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Ink Dilution Recipes


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Yep --- Las Vegas water is that bad too. Use regular stuff in any equipment and it clogs.


It's a while since I've been there, but Adelaide water used to be so hard it could be used for construction purposes...


“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.

And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”

Granny Aching

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Hey guys, does anyone know if I were to dilute Bad Belted Kingfisher (and any of the other Warden Series) with 2:1 ink to water, would it remove the smearing thing that BBK does when exposed to water? I love the colour and all of t, but I want it to be 'completely' waterproof.

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Any bulletproof/invincible ink reacts with the cellulose in the paper fibres and attaches to them. The ink that is 'behind' the ink that attaches stays on top of the paper and doesn't react. This is what rinses off after the ink has dried. The ink that has bonded to the paper is permanently permanent.


If you are getting too much ink sitting on top of the paper there are a few cures

  1. Put down less ink by making the nib less wet
  2. Use a more absorbent paper, so more ink sinks into the paper
  3. Dilute the ink. Try with a small sample (~5 mls) first.


“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.

And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”

Granny Aching

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  • 3 weeks later...

The ink I diluted was PR DCSS Blue at 50% using DI water from my lab at the university. I decided to do it after reading that it may speed up dry time and it seems to work.


A few days ago I diluted Diamine Steel Blue 1:3 (one part ink, 3 parts water), the reason for this one was to lower the saturation of the ink and I am very happy with the results.

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Noodler's Baystate Blue (waterproof)


When I first purchased this ink, I was anticipating its arrival with excitement that I had finally found a blue ink that I could call my "go to" ink. It had all the qualities that I was searching for in a rich, vibrant blue that would really "pop" as soon as the nib hit the paper. A true colonial style ink that would catch the eye of any blue ink enthusiast. I remember unboxing the ink, unscrewing the cap and the lovely, majestic blue with a slight hint of purple catching my eye. Boy, I couldn't wait to ink up a pen and get to writing. Therefore, I grabbed my Monteverde Invincia (medium nib), unscrewed the barrell and began to fill the converter, anxiously awaiting for the first strike of the nib on my paper. Finally, the pen was full and I began to write. Senseless words that meant nothing, just adoring the true color that this wonderful ink has to show. I turned the paper over and I was suddenly struck with a gut wrenching and heart dropping realization, this ink had bled through not just the paper I was writing on but the undersheet as well. I was truely heartbroken, I thought "Well maybe it's just the medium nib". I then grabbed my Pilot Custom 74 which was equipped with a fine nib, inked it up. This time it still bled through onto the 2nd page but not through it. I had then set out and tried this ink in various other pens, different nibs, different paper and still, even on the highest quality of paper, there may not have been any bleed through but the show through to the back was still noticable and I was unable to use the backside of the paper.


I then set out, browsing various forums and evening e-mailing various fountain pen reviewers and enthusiasts such as S.B.R.E Brown and Brian Goulet. Through many suggestions and coming up with no results I thought to myself to try and dilute the ink. I gave it alot of thought and much to my surprise it had worked. The bleed through was almost non existant and the show through on the back side of the paper was extremely minimal. It saved my love for such a beautiful ink that is my favorite blue. I really did believe that I was not going to be able to use Baystate Blue. So my friends, I would just like to share my dilution recipe with you all and if you are having trouble with this notorious ink, I invite you to try my recipe, you'll really be glad you did.



Dilution Recipe


You can use an empty ink bottle or even a sample ink vial. However, any glass container with a screw top lid will work.


1. Take 15mL's of Baystate Blue and place it in the container of your choice.

2. Using an inking syringe take 15-20 mL's of cold water and mix in with the BSB. (I try to stick with a 60/40 Water to BSB ratio, you can even go up to 70/30 Water to BSB ratio if you wish)

3. Replace cap and gently swirl the mixture until the ink cover's the sides of the container. (By this time the mixture should be slightly transparent when held up to light)



I promise you, you will not be disappointed!



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  • 3 weeks later...

