We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Some Different Types of Ink?

By L. Hepfer
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Inks can be very versatile if you know their properties and how to use them. They are often used with pads that come enclosed in plastic containers with a lid. The ink pads can be used for business or personal purposes. Businesses will use them for stamping different messages on paper and envelopes while a person who makes a lot of paper crafts will use them to decorate their projects.

Although the pads come in just about every shade imaginable, the basic black is the most popular. They come in solid colors or a variety of colors on the same pad, similar to a rainbow. To achieve the best results, the different types of ink should be considered before attempting any project that involves them.

Water-based dye inks are the most popular type. These are the type of pads you will find in an office supply store to use for a business. This type is created for using on paper and comes in a variety of sizes with the surface of the ink pad varying from felt, sponge or cloth material.

Water-based ink dries more quickly than other types. Most of these inks are acid-free, but the colors can fade over time if the paper is not treated with an ultraviolet fixative. This type tends to run when it comes in contact with water. Sometimes an artist will use drops of water with this ink to smear it, imitating watercolor paints. It is easy to clean off the stamp by using a baby wipe or a damp paper towel.

When making cards or scrapbooking, dye-based waterproof ink may be preferred. Since it is waterproof, it will not run or smear with water once they are dry. This type is often used to stamp the outline of an image because other colors and water may be used in conjunction with one another to color in the image without the worry of smudging the original outline.

Dye-based waterproof ink does not wash off stamps well. Although a solvent-based cleaner can be used to wash the stamp, it may still leave a stain. This type is not recommended for stamping on fabric.

Pigment ink can be used in a variety of situations. This type is thicker than water-based or dye-based inks. It dries on top of the paper or project it is applied to, rather than being absorbed. It also takes much longer to dry. A small embossing gun can be used to heat the pigment and speed the drying process.

This type will not dry on coated or glossy surfaces no matter how long it is allowed to sit. Pigment ink is more difficult to wash off stamps, but it will wash off with warm water and a toothbrush or a special cleaning pad designed just for that purpose. It comes in solid colored pads as well as the multi-colored pads that resemble a rainbow.

Permanent inks are solvent-based. They will dry permanently on the surface without a heat setting. This type will stain the stamps it is used with and is difficult to clean off the stamp, even with special cleaners.

Washable inks are water-based varieties usually designed for children. They come in the form of pads and markers, and they are usually non-toxic. While washable types are designed to wash off the skin and clothing, they may still stain certain fabrics.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon229314 — On Nov 13, 2011

you can get it at funtown.

By anon169823 — On Apr 23, 2011

I was hoping you'd have disappearing ink here. Does anyone know how to make Disappearing Ink? I'd like to use it on fabric and paper for drawing straight lines to write on, then have them gone. Thanks for any help.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.