Which Black Ink Should you use?

If you’re confused about which black ink you should use for which cardmaking and paper crafting projects, you’re not alone!  Stampin’ Up! has three different black ink pads at this time, and I’ve had enough customers ask about which one they should use, that I thought they’re not the only ones who are puzzled.

Stampin' Up!'s Basic Black Ink Pad

The Basic Black Ink Pad is a dye ink, which means it’s water-based.  It has been a staple in my craft room for years – that is until Stampin’ Up! changed to the firm foam ink pads a few years ago.  Since then their manufacturer has had problems coming up with a formula that won’t smear on Whisper White or Very Vanilla card stock.  You’ve probably noticed that these card stocks are much smoother than the rest of Stampin’ Up! card stocks. They’re actually coated with something to make them that way, and this makes for a great surface for images and sentiments.  Unless your ink smears.

Since the new formula of Basic Black can make a mess on coated card stocks, I’ve stopped recommending this ink to my customers.  There are other black inks that don’t smear, and will serve specific purposes at the same time.

Black StazOn Ink from Stampin' Up!

Stampin’ Up! has carried Black StazOn Ink for a long time.  It is what’s called a solvent ink, and is fast-drying and permanent.  In addition to card stock, it can be used on non-porous surfaces, like plastic, metal, acrylic, glass, etc. One of the advantages of StazOn Ink is that it is waterproof.  If you are going to color an image with watercolors or with water-based Markers and Blender Pens, StazOn won’t run.  However, it will run with Blendabilities Alcohol Markers, so don’t use them together.

Black StazOn is my ink of choice when I use the Stamp-a-ma-jig.  Water-based inks don’t dry well on the Stamp-a-ma-jig’s plastic image sheet, which means you can end up with smudges on your work.  😥

Solvent ink requires a different cleaning solution than Stampin’ Up!’s dye inks.  StazOn Cleaner is oil-based, and will clean Black StazOn off your stamps quickly and easily.  It’s best to clean StazOn from your stamps right away to prevent staining.

You CAN use StazOn with photopolymer stamps, but it’s even more important to clean them right away because solvent ink can damage the photopolymer if left in contact for a long timeStazOn Cleaner should also be thoroughly removed from photopolymer stamps.   

When I use StazOn Cleaner on a stamp, whether rubber or photopolymer, I always wipe it off the stamp, then rub the stamp on the Stampin’ Scrub with Stampin’ Mist Cleaner.  This will get rid of any oily residue left by the cleaner, and help protect and condition the stamps.

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink

Tuxedo Black Memento Ink is a recent addition to the inks sold by Stampin’ Up!  It’s a water-based ink, and the black is bright and well-saturated.  It’s great for sentiments AND images.  The best thing about it is that it’s the perfect ink for Blendabilities as It won’t run when using alcohol markers. 

Tuxedo Black Memento Ink has replaced Stampin’ Up!’s Basic Black in my studioIt doesn’t require the special cleaning solution that StazOn does, so I will use it for everything that doesn’t need a waterproof ink.

DON’T FORGET THE REFILLS!  Whenever you order an ink pad, be sure to order the refills to go with it.  You really don’t want to be in the middle of a project and find that your ink pad is drying out and have to wait to order the refill before you can finish the project!

Leave me a comment and let me know if this has helped clear up any confusion about which black ink you should use!

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5 Responses to Which Black Ink Should you use?

  1. Julia January 14, 2015 at 11:42 am #

    Sage, I have tried all of the above inks and eventually found one that I like even better than any of them. It is a nice really black black, it never smears on any surface, is quick drying and works with all markers and watercolors. With this one, you never have to have any other black ink pad unless you are going to be heat embossing. It is made my Memories and is called India Ink. I know it is not a Stampin Up product, but it truly is the best on any market. And they do have refills for it too. Stampin Up needs to sell this ink and forget about the rest. In my humble opinion. LOL!

  2. sarah September 2, 2016 at 4:51 am #

    Can i use memento ink on candles?

    • Sage September 2, 2016 at 1:22 pm #

      I don’t know, Sarah. I haven’t tried it. You may have to experiment to find out.

  3. Andrea January 23, 2017 at 10:19 am #

    Every time I go to use any type of marker, I can’t remember which ink to use. Thank you. Now I wrote it down, and stuck the paper to my pens.

    • Sage January 23, 2017 at 5:46 pm #

      Glad to help, Andrea. I have a more recent video about the black inks, and what works best if you’re coloring stamped images. You can even download a summary of what I covered in the video. Here’s the link: link to youtu.be

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