What the heck is White Lightning?

White Lightning Ink Additive

Vanness Pen Shop has released their first ink product and it’s an additive for ink to help improve the drying time and flow of “dry inks”. Dry inks are the inks that may cause a pen to hard start or are overly pigmented. Some inks might have excessively long dry times, particularly on certain papers. The product is called White Lightning Ink Additive ($5.95 for 1oz bottle).

Good candidates for White Lightning might be the Kyo-No-Oto or Kyo-Iro inks. Some Robert Oster inks. I’m thinking Aurora Blue Black might have improved dry time with the addition of White Lightning. And that’s just a few I can name off the top of my head. There are probably many one-off ink colors that have frustrated and annoyed.

White Lightning Ink Additive

So, how do you use White Lightning? It’s easy. Take the offending ink and add 5ml to a sample vial. Add one drop of White Lightning to start. Shake up the mixture. Then fill a pen from the sample vial.

Never add White Lightning directly to a whole bottle of ink. Dispense ink into a smaller container and use a ratio of 5ml to 1 drop or 10ml to 1 drop. Be sure to label your container after you’ve dded White Lightning to the ink.

The above sample was done using Robert Oster Carolina Blue with a broad nib on a Leonardo Momento Zero (reviewed earlier this week). The ink is extremely pigmented and writes quite dry. One drop in 5ml made the ink much better behaved and improved flow dramatically.

One bottle of White Lightning should last a lifetime. Unless you’re me.


DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by Vanness Pen Shop for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Do you think this would be useful for making a normal ink wetter in order to better function in a dry pen? Thanks for the great info on the blog as always.

    1. I double checked with Lisa Vanness about this and she said “It will make any ink wetter. But if it’s a nib issue (and) not dry ink then it may not.” So, my advice would be to try adding White Lightning to an ink and try it in your pen that writes dry to see if it helps. If not, you may need to consider that the issue might be nib or feed related instead.

  2. I can think of one more ink to use this in: Organics Studio Accident. I love that shade of blue, but it writes so dry, I can’t stand to use it! Also, Noodlers Apache Sunset; love the color and shading, hate the dry feel. And I agree on the Kyo Iro inks: I have Hisoku; love the color, can’t use it because it’s too dry. I have been dying for someone to come out with a solution for too-dry inks. So I will be buying some of this stuff IMMEDIATELY. Thanks so much for the info and for telling us how to use it.

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