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Thoughts On Strong Chlorine Bleach As An Ink


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14 replies to this topic

#1 lectraplayer

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 00:13

Some inks I use leaves a stain on my pens, but since they're vulnerable to Chlorox. ...so the thought occurred to me as I had "inked" a pen to be cleaned with bleach to remove the staining, "Wonder how well this will work as a correction pen..."  Of course I tried it and it worked well. (I'm cleaning Noodler's Baystate Blue, btw. My go to ink for now) That got me wondering and soon I was lead by my nib on an expedition to find what all this new weapon will do. While quite capable, it has its limits, and so its niche. However I have not addressed the effects of the bleach on the feed and nib as of yet. Anyone wind up experimenting on this as well?


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#2 inkstainedruth

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 00:23

My understanding is that bleach is pretty bad for some nibs and feeds -- and possibly for pen bodies/caps as well. 

Before you do too much more "experimenting" I would use the search function at the top of the page (change it from "Google" to "Forums") because I'm pretty sure I've seen old threads on this.  (Maybe search for "bleach in pens" or something like that.

While Chlorox might get rid of BSB stains, you could ALSO be doing serious damage to your pen....

Me?  I restrict the use of BSB to pens for which I don't CARE if they get stained.  It used to be a cheap Chinese demonstrator with a hooded nib, but I cracked the finial off when I got the clip caught in a pen case.  Now, when I use it, it goes into a Noodler's Charlie eyedropper, so I can also control the dilution rate more easily (I dilute it with distilled water a bit to prevent feathering).

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#3 Exploratorius

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 11:07

I once cleaned a mint stainless steel Pilot Murex in a 50% bleach solution, and left it to soak for a short while.  Long story short, I got sidetracked by other things happening in the house and forgot all about it until the next morning.  Imagine my horror upon discovering that the nib and clip were completely eroded away and the body was severely damaged as well.

 

The pen was a complete loss, and I learned an expensive lesson -- use bleach very sparingly around fountain pens, and be sure to thoroughly wash and rinse the pens repeatedly until you're certain the bleach is gone.


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#4 effrafax

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 12:10

I'm not sure about American products, but here down-under most bleaches also contain sodium hydroxide (caustic soda, if you prefer).  Aside from the effects of chlorine, NaOH is decidedly bad for many things, and not to be played with lightly.  Also remember that chlorine gas is highly toxic, and such bleaches should only be used in well ventilated areas.

 

And I don't think it will do paper much good either ...


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#5 graystranger

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 01:10

Common household bleach is sodium hypochlorite. The chlorine in the bleach will attack most any metals, but especially ferrous metals (ALL stainless steels, all iron/steel alloys). No exceptions at all.

 

Chlorine will also attack most alloys, including gold alloys below 24 carat. These contain copper, nickel, and other metals with the gold. Chlorine will attack these additives making the gold brittle. Navies and ship building companies spend billions of dollars to protect ships from salt water corrosion, which is chlorine corrosion.

 

I may use a chlorine bleach in a resin pen to remove the dye stains from ink, but I would never allow it to come in contact with any metal part of a pen, especially the nib - stainless, gold, titanium (that will go fast) or any other except a glass nib.

 

This comes from my college degrees in materials engineering, numerous metallurgy courses, and 40+ years in R&D, including metallurgy. Chlorine is insidious around metals.

 

And strong bleach will eat cellulose fibers over time, so it should damage paper too.


Edited by graystranger, 08 December 2017 - 01:12.

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#6 Astron

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 21:10

If trying... use a glas pen.


#7 EMQG

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 01:38

Well, my suggestion is DON'T. Bleach fumes are extremely toxic and you really should limit the use of it indoors as much as possible.

 

However - if you're gonna be stupid and do it anyway, use an ebonite safety pen that's got a glass nib. Bleach won't hurt ebonite or glass. You can find 'em on Ebay for less than $100, but then you've gotta get 'em restored. (just looked at Ebay, didn't find any available right now - usually there's some)

 

Lots of people can do safety pen repairs. If you find and buy one, PM me and I'll direct you.



#8 tamiya

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 03:06

Common household bleach is sodium hypochlorite. The chlorine in the bleach will attack most any metals, but especially ferrous metals (ALL stainless steels, all iron/steel alloys). No exceptions at all.
 
Chlorine will also attack most alloys, including gold alloys below 24 carat. These contain copper, nickel, and other metals with the gold. Chlorine will attack these additives making the gold brittle. Navies and ship building companies spend billions of dollars to protect ships from salt water corrosion, which is chlorine corrosion.
 
