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Sheaffer Skrip (Slovenia) Users: I'd Love Your Input

sheaffer skrip mold slovenia ink bottle

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58 replies to this topic

#21 JeanManuel

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 05:56

I contacted Sheaffer. They replied swiftly. It seems that they are already looking into this issue. So I'm guessing the formulation of the next batch will be corrected.
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#22 forensic_chemist

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:08

It is not mold. Molds grows in circular colonies and this seems like a crystal growth on the surface. It's pretty normal when you dip the nib for several times into the bottle. Crystallization occurs also when some of the solvent evaporates and then create a supersaturatd solution of dye.

#23 CuttleSlug

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:00

When I saw this topic I checked my bottle of Skrip Blue-Black, and yup, the same particles are floating in mine. Now I am no expert, but I would have an easier time believing this was some type of crystallization rather than mold or other organic growth. There does not seem to be any submerged mass or slime or anything in my ink. And the particles float, and stay floating, even after vigorous shaking of the bottle. This seems to align with the behavior that you all are reporting.

For reference, I purchased this bottle about a month and a half ago from a local stationary. The box was pretty dusty, but the ink was clear when I opened it at first. I checked, I always check.

I hope this is a benign problem, I really like this ink! What was the response from Sheaffer, if I may inquire?

#24 JeanManuel

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:51

Maybe there are 2 different things then. On my side it is definitely organic. It is so far the only ink that has developed a growth (in 2 colors and 3 bottles). I keep fingers crossed that it stays that way. :thumbup:
Everything is impermanent.

#25 CuttleSlug

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 23:33

Welp, I have left my bottle (again, BlBk) untouched for a month now. When I opened it there was a rush of air as if I was releasing a vacuum. I did some probing with a toothpick and I found slime! Several masses of goopy slime. Ugh! I now agree that this is an organic problem, I think I will let Sheaffer know.

#26 wastelanded

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 00:18

Yep, big gobs of slimy guck. I've used Sheaffer ink since I was a kid, and never had a problem. I'm guessing there was some kind of contamination in the factory, spores in the air or something. Or a reformulation like Herbin because of EU regulations. I should have hung onto the ink instead of dumping it.
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#27 Kaptenmork

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 00:55

Shoulf be possible to run it throuh a coffee filter or similiar?

#28 autopsy

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 01:32

That removes the visible debris but not the microscopic ones. It will still contaminate pens and form molds later on.

A filtration + boiling the ink may do it. Assuming it doesn't destroy the ink pigments. Worth a try since the ink's ruined anyway. Filter into a small pot then boil for ~10 minutes while adding in water then filter again. Also, take pics!


Does this make it any clearer? 10x loupe & Canon S100 on the surface of the bottle. I tried the 30x on a piece of glass and all I saw was what looked like a tiny bit of textile fiber, and some air bubbles. Certainly nothing bio.

Posted Image


That image is way too blurry and too zoomed out to determine if it's organic or not. You need way more power than a 10x zoom.

Edited by autopsy, 17 October 2012 - 01:34.


#29 mik86

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 00:14

Dont get your hope up boiling. It will likely be uneffective at killing the mold spores. http://wiki.answers....iling_kill_mold

Your best bet is to use a filter then add some fungicide.

#30 Daisy

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 03:23

Your best bet is to use a filter then add some fungicide.


I totally agree. If that were my bottle (and it's not, so I'm talking out my hat here) I'd filter the living daylights out of it, first mesh to get the globby gack and then slightly dampened coffee filters (to keep the filters from drinking all the remaining ink), and then I'd probably hit it with several drops of everclear (that's very high octane grain alcohol) and a drop or two of rubbing alcohol. And if I couldn't get the grain alcohol for whatever reason, I'd still try the rubbing alcohol. (I say "probably" because it'd be a good idea to try to match the pH of the remaining ink with whatever fungicidal substances I had around the house, but my chemistry skills are pretty limited.)

I feel reasonably confident that the two alcohols in combination would kill whatever was in there, but I don't know what it would do to the pH and/or the usability of the remaining ink. One would pretty much have to let it sit for months to check for regrowth, and test it periodically with a dip pen to see if it kept its color characteristics. There are also commercial fungicides for fish tanks and hot tubs and things like that, so if one had something like that on hand a few drops would be worth a try as well, instead of the alcohol. And even then, I'm not sure I'd ever trust it in a fountain pen again; just thinking about the ink breeding nasties and glooping up in there makes me a little nauseated.

But since the ink is a loss anyway, I'd give rescuing it a shot just because I like to learn things and experiment, and also because I despise throwing something out if there's a rat's chance in hades it can be redeemed (I usually give it a shot and THEN throw it out anyway, heh). But it's fun to try.

I'm posting this in case one of our hapless SITB victims gets intrigued and wants to give it a go... :D

Not really a scribe, more of a Pharisee...



"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
-- Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution


#31 JeanManuel

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:37

Kinda thinking the best bet may be to toss it out. I wouldn't want that in my pens, on my paper, touching my hands, etc.

I've read it here several times, "Ink is cheap."


