How to Get a Pen Writing That Won't Write

By Editorial Team

Updated September 26, 2017

Ballpoint pen signature.
i Sky_Blue/iStock/GettyImages

What do you do if all your pens won't write but you need to endorse that check right away or write down the phone number someone just spouted off? Fortunately, there are some ways to get the ink flowing again.

One tried-and true method is scribbling on some piece of scrap paper. However, that often ruins the scrap paper because of the pressure you bear down on it, which shows up as grooves on the sheet of paper. Also, maybe you don't have any scrap to spare or no matter how much you scribble, you can't get ink flowing.

If scribbling doesn't work or you don't want to risk scribbling, try applying centrifugal force. You hold the opposite end of the pen and swing the writing end. The problem is, pens aren't that long and not that much force builds up on the end. You can also bang the pen against a desk or other weighty nearby object, which sometimes works.

If all else fails, it is time to get clever. Heat makes fluids like ink flow better, so put the writing tip in some heat source. If you are in your car, turn up the blower and heat to full blast and jam the pen a little ways into a vent for about a minute. If you're at home, put the pen under hot water. You can even try breathing on the end of the tip with your breath a few times or putting it under your armpits, no matter how silly that may sound!

Items you will need

  • Ink pen

  • Heat source