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How to Store Your Gel Pens? – 7 Simple & Easy Ways

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

How To Store Your Gel Pen

Gel pens are excellent tools used by artists and students alike. They are popular for their smooth writing and vibrant colors, making them a favorite choice for journaling, note-taking, and other creative projects.

Just like every other pen, gel pens also share the same issue, like inks drying out. In this article, we will talk about how to store your gel pen properly to avoid such problems.

We will also give you different storage ideas that will help extend your gel pen’s life and keep it organized in no time.

Ways to Store Your Gel Pens

1. Horizontal Pen Storage


There has always been a debate about whether to store gel pens in a horizontal or vertical manner. Generally, horizontal storage is recommended, as storing pens the other way can cause the ink to settle in the bottommost part of the ink tube, leading to inconsistent writing.

Aside from distributing the ink equally along the pen’s shaft, horizontal storage helps prevent the ink from drying out quickly.

2. Transparent Acrylic Stationery Organizer


These are one of the best options. They look chic and classy around your desk, and aside from keeping your gel pens horizontally, they also allow you to quickly spot your pen when deciding which color to use.

You can also arrange your gel pens per drawer, especially if you have to store gelly roll pens, which come in a variety of colors or types.

As acrylic stationery organizers are transparent, do note to position them away from any source of heat or light.

3. Zipper Case


Another great way to store gel pens is by using zipper cases. They are compact and easy to carry around in your bag or purse. That is why they are your best choice when you need on-the-go storage for your gel pens.

They also come in a variety of colors and designs to suit your personal style.

4. Vertical Pen Storage


Oftentimes, we have limited space in our working area or table. This can make it difficult to organize our materials and keep everything within reach.

One solution is to use a small gel pen organizer to maximize the available space. The problem is that these are mostly in a vertical orientation.

If that’s the case, should the pen be facing up or down? Well, the best option is to store them with the tip facing down. This helps the gel pen get ready to write whenever needed.

 5. Pen Holders


Aside from saving space, this gel pen holder comes in a wide range of designs and formats that can add a touch of organization and style to your workspace, depending on your taste.

Alternatively, you can re-purpose old vases, empty caddies, mugs, and mason jars as your DIY gel pen organizer. Who knows, they may just be lying around the corner.

6. Pop-up Stand-up Cases      


For the young and young at heart, you would definitely love these adorable vertical pop-up cases.

The design is very clever, you can use it as a regular gel pen travel pouch or as an instant gel pen holder. You just have to unzip it and pull the side tabs down. It usually comes with compartments, so you can organize your gel pens pretty easily as well.

If you like this option and want to have it personalized, check out this tutorial video on how you can make different designs for storing your gel pens.

7. Keep in the Box They Came With


The majority of large gel pen sets available in the market already come with a sturdy case like a zipper case or a hard plastic container.

If you are still trying to figure out where to store them or do not have a budget for additional storage, it will be fine to keep them intact in their original case.

However, evaluate the storage every now and then because not all packaging is meant for the long haul. Especially if they are in the form of thin plastics or cardboard.

Pros and Cons

Gel Pen Storage Option Horizontal Storage Vertical Storage Original Case
Pros –  Prevents air bubble buildup.

–  Help prevent ink from pooling at the tip.

–  Extends the life of your gel pens.

–  Can save a lot of space.

–  Tips are always wet and ready to use.

–  Zero cost.

–  Keep your gel pen intact

Cons – May take more space. – Higher chance of leaking.

– Might shorten the life of your gel pen.

– The case may deteriorate over time.


Why Proper Gel Pen Storage is Important?

Gel pens use water-based ink, which tends to dry out faster if exposed to air for an extended period. Plus, the water-based formula means the ink will be more runny, resulting in a higher chance of leaks if stored improperly.

The best thing to do when storing gel pens is to store them horizontally. For limited spaces, you can store them vertically, but make sure that the tip is facing down.

How to Maintain Your Gel Pens?

  • Store them in a cool, dry place, preferably somewhere with no drastic temperature variations.
  • Keep them away from any source of light to avoid ink color from fading or losing its vibrancy.
  • Make sure that they are capped as tightly to prevent air bubbles from building up.
  • Aside from storing the pens horizontally, keeping them at a 45-degree angle is another way to keep the ink from drying.
  • Most gel pens have a rubber grip that often gets dirty and sticky. You can use scotch tape to get rid of dirt, and to remove the sticky layer on the rubber grip, gently rub it with alcohol.

What is the Best Way to Store Gel Pens Long-term?

The best way to store gel pens for long-term storage is to store them horizontally. Notice that most shops will store their gel pens in this manner.

This prolongs the storage life of gel pens, especially when they are not yet used, to avoid clogging and the formation of air bubbles within the ink tube.

How to Fix a Clogged Gel Pen?

Here are some ways to save a gel pen that has been clogged:

  • Give it a good shake –  this can help smoothen the flow and unclog the ink shaft, which might be a result of prolonged storage.
  • Warm water bath –  try submerging the lower half of the gel pen facing down. The warm water might be able to help melt the clog inside.
  • Dip in a solvent – try dipping your gel pen tip in a small amount of rubbing alcohol to dissolve the solidified ink.

How Long Do Gel Pens Last in Storage?

Unlike inks with oil-based formulas, gel ink has a noticeably shorter shelf life. Even if well-kept, gel pens can only last about 2 to 4 years.


To summarize, proper pen storage is essential for preventing leaks and maintaining the ink’s quality. By following our guide on how to store your pens, you’d be able to extend your favorite pen’s lifespan and ensure they’re always ready to use.

Remember, a little effort in gel pen storage can result in immense satisfaction in writing.

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