How to clean fountain pens

A fountain pen is a wonderful tool, but it must be maintained regularly to ensure its longevity and function properly. Achieving peak performance with a fountain pen is only possible when it is cleaned regularly. Below, this article covers how to clean a number of the most standard fountain pens. We have also provided an extraordinary guide for cleaning fountain pen nibs and fountain pen ink issues. At the end of the article, we cover how to clean a few common fountain pen issues that can be resolved by a great cleaning!

How to clean fountain pens

Why Clean a Fountain Pen?

Capillary motion drives the operation of a fountain pen. This is a physical process in which a liquid draws itself into a narrow tube using surface tension. Ink flows down a channel in the feed and the nib slit of a fountain pen to the writing board.

Dust, paper fibers, and dried ink flakes may accumulate in the nib and feed over time, disrupting capillary action and causing the pen to write poorly. Slow or erratic ink flow, scratchiness, and skipping are all signs of a dirty pen.

When Should I Clean a Fountain Pen?

Fountain pens, even though they are still writing well, should be washed every 4 to 8 weeks. When switching from one ink to another, fountain pens should also be washed. This prevents inks from mixing inside the pen, resulting in muddy colors and the risk of inks reacting poorly with one another.

How To Clean A Fountain Pen

Cleaning fountain pens is one of the most critical aspects of using them. Your fountain pens can last a very long time if you clean them on a regular and proper basis. You will most likely encounter skips, ink flow problems, and probably mold if you do not clean your printer on a frequent and thorough basis. If you're new to the world of fountain pens, this article will teach you everything you need to know about cleaning one.

What You'll Need To Clean A Fountain Pen

Cleaning a fountain pen can take as little as a few minutes or as long as many days. It all depends on the type of pen you're washing, the type of ink used, and how long it's been since the pen was used or washed. Right after you’ve selected your fountain pen, we'll go over how to clean different fountain pens in the following segment, but first, you'll need to gather your supplies.

​Arrange the workspace as shown below to carefully and cautiously assemble the parts. Clear a table or desk and spread out a clean dish towel. Turn on a bright light and set out small dishes or cups in which small parts can be temporarily stored.


  • Water: ​Clean, room temperature water
  • ​Cotton swabs: Cotton swabs are used to apply grease to silicone grease, as well as removing ink buildup from the body of a pen.
  • Thin dish towels or paper towels: ​If you want to remove dried ink from a fountain pen, you can easily use paper towels or tissues (or cloth napkins, if you’re on a budget). However, dry, scratchy, or crumpled paper towels may be the cause of malfunctions in pens. Microfiber cloths are also very good at removing dried ink from capped fountain pens.
  • ​Pen flush (optional): ​For deep cleaning, a pen flush is recommended. This is to remove dried ink from inside a fountain pen. The Pen Flush is available for purchase online. Pen flush can be made by mixing one part household ammonia with ten parts water. After the pen is thoroughly rinsed, be sure to wash your hands and all surfaces that may have come into contact with the pen. To ensure no ammonia remains in or on the pen, do not use ammonia in a pen that contains aluminum parts.
  • Bulb syringe: ​This paintbrush is intended for use in a fountain pen and has the style of a brush made for this purpose. Ideal for giving your fountain pen a quick clean, it is used with water or in an ultrasonic cleaner to flush away old ink.
  • ​​Bowls: ​Shallow, wide mouth

A bottle of water is the most basic thing you'll need to clean a fountain pen. I prefer a small glass jar, but any container that can hold water, such as a plastic container, will suffice. If your pen has a lot of dried-up ink in it, you will need to use ammonia to loosen it up.

If you need to clean your pens more thoroughly, you should consider purchasing an ultrasonic cleaner. These can be used to shake loose ink that has become lodged in the feed, as well as to circulate water through the various pen pieces. A bulb syringe is another item that can help move water through the pen and feed. An ultrasonic cleaner and bulb syringe can really speed up the cleaning process.

Finally, after you've finished washing your pens, you'll need a comfortable place to dry them. Before you begin, you'll need a flat surface to lay your pens on, such as a countertop or even a cookie sheet (which I prefer because I can move it if necessary), as well as some paper towels to soak up the water.


How to clean fountain pens - Basic Easy Steps

If your pen writes well and you won't be changing inks, a simple cleaning should suffice.

Step 1: Disassemble the Pen

First, remove the cap from the pen. Then, unscrew the nib section from the barrel (also known as the grip section or simply "the section"). Remove the cartridge or adapter from the nib portion if your fountain pen uses one.

