How to Make Homemade Ink Fixative

Written by darci pauser
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How to Make Homemade Ink Fixative
Homemade ink requires additives to enhance and add desirable characteristics. (bottle of ink image by Alfonso d"Agostino from

Ink is composed of a pigment or dye, usually along with solvents, surfactants, resins, and/or preservatives. The purposes of these additives are broad. They work by changing the chemistry of the ink and interact with each other to create particular characteristics. For example, compounds can be added to make ink waterproof, water-soluble, sticky, permanent, or smooth in texture. Fixative is defined as a compound that either preserves organic material within a solution or causes other compounds in a solution to bind together.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 1/2 cup desired pigment or dye
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • 1/2 cup table salt
  • 2 tbsp iodine
  • 1/4 cup linseed or soybean oil
  • Bottle with cap

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  1. 1

    Pour a half cup of your pigment or dye into the bowl. Be aware that the bowl may discolour.

  2. 2

    Add a half cup of salt and stir until dissolved. The salt will act as a preservative.

  3. 3

    Add 2 tbsp of iodine and mix thoroughly. The iodine will help to keep the ink permanent when applied to a surface.

  4. 4

    Finally, add a quarter cup of linseed or soybean oil. The oil will act as a surfactant, binding the other ingredients together and decreasing the surface tension of the ink. This decrease in surface tension allows the ink to bind effectively to many surfaces.

  5. 5

    Pour into a bottle and cap until ready for use.

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