Will freezing temperatures ruin rubber-based or oil-based ink?

Log in to reply   4 replies so far

Below 32F won’t ruin it (it isn’t made of water), but you will need to get it (and your press) back up to temperature in order to use it.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

I have the same question. All of my ink has been sitting in storage for 2 years, will it be ok to use? What temperature does it need to be at for best use?



Oil base inks will store for years, if not decades-if packed in an impermeable container (not plastic). Rubber base, may or may not keep—but tends to cure based on non-environmental conditions—so it may go bad no matter how nicely it’s stored.

Yes, oil based inks will skin at the top, and that skin may grow over the years, but the ink underneath will still be good.

We had many cans of ink at the Type Archive in London which were stored for several years in an area which often experienced sub-zero temperatures in winter. The steel cans had developed a layer of rust on the outside. Last summer we obtained new empty storage tins from a kindly ink manufacturer and decanted the inks before storing them in our machine room, which doesn’t fall below freezing point. Despite being frozen many times, the inks perform exactly as they should.