Step 2: Rinse the Section

For a few seconds, hold the nib segment under cold, flowing water. This will remove any easily removable ink and speed up the next step.

Step 3: Soak the Section

Make a cup of clean water and soak the nib portion in it. When the water becomes saturated with ink, replace it. Repeat for at least an hour, or until the water is clear. It should be noted that certain inks, especially those that are highly saturated or water-resistant, can take longer to clean out of a pen than others.

Step 4: Dry the Section

Take the nib section out of the water and allow it to dry fully. This process can take up to 24 hours. To get the best results, place it in a small cup, nib-down, with the nib wrapped in a warm, smooth cloth or paper towel to help draw the water out of the nib part.

Step 5: Reassemble the Pen

Install the cartridge or adapter, if the pen has one, and screw the nib portion back into the barrel until it is dry.

How to Flush a Fountain Pen

If your pen isn't writing well or you want to adjust the ink, we suggest flushing it to give it a thorough cleaning. Flushing basically refers to the process of pushing water through the nib segment until it is clean.

If the pen has a converter or a built-in filling device, follow these steps:

Step 1: Disassemble the Pen and Rinse the Section

Follow steps one and two of the Basic Cleaning instructions above to disassemble and rinse the pen.

Step 2: Flush the Filling System

Place the converter or barrel's open end in a cup of water. Fill and empty the ink chamber until it is fully empty.

Step 3: Partially Assemble the Pen

Place the nib in a cup of water after reconnecting the converter or barrel to the nib portion.

Step 4: Flush the Feed

To cycle water in and out of the pen, use the converter or the built-in filling device. Replace the water if it becomes filled with ink and repeat until no more ink is visible while moving water out of the pen.

Step 5: Dry the Section and Reassemble the Pen

Dry and reassemble the pen, following steps four and five of the basic Cleaning instructions.

​How to Clean a Fountain Pen by Type

​ Below are detailed instructions for cleaning the four most common types of fountain pens. You'll learn how to clean fountain pens, cartridge/converters, and piston fillers. At the end of this article, there is a special section on cleaning fountain pen nibs that applies to all four fountain pen types. Fountain pen nibs need special care in order to work properly. Ultimately, it is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully when it comes to cleaning fountain pen nibs.

How to Clean an Eyedropper Fountain Pen

An eyedropper fountain pen is the simplest fountain pen to use, and it can be cleaned in the most straightforward way with a few steps. First, unscrew the nib from the barrel of the pen. Turn the ink cap counterclockwise until it clicks into place, and unscrew that end of the pen. Empty the ink out of the barrel, and rinse the barrel thoroughly with tepid water. The nib can be cleaned according to the instructions below if necessary.

If your pen tip has dried ink inside, it is likely that the ink in the pen barrel has also dried. To successfully flush the barrel, run warm water or a small amount of ink flush into the barrel. After cleaning the barrel, allow it to dry completely on a soft dish towel or paper towel before reassembling and filling the pen.

How to Clean Fountain Pens

​How to Clean a Vacuum Filler Fountain Pen

To clean fountain pens, first, empty the ink out of the pen. Fill two shallow bowls with tepid water on the work table and pour the ink into the bowls.

Remove the pen tip from the bowl of clean water, place it gently in the bowl, and tip the bowl so that the water drains. Draw a line down the pen's barrel to remove excess water and dry it completely.

Repeat this step with the same amount of water until the water coming out of the pen runs clear. Allow the pen to completely dry before refilling with ink.

How to Clean a Fountain Pen Nib

This provides a detailed procedure for cleaning the nib of a fountain pen. Pay close attention to the steps so that you do not damage the nib while removing it from the pen barrel, emptying the ink, and separating it from the cartridge. The section should have made clear that the nib is already removed from the pen body and can be safely separated from the cartridge or converter.

The first thing to do in case your pen has ink on the nib is to take the pen and put it underwater. This will remove any excess ink that may be on the nib.

Once the water has cleared, place the pen in a bowl of lukewarm water. After soaking for 10 minutes, gently poke the nib with a bulb syringe and remove any residual ink with dry paper towels. Repeat until all remaining ink has been removed with dry paper towels and the nib section is completely clear.

After cleaning the pen, take a small piece of paper towel and gently rub the tip of the nib so as to remove any excess ink. Allow the pen to dry for at least 20 minutes before reassembling. Never use a cloth or paper towel to clean your fountain pen unless that cloth has been specifically designed for the purpose.

