How to Store Pens

When it comes to pens, whether you’re a casual user, a dedicated writer, or an artist, how you store them can significantly impact their longevity and performance. The right storage methods ensure your pens stay in prime condition, ready for when inspiration strikes or when there’s a task at hand. Let’s break down the essentials of how to store pens without any fluff.

In this article, the ZEBRA team discovers how to store pens in the best way.


Proper storage is not just about keeping your pens organized; it’s about preserving their functionality and extending their lifespan. Let’s delve deeper into the foundational aspects of how to store pens.

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The environment where you store your pens can greatly affect their performance. Here’s why:

  • Heat: Excessive warmth can wreak havoc on your pen’s ink, so it is important to pay attention to it when learning how to store pens. For liquid-based inks, like those in fountain or gel pens, heat can cause the ink to dry up or become too fluid, leading to leaks or poor performance. For pens with thicker inks, like ballpoints, heat can still affect the viscosity, making the ink less reliable. Keeping pens in a cool place helps preserve the ink’s consistency, ensuring it flows just right when you write.
  • Humidity: Moisture is another adversary of pens, particularly for those with metal components. High humidity can cause rust or corrosion, especially on the nib (the metal tip of fountain pens) and clips. This not only damages the pen’s appearance but can also affect its functionality. Storing pens in a dry environment safeguards them against moisture-related damage, keeping the metal parts in good condition.


Gravity influences how ink moves inside the pen, so how you position them matters when you learn how to store pens:

  • Ballpoint and rollerball pens: These should be stored with the tip down. Why? It ensures the ink remains near the tip, preventing dry starts and ensuring the pen is always ready to write.
  • Fountain pens: These are best kept tip-up. Fountain pens rely on gravity to regulate ink flow, and storing them this way prevents ink from pooling at the nib or leaking. It’s a simple step that can save you from inky messes and wasted quality ink. Don’t’ forget to pay attention to storing fountain pen ink bottles in the right way.
  • Gel pens and markers: These are a bit different. Storing them horizontally is usually the best approach. It keeps the ink evenly distributed across the reservoir, which helps prevent inconsistencies in ink flow and color. Plus, it ensures that both ends of the ink cartridge stay moist, reducing the chances of the pen drying out.


Pens are often more delicate than they seem:

  • Dropping pens: A fall can be disastrous, especially for pens with precise components like the nib of a fountain pen. Such impacts can bend or break the nib, affecting the pen’s ability to write smoothly, if at all. Learning how to store pens securely, in a pen case or holder, can minimize the risk of accidental drops.
  • Shaking Pens: Vigorously shaking pens, especially those with liquid ink, can introduce air bubbles into the ink chamber or reservoir. These bubbles can disrupt ink flow, leading to skipped writing or the need to constantly restart the pen. By keeping pens in a stable, undisturbed environment, you maintain the integrity of the ink, ensuring smooth writing.

Adhering to these basic principles of how to store pens not only preserves your pens in optimal condition but also enhances your writing experience. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or an enthusiast, taking these simple steps can make a significant difference in the life and performance of your pens. You can also browse the web and collect DIY pen storage ideas to find cost effective and creative solutions.


Pens are as varied as the people who use them, each type with its own unique characteristics and storage needs. Here’s a more detailed look into how to store pens to ensure they last longer and perform better.


Ballpoint pens are the stalwarts of the pen world, favored for their reliability and ease of use. They operate using a small rotating ball at the tip, typically made of brass, steel, or tungsten carbide, which dispenses oil-based ink onto the page. This design is remarkably efficient, allowing the ink to dry quickly on the paper and making smudges less likely.

Storage tips: To keep a ballpoint pen in optimal condition, store it tip-down. This position ensures that the ink remains in contact with the ball, preventing dry starts and ensuring the pen is ready to write whenever you are. Additionally, storing ballpoints vertically with the tip facing down helps maintain the ink’s flow and consistency, providing a smoother writing experience from the get-go.


Fountain pens are prized for their elegance, writing quality, and the personalized touch they add to handwriting. Unlike ballpoint pens, they use water-based liquid ink, which flows from a reservoir through a nib made of metal. Fountain pens require a bit more care and knowledge to use effectively but offer unparalleled writing pleasure and style to those who master them.

Storage tips: Fountain pens should be stored tip-up when not in use. This prevents ink from leaking out of the nib and accumulating in the cap or on the body of the pen, which could lead to messy starts and potential clogging issues. Regular cleaning is also vital for fountain pens to prevent ink from drying and clogging the nib and feed mechanism, ensuring smooth ink flow and extending the pen’s lifespan.


Gel pens combine the best features of ballpoint and fountain pens, using a water-based gel ink that allows for smooth, vibrant writing. The ink inside a gel pen is thicker than that of ballpoint or roller pens, providing a distinctly smooth writing experience that’s favored for both artistic and everyday writing tasks.

Storage tips: The best way to store gel pens is horizontally. This position helps keep the ink evenly distributed within the reservoir, preventing it from settling or separating. Horizontal storage also minimizes the risk of the ink drying out at the tip, ensuring the pen writes smoothly every time you use it.


Roller pens, or rollerball pens, use water-based ink, offering a writing experience that’s closer to that of a fountain pen but with the convenience of a ballpoint. The liquid ink used in roller pens flows freely and saturates the paper more deeply, producing a smooth, fine line that’s perfect for detailed writing.

Storage tips: Similar to fountain pens, roller pens are best stored tip-up. This position helps prevent ink from leaking out when the pen is not in use. Because their ink is more fluid, storing roller pens upright ensures that any excess ink collects at the base of the reservoir, reducing the risk of leaks and spills.


Markers cover a broad category, from fine-tipped pens ideal for precise lines to broad-tipped ones for coloring large areas. They use ink that is usually alcohol-based or water-based, depending on the type, and are equipped with a porous tip made of felt or a similar fibrous material.

Storage tips: Markers should be stored horizontally to ensure the ink flows evenly to the tip from both ends, which is especially important for dual-tipped markers. This prevents one end from drying out and maintains consistent ink quality. Additionally, protecting markers from direct sunlight by storing them away from windows or in opaque containers can prevent the ink from fading. Ensuring caps are securely fastened after use is crucial to prevent the ink from evaporating and the tips from drying out. Organizing markers by type and color can also make it easier to find the right marker when you need it and can help maintain the integrity of the ink over time.

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Each type of pen has its own set of characteristics that make it suitable for different writing tasks and preferences. By understanding these differences and adhering to the specific storage recommendations, you can extend the life of your pens, ensuring they remain in good working order and ready to produce beautiful writing. Learning how to store pens can be very useful for you.


The essence of how to store pens boils down to understanding and catering to the specific needs of each type of pen. By adhering to these simple yet effective principles—storing in a cool, dry place, considering the impact of gravity, and taking steps to prevent damage—you’ll ensure your pens are always in top-notch condition, ready to perform whenever you need them. Whether you’re jotting down a quick note, penning a masterpiece, or sketching out an idea, the right storage habits keep your tools of the trade primed and prepared for whatever comes their way. Remember, a well-stored pen not only lasts longer but also provides a consistently better writing or drawing experience. So, take a moment to organize and how to store pens; your future self, scribbling away or drawing with ease, will thank you. 

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