Ink Bottle Cap Problems

November 13, 2011

I happened to notice recently that the cap on my bottle of Dr. Ph Martin’s Bombay Ink had cracks appearing in the rubber stopper. It was most obvious on this bottle of red, but another bottle of brown had smaller cracks starting to appear. These bottles are only a few months old, but this deterioration in the rubber will allow air inside that will dry out the ink. I’ve no idea how long the bottle may have sat on the store shelf before purchase. I replaced it with the cap of an old bottle of Higgins colored ink, which had also dried out a long time ago, but the stopper still seemed okay. Next, I decided to go through the various ink bottles I still had to examine their condition.

Most of them are just your basic bottle with a screw-on lid (no stopper.) Speedball, Winsor & Newton, Deleter, Yatsutomo and others use this design. Some of the older ones I had use metal caps instead of the more common plastic. Both of those will eventually let air in, but metal is more durable. I had to toss out half a bottle of Speedball Super Black the other day that was only a year or so old because it had dried out already. Of the ones in the photo above, the Winsor & Newton and Deleter have also now died out. The FW acrylic ink is okay but the stopper feels very flimsy. The Pelikan bottle is one I’ve had for many many years and it still works fine. Their stopper seems to be made of vinyl. They still use the same cap design, but the bottle itself is now plastic, so I fill this glass bottle with new ink since plastic is not as airtight. The new Higgins stopper seems to also now be made of vinyl and the seal is better than the others.

I also noticed a problem on a bottle of Sennelier Shellac Ink. The screwing part completely separated from the stopper which the shellac had stuck to the rim of the bottle. It’s still usable since the cap presses the stopper to the rim, but I’m not convinced it’s an airtight seal.

The moral of this post is: I need to use up all this ink more quickly.


One comment

  1. P.S. some other bottles of ink in my collection I should mention: Liquitex Acrylic Ink – the bottle is glass and stopper feels like rubber. The top looks like a cross between the FW cap and the Dr Martin stopper. I also have some stoppers made of cork which is the least airtight option available.
    A few posts back I mentioned my using old Osmiriod ink which is as fresh today as the day I got it. I believe they still use the same design, but as I mentioned before it’s not apparantly sold in the US anymore. It’s likely because this ink isn’t made with shellac that it’s still usable.

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