I was given a bottle of red-black by a fellow FPNer many years ago, and it smudged. It just took too long to dry. It was too black. So I tried diluting it with well water. My wife has used our well water in her iron for years without deposits. And it worked a lot better. It stopped smudging. It's now clearly a brownish burgundy, instead of a brownish black. I'd guess my dilution ratio to be somewhere in the general vicinity of 3:1 to 5:2.


I think that original Noodler's Black diluted 1:1 with water has a pretty good chance of becoming my ideal ink.

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  • 1 year later...

I was surprised how saturated Diamine's Regency Blue was. I diluted it 1:1 and got a tad more shading without much lightening. I might try 2:3 H20 for better shading.

"It's funny; in this era of email and voice mail and all those things that I did not even grow up with, a plain old paper letter takes on amazing intimacy."  Elizabeth Kostova





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  • 2 years later...

I was told that it might be a good idea to post this under ink dilution recipes and this is the thread I found. Not sure if there is a newer one around but here we go!

Here's the link to my sample of Noodlers Hunter Green Diluted 50\50 with Noodlers blue ghost. It really creates a nice lively green!


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  • 10 months later...

Quick question, why distilled water instead of tap water? I always clean my pens with regular tap water -- if tap water is fine for cleaning, shouldn't it be fine for writing?


That said, I've never diluted any inks, though this thread has me thinking about trying it with PR Ebony purple!

When you clean pens with tap water, you finish by draining as much water as possible out of the pen. Only traces of the water will remain in the pen. By contrast, when you add water to an ink, the full volume of water is incorporated into the ink, along with any contaminants it bears. While tap water is treated to make it safe for drinking, it also is treated -where necessary- to reduce buildup of scale in pipes and boilers, to remove objectionable odors and tastes, and modified in other ways, and it contains bacteria and molds which can degrade the ink.


As a microbiologist, before I entered academia I was for some time responsible for daily close monitoring of water quality in a pharmaceutical plant which produced medicines for injection. We had to have a well dug, because we found it impossible to make city water pure enough for our uses, in spite of quite intensive treatments. Unless you work with water supplies and run the chemical and microbiological tests, it is hard to believe just how contaminated even safe drinking water can be. You can be sure I use an activated carbon filter for all my drinking/cooking water at home!


Freshly distilled (not deionized) water is usually sterile, but the sterility is quickly lost. If you are going to use distilled water to dilute an ink, or use it as I do, to replace water lost in an ink by evaporation, I strongly urge that you boil it first. Boil it in a clean, covered container for about five minutes, and let it cool to room temperature (again,covered) before adding to the ink. The only alternative is obtaining some bottled sterile "water for injection, USP" from a helpful pharmacist, doctor or nurse. It is available in small bottles. Any droppers or such should be carefully cleaned and preferably boiled as well.


An alternative: I have sterile filters available to me that fit on sterile luer-lock syringes; these hold back ALL bacteria as well as the larger fungi and general (bleep). I love these. They produce a sterile fluid, except for viruses which need not concern us. You can buy these and the syringes cheaply on eBay. Make sure they are sterile and filter at the ,22 micron level. Great way to produce sterile water from distilled water, and to even filter ink made with water-soluble dyes. Pigments would quickly clog them.


You will likely get away without taking these common-sense precautions, and do just fine, but do you really want to take a chance and find your expensive inks turning into slimy, ropy messes? Safety regulations have required ink makers to use less effective biocides (e.g. no phenol) or at least reduce biocide concentrations. This is a good idea to prevent childhood poisonings, but it may make inks less stable than they were 25 years ago. (As we are now empty nesters, and make sure the inks and such go up on high shelves when our grandkids visit, I make add some phenol as an experiment. I like the smell!)


Another precaution is to pour ink from larger bottles (such as the economical Pilot red, blue and black inks, but even the 80 ml Diamine bottles) into smaller bottles for filling pens. This means you never dip a pen into your large stock bottle. Again, just common sense. We do this as a matter of course in the lab all the time because experience shows it saves losing big stock bottles.


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