Make A Ball Point Pen Explode

Sure looks innocent, doesn’t it?

Ball point pens are extremely useful tools, but have an unfortunate habit of exploding all over the nearest clean (usually white) cloth surface. Ink is notoriously hard to expunge from absorbent surfaces, making this a very real threat to your laundry.

However, if you’re in the mood to actually try to make a ball point pen explode, you’ll want to make use of a physics phenomenon known as “thermal expansion,” wherein the ink inside the pen gets so hot that it expands beyond the confines of the pen itself.


1. Uncap the ball point pen and set the cap aside.

2. Lay the ball point pen in an area that gets an unusually high level of ambient heat. This could include the dryer, in full sunlight or under a heat lamp of some kind.

3. Stand a little distance away to avoid getting ink on yourself.

The heat will cause the molecules of ink inside the pen’s cartridge to expand beyond the cartridge itself, eventually bursting through the seams of the pen’s construction and getting insoluble ink absolutely everywhere.

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