Is Ink Heavier Than Water?

Ink can be heavy, depending on how much water it contains as well as its density and viscosity. For example, if there is too little water or oil pigments in ink, then it will be very thick and will weigh more than usual. On the other hand, if it is too much, then it will be thin and lightweight.

Is ink heavier than water? The short answer is Yes. Ink is just marginally heavier than water in density as in a room temperature of 25°C black ink is 1.072g/cm^3, red ink is 1.011g/cm^3, and blue ink is 1.0069g/cm^3. This means that it has slightly more weight than the water in a volume and will eventually slowly but surely sink.

Thus, in this article, we will show various factors that make ink heavier than water and why it will ultimately sink to the bottom of the water.

Does Ink Sink or Float in Water?

The water-based ink, which is made of pigments and other ingredients that are suspended in a solution, slowly sinks into the water after completely dissolving in water.

You can quickly examine the outcome with the help of a bit of science experiment by dropping the ink into a glass of water and observing; however, the result will be apparent, ink liquefying in water and slowly reaching the bottom of the glass.

This is because ink, like water, doesn’t have an equal density rate of 1 gram per milliliter.

Instead, every different colored ink has a density of over 1 gram per milliliter. (Red 1.011, Blue 1.0069, and Black 1.072).

Different Types of Inks Viscosity

At room temperature(25°C), these inks have the following behavior:-

Ink NameDensity(g/cm^3)Kinematic Viscosity(Pa*s)Dynamic Viscosity (mm^2/s)Sinking Rate In Water
Black1.0720.0048754.55Faster then red & blue
Red1.0110.000980.989Moderately Fast
Blue1.00690.000990.997Slow & Bearly

For other relevant viscosity and density of temperatures of black, red and blue ink check here.

Scientific Explanation Of Ink Sinking Into Water

The sinking of ink in water is due to many elements that connect with the chemicals used, including the ink’s capacity to expand and move over the surfaces of general solvent (water) or other co-solvent VOCs, sink or sink or dissolve altogether.

After the ink has been dissolved, it’s challenging to recover it back into the mix on its own. Water-based ink has a high solubility in water, which increases its coefficient when heated above ambient temperature. At lower temperatures, it is able to form water-soluble hydrates.

Here are some of the causes:


Density is the amount of mass per unit volume. Inks are made up of water, oil, and pigments, so their density is different.

Ink is denser than water because it has more water in it, more than 1g/cm^3.

This means that when ink sinks into the water, it takes more time for the ink to reach the bottom than if the ink was less dense.

This is because oil and pigments spread out in the water while water slows down the movement of these substances.

Surface Tension

Surface tension can be defined as the tendency of liquid molecules to pull together, creating tension within a body of liquid. For example, surface tension is why the surface of a lake will not always be perfectly smooth but may have ripples or even waves.

The same principle applies to ink sinking into a body of water. As the ink falls deeper into the water, some of its molecules stick to the water’s surface, pulling it down and preventing it from continuing to sink. This means that when you pour ink into a glass or bowl of water, you are likely to see ripples or waves on the water’s surface.

Stability Of The Colloidal Dispersion

When ink is dispersed in water, the stability of the colloidal dispersion is key to determining how heavy the ink will be.

If the colloidal dispersion is unstable, then the ink will be heavier than water and sink to the bottom.

However, if the colloidal dispersion is stable, then the ink will be less heavy and will slowly cover the whole surface of the water.

Shear Stability

One of the significant aspects of ink dissolving in water involves its shear stability. For instance, inks that are stable in their shear strength will fall very gradually, while those with low levels of shear stability sink quickly.

It’s also necessary to keep in mind that many different types of inks are not to be the same. Some are made for more excellent stability than others. It’s also possible for ink to exhibit shallow shear stability but still be highly stable overall.

The pH3 Effect

The pH3 in ink impacts the rate at which it drops at the bottom into the water, as well as its ability to be dry to the touch.

When the pH3 is lower, the ink will sink more slowly into the water and will not be dry to the touch.

However, when the pH3 is higher, the ink will dip into the water more quickly and will be dry to the touch much sooner.

Related Questions

Is Water-Based Ink Biodegradable?

It depends. The most commonly used flexographic Water-based inks are composed of over 50 percent water, and inactive ingredients can’t be considered compostable due to their large percentage (around 30 percent) of organic compounds that are derived from synthesis and are characterized by a slow degradability.

Is Waterman Ink Wet or Dry?

Waterman inks are wet inks that dry quickly. The faster the ink dries, the more saturated the dye is and the longer it will take to dry. In hindsight, Heavily saturated inks, such as Noodlers, will take a long time to dry.


So, is ink heavier than water? Yes, ink is just a fraction heavier than water due to a higher density compared to water.

This allows the ink to fall at the bottom of the water surface. However, the ink will take a while to cover the water entirely because of a combination of the surface tension and shear stability working against it.

The viscosity also plays a crucial role in speeding up the spreading process in the water, depending on which ink we are using. For example, if black ink is being utilized, the inks compounds will cover the water surface faster and reach the bottom first, thanks to its more substantial viscosity.

On the other hand, if we use blue ink, the sinking duration will be prolonged and murky.

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