Yes, I sent mine for replacement. The shipping costs were about the same as the price of the ink. I haven't gotten my replacement yet though :D
The point is that I like this ink, and I just want it to be better protected against mold in the future.
Sending the ink back, I give them a feedback and a sample.
Everything is impermanent.

#32 Daisy

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:52

Well, it appears Sheaffer may have taken steps to prevent SITB, because I received my sample of Sheaffer Blue-Black from Goulet's today, and it smells strongly of some sort of alcohol based disinfectant (to be blunt, it smells like hospital in a bottle) and there is no trace whatsoever of any kind of visible particulate matter. So the problem may already be taken care of.

In other news, when I opened the Goulet box, there was a grape lollipop on top! When I got done laughing, I sent them a thank you email. Too cool for words. :thumbup:

Edited by Daisy, 19 October 2012 - 03:54.

Not really a scribe, more of a Pharisee...



"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
-- Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution


#33 CuttleSlug

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:19

Well, it appears Sheaffer may have taken steps to prevent SITB, because I received my sample of Sheaffer Blue-Black from Goulet's today, and it smells strongly of some sort of alcohol based disinfectant (to be blunt, it smells like hospital in a bottle) and there is no trace whatsoever of any kind of visible particulate matter. So the problem may already be taken care of.


This is an excellent development! My infected bottle smells like nothing (not even mold/funk, which is odd??) so it does seem things are being corrected. Thanks for the info! Has anyone else had a recent Goulet order with similar observations?

#34 Daisy

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 03:34

Sorry, still just me :D but what I wrote of above was the Goulet sample bottle I got. I just received my full bottles of Sheaffer Blue-Black today, also from Goulet, and the one I opened also smells like it's got some sort of disinfectant, though this is more of a chemical smell than a straight alcohol smell. Sheaffer may be tweaking the recipe a bit, but now both the sample and the full bottle clearly smell like something's been added to prevent SITB. Hope this helps.




P.S. I almost forgot -- I'm no expert, but it's my understanding that it's not uncommon for a yeast or bacterial overgrowth to have no smell.

Edited by Daisy, 25 October 2012 - 03:39.

Not really a scribe, more of a Pharisee...



"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
-- Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution


#35 elderberry

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 07:29

I seem to have a candidate, sadly. What do you think?

Posted Image
(sucky phone picture, I know)

The last ink was Diamine Sherwood Green. It doesn't seem to be ink crud, I've had quite a bit of that lately since I like to use orange and especially Ancient Copper in this time of the year. So I's guess it's fungus, but not really sure. What do you think?

There's no particular smell except for the whole pen still smelling strongly of Sailor ink since it was filled with that a while ago.

Does it really have to be taken apart? I had that one fitted with a new feed just a few months ago and the repairsman said it was a pain to set because it was so tight.
For the moment I've cleaned the section with a syringe (it's an eyedropper pen) and some soapy water, dried it with paper towels and now it's sitting on my desk uncapped to dry thoroughly. Since I don't really have access to a pen friendly disinfectant my idea would be to fill it next with a healthy ink with lots of fungicides in it (maybe Iroshizuku? Never heard of SITB and fungus in those inks)

If it's really fungus that Sherwood Green would have to go too. Grr. Fortunately it's rather new so Diamine might just swap it. Can't see anything particular in the bottle, doesn't smell like anything...
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#36 Daisy

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 17:16

I seem to have a candidate, sadly. What do you think?


I know you have discounted the possibility of nib crud, but have you seen the picture in this thread? Someone did mention there not having a problem with the orange but with a green ink, like yourself.

To me, the stuff on your pen looks very much like this, which is crystallized dye left behind by evaporation, than it does like anything biological.

Then again, I'm no expert. YMMV. :D


(edited to add links and for clarification)

Edited by Daisy, 27 October 2012 - 17:23.

Not really a scribe, more of a Pharisee...



"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
-- Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution


#37 elderberry

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 08:22

Thanks Daisy, it's good to hear it all might not be as bad as it looks. It doesn't look like any ink crud I ever had but, well, whatever it is, it is gone now - at least the visible part of it -, and I'll see if it regrows.
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#38 Pen

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 21:20

I can't believe fungus grows in ink. That pen looks nasty. None of my inks look like that. Is it possible to contaminate ink? Looking at the earlier pics I think I won't dip my pens anymore to fill them. Maybe just use a syringe?

#39 Daisy

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 00:18

Pen, all in all it's fairly rare. To me, there's no need to practice safe syringing until/unless I have cause... but if it makes you feel better, by all means.

The thing about SITB is not that the odd bottle goes bad, but that many times it's contaminated during manufacture. In that case, no amount of prevention is going to help and trying just sort of becomes wasted effort.

I don't usually empty a pen back into a bottle, but that's about all I do, and it's more about keeping any water that may have been in the converter from diluting the whole bottle. A small point, I know, but it makes me feel better. :)

On the other hand, filling by syringe is usually a lot less messy than the normal dip-the-nib way... you might come to prefer it!

Not really a scribe, more of a Pharisee...



"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
-- Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution


#40 Pen

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 00:43

Thanks for the tip. I think I may stick with using a syringe. I wonder how the mold got in there? Perhaps the work environment of the pen is not too healthy? All I know is breathing mold is not good for you!





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