I refilled an empty cartridge of a ballpoint pen with regular ink, but now the pen doesn't work.

  • Why is that?
  • How to refill the cartridge of ballpoint pen properly?
  • What substance could I mix the ink with in which concentration to make the pen work again?

I want to avoid having to throw away so much plastic as even if I buy a new cartridge that still produces far too much waste.

The ballpoint pen I tried to refill is a 0.7 mm Frixion, and I am open for suggestions of other pens that are easy to handle (so my hands won't hurt after some minutes of writing), wasn't able to find any at the local stores I visited lately...

1 Answer 1


Ballpoint pens use a paste rather than a liquid ink, so I doubt you'd be able to refill one.

I would suggest using a fountain pen instead, they are easily refillable, and there are loads of different styles around so you should be able to find one that fits the size and shape of your hand, and so will probably be more comfortable to write with than a ballpoint.

  • 1
    Correct. The ink is a shear thinning non-newtonian fluid. The ball in the tip of the pen applies a shear force which locally thins the ink. You'll have a hard time finding the proper fluid and then refilling the cartridge with it (it at all possible at home).
    – user2451
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 14:12

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