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TeaHive
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GASP!! THE HORROR! But please don't be too afraid. Let me explain.

 

I have a bottle of Private Reserve Avocado that I only just opened recently. The smell was immediately awful, like ammonia. So I dug around with a toothpick and found a bit of jelly goop at the bottom. (It was a little terrifying, but fascinating.) I know the immediate response is to dump it down the drain. BUT... I hate to waste ink, and I have a terrible knack for playing with things I shouldn't. So of course I filled up a Pilot Petit 3 with the ink anyway.

 

I know some hearts just skipped a beat out there. But I've had this cheap-o pen (the reason I am experimenting with this one is because of that cheapness) filled and used for several weeks, and have had no problems. No funky stuff growing, no flow issues.. By all means, it works perfectly. I just get a whiff of ammonia now and then in a particularly wet area in my sketching. But I actually don't find the smell to be any more or less offensive than many markers I own.

 

I also have a junker Welsharp mini pen I found at an antique mall that had no cap. I pulled the nib out and decided to use it as a dip nib, specifically with one pen body for this one specific ink, in order to keep cross-contamination at bay.

 

I suppose the point of this topic is to ask whether anyone else out there has gotten use out of their contaminated inks? Do you feel comfortable doing so? Has it worked/not worked for you? WOULD you use it as a dipping ink only? Or am I just a cheapskate with a danger streak?

 

I am by no means telling you to go ahead and use ink that has SitB, that it is safe, blah blah blah. Not in the least. And I surely would NOT use contaminated ink in any of my regular fountain pens. I'm just sharing my experience in living on the edge of inkdom, and that I've been able to use the ink in a limited way to avoid (literally) throwing my money down the drain.

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I suppose the point of this topic is to ask whether anyone else out there has gotten use out of their contaminated inks? Do you feel comfortable doing so? Has it worked/not worked for you? WOULD you use it as a dipping ink only? Or am I just a cheapskate with a danger streak?

 

 

 

I have actually been planning to do this very thing! I have a bottle of Sheaffer Persian Rose that I got used off Ebay. It doesn't smell weird, and I've never seen anything growing in it, but it *could* be responsible for some fuzz one of my pens grew. I'm not sure. And rather than throw it down the drain prematurely, I reckoned I would refill a Pilot Varsity with it and see how it fared. I just haven't done it yet, but I'm glad to hear your results were positive!

 

 

ETA: I will be filling the Varsity with a pipette that I will then throw away and not reuse with any other ink. I actually have Baystate Blue loaded up in another Varsity so it won't stain anything else, and it's behaving absolutely perfectly. That one has its own dedicated pipette for refilling purposes.

Edited by swanjun
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GASP!! THE HORROR! But please don't be too afraid. Let me explain.

 

I just get a whiff of ammonia now and then in a particularly wet area in my sketching. But I actually don't find the smell to be any more or less offensive than many markers I own.

 

 

I'm just guessing, but I wonder if that "whiff of ammonia" is keeping the bugs away. After all, isn't that what is used for cleaning difficult pens?

Perhaps more knowledgeble/experienced members can shed some light.

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I'm just guessing, but I wonder if that "whiff of ammonia" is keeping the bugs away. After all, isn't that what is used for cleaning difficult pens?

Perhaps more knowledgeble/experienced members can shed some light.

 

 

I never added ammonia to the ink, the smell was there when I opened the bottle. (Supposedly a new bottle I found on eBay, but it did appear to be opened as there was ink all over the bottle and cap threads.) So either the seller put ammonia in it, knowing it was contaminated beforehand, or the smell is resultant of the SitB.

 

In the former hypothetical case, it must be helping. In the latter case, it smells, but it's not terrible unless I have my face right over the bottle.

 

On that note, can you add a few drops of ammonia directly to ink to combat SitB and mold? I'm not an expert, just an experimenter.. And while I know you can clean pens with diluted ammonia, and have done so, I'm not sure about it being in a pen for a length of time beyond what is necessary for cleaning. Maybe someone with more inky experience can shed some light on that.

 

 

 

In the meantime, I am reading through this at the moment! It might take awhile, but it's a very interesting thread. Thanks, SamCapote! For the link and the experiments themselves!

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I have actually been planning to do this very thing! I have a bottle of Sheaffer Persian Rose that I got used off Ebay. It doesn't smell weird, and I've never seen anything growing in it, but it *could* be responsible for some fuzz one of my pens grew. I'm not sure. And rather than throw it down the drain prematurely, I reckoned I would refill a Pilot Varsity with it and see how it fared. I just haven't done it yet, but I'm glad to hear your results were positive!

 

 

ETA: I will be filling the Varsity with a pipette that I will then throw away and not reuse with any other ink. I actually have Baystate Blue loaded up in another Varsity so it won't stain anything else, and it's behaving absolutely perfectly. That one has its own dedicated pipette for refilling purposes.

