Fountain pens need to be well cared for to function properly. Over time, dried ink, fibers and dust can build up in the nib, disrupting how the pen works and causing the pen to write poorly. Similarly, leaving ink in your pen for an extended period of time can prevent it from working effectively. As such, it’s important to clean your pen periodically or if you’re not going to use it for long. Here are a few tips on cleaning a fountain pen.
Cleaning a Fountain Pen
This post covers the basics of cleaning a fountain pen to ensure it’s performing its best. It also highlights how often you should clean your fountain pen.
Step 1: Disassemble the Pen
Start by uncapping the pen and removing the nib section from the barrel of the pen. You can do this by unscrewing the pen where the barrel and the nib section meet. If your pen uses a converter or cartridge, remove it from the nib section.
Step 2: Rinse
Hold the nib section of the pen under running water for a few seconds. The idea is to remove any easily removable ink and make the next step easier. Since hot or warm water may damage or warp some components of your pen, be sure to use only cold or room-temperature water. Another simple trick you can use to flush the nib is with a bulb syringe. Flush the nib until it runs clear.
Step 3: Soak
Prepare some clean water in a cup and place the nib section in it to soak. Once the water becomes saturated with ink, replace it. Repeat the process until the water remains clean. Bear in mind that some inks – especially those with high water resistance or saturation can take longer than others to clean out a pen. Regular tap water should work fine but consider distilled water if your tap water is high in mineral content.
Step 4: Dry
Remove the nib section from the water and give it about 12-24 hours to dry completely. For the best results, leave it in a small cup with the nib facing down and wrapped in a soft, smooth paper towel or cloth to help draw the water out of the nib section.
Step 5: Reassemble the Pen
Once the nib is completely dry, install the converter or cartridge if the pen uses one, and screw the nib section back into the barrel.
How Often to Clean a Fountain Pen
Even if your pen is still writing well, it’s advisable to clean it every 4-8 weeks. You should also clean your fountain pen whenever you’re changing from one ink to another.
Cleaning your fountain pen regularly will extend the life of your pen and keep it writing just as well as it was when new when filling out important documents or applying for a job. As necessary as it is to have a resume to apply for a job, it’s equally as important to maintain your fountain pen to get the best use out of it. Avoid using cleaners, detergents or liquid soap to clean your pen as they may damage some components. For tougher cleaning or dried ink, consider using a pen flush to revive your fountain pen.