How to Fix a Ballpoint Pen That Skips

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Ever happened that you were writing in an exam and all of a sudden the pen started skipping? Ugh, so disturbing, right? You are not alone. Lots of people face the same situation as you experienced! This can happen anytime and with anyone.

So, what’s the solution? Throw the pen in the trash can? No, probably there is nothing very serious about the pen itself. If you can take some proper steps, it will run again. That’s why in this article, we are going to teach you how to fix a ballpoint pen that skips.

Why Does My Pen Skip when I Write?

Before we start fixing your ballpoint pen that skips, there is a question that needs to be answered first: why do ballpoint pens skip?

There can be two reasons behind this. The first possible reason is the pen was not used for a long time. That’s why the ink passage is blocked by dried ink. So, the ink is not flowing as it used to. The second reason is simply air. It can get trapped inside the ink cartridge which can hamper the normal flow of ink and ultimately cause your pen to skip.

How to Fix a Ballpoint Pen That Skips?

Okay, now you know why your pen skips. It’s time to learn how to fix this issue. We have told you that there can be two reasons behind this. So, we are going to discuss different solutions for those reasons.

1. Solution for Dried Ink

Before starting this method, you need to collect some supplies. Here are the things you will need:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Lighter
  • Cardboard

Step 1: Dipping in Rubbing Alcohol

The first step is to dip in rubbing alcohol. Not the whole pen, just the tip. Take some rubbing alcohol in a small cup or bowl and dip the tip. It will help dissolve the ink that has been hardened on the tip. Take the pen out of rubbing alcohol and try it on paper. This step should make your pen write smoothly again. But if your pen seems to not work properly, jump to step 2.

Step 2: Heating the Tip of the Pen

You need to increase the temperature on the tip to melt the hardened ink. Remember, the heat should be mild because your goal is just to melt down the dried ink, not the whole pen!

One more thing, don’t hold the tip of the pen on flame for a long time; you don’t want to risk burning either your pen or yourself! Heat up for a certain period, give a break, try on paper, and repeat the steps until the pen starts to write smoothly.

If dried ink is the reason behind your skipping pen, you can easily fix it using these two methods when you are home. But probably these are no use when you are in the exam hall! Anyway, let’s continue the step-by-step process.

Step 3: Striking the Pen

If your pen is still not working after step 2, you need to strike your pen against a hard surface. This will help get rid of the dried ink or anything else that is hampering the smooth movement of the rollerball. Be gentle while striking.

Step 4: Drawing Random Lines on Cardboard

If none of the steps above worked, the last thing you can do is just draw some random lines and shapes on cardboard or any paper with a rough surface. Start drawing like you are taking revenge on your pen! This should make the clogged tip work again and flow ink smoothly.

Solution for Air Bubbles

This method is useful when you see the ink cartridge has air bubbles trapped inside. That’s why, before starting this method, carefully inspect if there are any bubbles inside the cartridge or not.

As air bubbles don’t let the ink flow down easily, the goal is to make the ink flow downward by applying force. So, firstly, pull the pin off the cartridge tip. Now, you need to gently strike the cartridge tip against a hard surface. This will help the ink flow downward.

But remember, applying too much force while striking can result in a messy ink spill. After you notice the air bubbles are gone, you can reassemble everything and you are ready to go.

How Do I Make My Ballpoint Pen Write Smoothly?

Finding a ballpoint pen scratchy can be a normal thing, especially when you are writing with a new pen. Here are two easy tricks to make your pen write smoothly.

  • Take an old newspaper or a grocery paper bag and draw a big ‘8’. Continuously repeat on the same spot for a while. While drawing, you can rotate the pen and change the angle of writing to make it smooth from all angles.
  • The second thing you can do is mildly heat the tip for a little amount of time to make your pen write smoothly.

How Can I Make My Ballpoint Pen Work Again?

We have already discussed some of the methods to make your ballpoint pen work again. Additionally, you can try some more methods to make it work like before.

  • If the ink cartridge is open, you can blow some air right into the open end that is opposite to the pen’s nib. This will help your pen get back on track again.
  • If you don’t want to risk putting your pen above a lighter, you can boil some water and dip the nib area for roughly 5 minutes.
  • You can take some rubbing alcohol in a small container and dip the tip of your pen to dissolve the dried ink. If alcohol doesn’t work, you can switch to a stronger solvent, acetone. Just dip the tip of the pen and don’t let acetone get in contact with other parts of the pen.
  • Lastly, you can scribble on a rubber surface like your shoe sole or pencil eraser to make your ballpoint pen start working again.

Final Thoughts

When you are writing in an exam hall, taking notes, or writing down an important thing, and all of a sudden your pen starts skipping, what worse can the situation get? That’s why in this article, we talked about different ways to tackle pen skipping. So, you can get away with the situation using any method that is available to you at that moment.

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