 

Taking one for the team! Hah! Hopefully the ink works out in your Varsity. Thanks be for cheap-o pens! I was thinking of pulling apart a Pilot V5 to try my PR Avocado in there as well, to see if the ink will flow through a feed. The Pilot Petit 3 is a felt brush tip (for those who don't know), and it works more by soaking the "wick" of the brush. So trying out the feed system in a disposable will be the next step.

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Taking one for the team! Hah! Hopefully the ink works out in your Varsity. Thanks be for cheap-o pens! I was thinking of pulling apart a Pilot V5 to try my PR Avocado in there as well, to see if the ink will flow through a feed. The Pilot Petit 3 is a felt brush tip (for those who don't know), and it works more by soaking the "wick" of the brush. So trying out the feed system in a disposable will be the next step.

 

Actually, the Varsity also has a wick. I hadn't thought about the possibility that this attribute might make it better suited to deal with problem inks, but that's an interesting notion to ponder!

Edited by swanjun
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Actually, the Varsity also has a wick. I hadn't thought about the possibility that this attribute might make it better suited to deal with problem inks, but that's an interesting notion to ponder!

 

Huh, I didn't know the Varsities worked like that either. Then again, I've never pulled one apart (or used one in years).

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Is it possible to filter out the mold/whatever?

 

You can filter out some of the large formations of slime and mold with a coffee filter or the like, but it would most likely just grow more. You should read the topic SamCapote linked above! It's very thorough.

 

My topic was more of a wondering if others used their contaminated ink, without treatment, anyway. Such as a dipping ink, as dip nibs can be more easily cleaned and sterilized afterwards.

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I never added ammonia to the ink, the smell was there when I opened the bottle. (Supposedly a new bottle I found on eBay, but it did appear to be opened as there was ink all over the bottle and cap threads.) So either the seller put ammonia in it, knowing it was contaminated beforehand, or the smell is resultant of the SitB.

 

In the former hypothetical case, it must be helping. In the latter case, it smells, but it's not terrible unless I have my face right over the bottle.

 

On that note, can you add a few drops of ammonia directly to ink to combat SitB and mold? I'm not an expert, just an experimenter.. And while I know you can clean pens with diluted ammonia, and have done so, I'm not sure about it being in a pen for a length of time beyond what is necessary for cleaning. Maybe someone with more inky experience can shed some light on that.

 

 

 

In the meantime, I am reading through this at the moment! It might take awhile, but it's a very interesting thread. Thanks, SamCapote! For the link and the experiments themselves!

 

I'm sorry, I should have made myself clearer.

What I was wondering was whether the ammonia you smelt was a product (or by-product) of the microorganism causing the sludge. And although you have removed the goup, the remaining low levels of ammonia are sufficient to inhibit or slow down subsequent growth.

All this is supposition and I really need to read SamCapote's research endeavours.

 

As for the beneficial effects of ammonia, it's what I've read here.

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  • 1 month later...

A little follow-up to this thread:

 

The contaminated PR Avocado worked in the Pilot V5 just fine, and still works in the Pilot Petit with no problems. I recently inked up a Hero 616, which is being dedicated to this ink, so as to try out a pen with an actual feed system. All works well! It's only been a couple days, so there's no telling yet if funky stuff will grow in the pen or not. Considering it hasn't grown anything in the Pilot Petit after a couple months of use and re-inking, I'm thinking that some interesting kind of reaction is going on in the bottle without my doing any treatment.

 

But what do I know. I'm not a chemist or microbiologist. I'll eventually get around to buying some phenol to have on hand, and add to this ink.

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I'm a cheap b*****d, but there are times to not be cheap. Car maintenance, firearms, extermination of unknown life forms. It's time to be xenophobic and just kill it. It's a bottle of PR ink, that stuff's not that pricey. Sometimes xenophobia is the correct solution :)

With regard to whatever that is that's in the bottle: violence is not the answer. Violence is the question, the answer is yes.

Now, go in there and exterminate it with extreme prejudice.

Imagination and memory are but one thing which for diverse reasons hath diverse names. -- T. Hobbes - Leviathan

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Hah!! Nicely put, but I'm doing this for science. Cheap, lazy science. If it sprouts legs, I'll slay it. But only after taking pictures first. :P I can understand your concern, however, after reading all your topics on your ink issues. (You can always feel free to send them to me!)

 

I'm also pretty attached to the color, and I don't waste things that I can still use. I can always use paint brushes and dip pens if this does in fact destroy my $1.79 Hero 616. It is, after all "just a pen." If I ONLY had super expensive, irreplaceable vintage pens with more delicate materials, however... That would be a different story.

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My worry would be that the pen now has things in it, and if you use it in another ink, you can contaminate that ink. If you're dedicating the pen to the ink, not a worry, but that'd be my fear.

 

As per the other thread, straining out the big parts with a coffee filter, and adding some phenol then letting it sit for a couple weeks is likely to kill it all dead. I bought some of the recommended phenol just for that future potential case.

 

Not sure how to clean out a pen that's been contaminated. Phenol pen flush?

--

Lou Erickson - Handwritten Blog Posts

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