 2 simple tricks

Revive a dead ballpoint pen with these 2 simple tricks

We’ve all been there, you come to use a ballpoint pen which you’ve left sitting around for a while and it doesn’t work. Simply does not want to write. You scribble and scribble, but nothing.

Don’t fret though, there’s a few simple tricks you can try which might get your beloved ballpoint working again.


There’s a few ways you can do this and they all work the same. Using heat loosens the dried ink around the ballpoint tip, this should get the ball moving and the ink flowing once more.

Our favourite method is using a lighter. Just put the flame at the very tip for a few seconds. Mind not to touch the tip after!

You’ll get the same results from a hairdryer or from soaking in a pot of boiling water. 


Solvents will dissolve the ink and should get everything flowing. Nail polisher remover (with acetone) and rubbing alcohol both work wonders. Simply put a little onto some cotton wool and wrap around the tip for a few minutes. Wipe clean and write!


The point of scribbling furiously to get your refill writing, is that friction acts on the stuck ball and get it moving again. Sometimes though the friction of pen on paper just isn’t great enough.

Try scribbling on the sole of a shoe or something made of rubber. A combination of the increased friction and the pen's tip gripping more firmly to the rubber will quickly heat up the dried ink, ensuring your pen is ready to be used again.

Rubber shoe sole

Still can’t get your ballpoint refill to work? Perhaps it is just time for a new one. Shop here.

Not sure which refill you need? Try our refill finder.