I may use a chlorine bleach in a resin pen to remove the dye stains from ink, but I would never allow it to come in contact with any metal part of a pen, especially the nib - stainless, gold, titanium (that will go fast) or any other except a glass nib.
 
This comes from my college degrees in materials engineering, numerous metallurgy courses, and 40+ years in R&D, including metallurgy. Chlorine is insidious around metals.
 
And strong bleach will eat cellulose fibers over time, so it should damage paper too.


It'll eat rubber too, just give it a little more time.


I have bleach filled in an all-plastic brush pen :D did some experimenting a while back.

Chlorine bleach doesn't whiteout some inks, only partially uncoloured others.

It's also not "instant" and takes a while to get going; also it's hard to judge when it's done reacting.

Big fail as a whiteout is you can't rewrite over it :P but I didn't try with ballpoint oily ink.


Been meaning to repeat same experiment with Peroxide... which is in some usage more corrosive than chlorine bleach. Stinks less though.


If you wish to play around, try some "ink iradicator" which works on washable blue inks. :D

#9 lectraplayer

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 10:59

I tried one of those ink eradicator pens as well, but my luck was opposite. The bleach could be written over in BSB when dry, though it must be dry completely, but the ink eradicator always will break up the blue regardless of how long it has been there. Although my luck with the black lines I had put before in another ink was that the bleach didn't touch it. However this will not be something I keep inked in a pen as you all have been noting, since I can see how it would be bad for pens. Both pens I had the bleach in now has other inks in them. Again, my main reason for even beginning was to clean the pens.


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#10 amberleadavis

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 02:59

A weak ammonia solution is the preferred cleaning agent, though I admit to having great luck cleaning with Meyers dish soap.


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#11 FrMark

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 02:31

Please don’t use bleach on pens and paper.
Chlorine atoms come in a number of forms/oxidation states. Not all are so bad. Sodium Chloride is required for life.
As already noted bleach is sodium hypochlorite but the jug you buy at the store isn’t just that it’s also got a lot of sodium hydroxide in it. That’s very corrosive. The stuff is very dangerous to your eyes.

Stainless steel stains less it’s not stain proof. Strong chemicals like bleach and many acids will eat/etch steels of most all kinds.

I’ve been having good success cleaning my pens with water and patience. Sometimes helped along with rapidograph pen cleaner diluted and full strength. Sometimes just putting the ink out thru the nib and refilling works wonders.

#12 Trexton

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 12:04

I cringed when I read the OP just thinking of bleach inside one of my pens, even for a short while for cleaning. I won't even put a few drops in water to clean it, not something I'm comfortable with at all. Pure bleach in a pen over time would surely dissolve the feed or nib section or any plastic, even the barrel or piston seals/converter seals and even metals - there's a reason it can scrape BSB out of your pen. If you're doing this, don't put it in a pen you really don't care about throwing away, because that's what will likely happen over any period of time. Even then though... bleach fumes at such a close distance to your face on a regular basis? Can't say that would appeal to me. Anyway good luck with your ventures, if it ends up destroying your pen please post pics because that would be quite interesting. At least for me, I don't know if I'm a pen sadist or what but I just think that would be cool... 

 

Edit: I know BSB is a pain to clean but perhaps consider an ultrasonic cleaner? I don't know how expensive your pens are but any strong cleaning product other than dish soap or a tiny amount of ammonia won't be good for a pen in the long term. I can get ink out of any pen with my ultrasonic cleaner that was like $20 AUD on eBay, especially out of the hard to reach places, without the need for harsh chemicals - just sound waves which disrupt the contact between the ink particles and the plastic/metal of the pen parts. 


Edited by Trexton, 29 January 2018 - 10:01.


#13 Chrissy

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 12:10

I certainly wouldn't use bleach anywhere near to any of my pens or inks.  :yikes:



#14 bluebellrose

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 09:45

If you must play with bleach, stay far away from Cl bleach and check out oxygen bleach. You can find it in the natural food aisle.  To be honest, I would take a page from pentel's book. Find some white ink to use in a fp.


Edited by bluebellrose, 29 January 2018 - 10:11.


#15 Inkling13

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 20:00

Bleach does and will corrode many materials. Depending on where you are, you may get a mix of Sodium hydroxide or sodium hypochlorite, both which will pit and corrode pens. If all you are removing is ink stains on a window, use a cleaning ink, like Waterman Peacock blue as I've been told, amongst others, or just live with it. If you like an ink enough, it will eventually temporarily stain a window or two.








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