Fountain Pen Cleaning Accessories

In the event that the pen does not have a converter or built-in filling system, a wellspring write cleaning accessory is a crucial expansion. A cleaning accessory could be a syringe or pipette that connects to the write like a converter, permitting you to flush the write legitimately. It's moreover helpful for those who like to clean a modest bunch of pens at once. A syringe or pipette holds more water than a converter, so it's less time devouring to flush a write employing a cleaning embellishment.

Fountain Pen Cleaning Kits

A fountain pen cleaning pack as a rule incorporates a specialized syringe, pipette, or cartridge-like connection. Be beyond any doubt to check carefully and make beyond any doubt the pack and write are congruous. Underneath, we appear how to utilize the Platinum fountain pen Ink Cleaner Unit.

1. Remove the cartridge or converter and install the bulb into the grip section.

2. Flush

How to Clean Fountain Pens - Advanced Cleaning Techniques

With a few fountain pens, the nib area can be encourage dismantled, allowing an indeed more intensive cleaning. Typically, especially valuable when the pen has been filled with a tall upkeep ink, like sparkle press rankle pigment-based inks. Be greatly cautious when taking the nib area separated, and don't attempt to constrain the nib out on the off chance that it feels stuck. Doing this may void any manufacturer's warranty your pen might have, and on the off chance that you aren't cautious, this could rapidly turn your pen cleaning into a pen ruining. Be beyond any doubt to segregate the cartridge or converter sometime recently endeavoring to expel the nib and nourish.

Have nibs and nourishes that can be essentially pulled out. Carefully check to see in case the nib and nourish must be arranged in a particular way within the hold segment.

Other pens may utilize a screw-in nib unit, with the nib and nourish introduced in a detachable nib collar (cases of such pens incorporate metal Kaweco fountain pens ). To avoid harming the threading on the collar or segment of these pens, unscrew the whole nib unit to begin with. At that point, drag the nib and bolster out of the collar.

Once the nib and nourish have been expelled from the segment, wash all three and let them drench for many hours. Lay them out on a cloth or paper towel to dry, at that point put the nib and bolster back into the area and reassemble the pen.

How to Clean a Converter

A few converters can be dismantled, permitting you to clean ink or water that has gotten to be stuck behind the piston.

Step 1: Remove the Piston Ring

Turn the converter's handle clockwise to drag the cylinder all the way up. Utilize a grippy fabric like an elastic jolt hold to firmly get a handle on the metal ring on the converter. Turn counterclockwise to remove the ring.

Step 2: Remove the Piston Mechanism and Clean

Gently drag on the converter's handle to drag the cylinder instrument out. Clean the ink chamber and let it dry totally.

How to Use Fountain Pen Cleaning Solutions

In some cases, water isn't enough to clean out a write totally. A few companies make cleaning arrangements particularly planned for wellspring pens. Utilize a commercial cleaning arrangement by taking after these steps:

  • Step 1: Flush and flush or drench the nib segment of the write with plain water utilizing information from the basic Cleaning Flushing
  • Step 2: Plan the cleaning arrangement, taking after any information recorded on its bundling. To form the solution last longer, exchange a number of milliliters to a littler bottle or purge ink vial and spare the rest for future cleanings.
  • Step 3: Soak the nib segment within the cleaning arrangement per the instructions. If the write encompasses a converter or built-in filling framework, utilize it to drag the cleaning arrangement into the nib segment. Note: In our encounter, there shouldn't be any hurt in letting your write splash for longer than the manufacturer's suggested time.
  • Step 4: Wash and flush or splash the nib segment with plain water. Any cleaning arrangement cleared out within the write may interfere with the ink stream.
  • Step 5: Dry the nib segment and reassemble the write.

Homemade Cleaning Solutions for How to Clean a Fountain Pen

You'll clean your pens utilizing common family cleaners. Never utilize rubbing Liquor or acetone to clean your pens. Uncovering pens to these substances can irreversibly harm the pen. Instead, utilize one of these arrangements:

  • Dishwashing Cleanser: Blend a little sum of dishwashing cleanser with water.
  • Ammonia: For exceptionally extreme clogs or inks that are especially difficult to clean, you'll utilize a 10-to-1 mixture of water and ammonia. Don't use alkali to clean aluminum, brass, or copper write components since alkali can erode these metals.
  • Bleach: On the off chance that all else comes up short, you'll be able to try cleaning the write with an awfully weakened (roughly 20-to-1 proportion) blend of water and bleach. Bleach can be harmful to a few write components, so it ought to as it was being utilized as a final resort. Don't soak pen parts in a fade blend for long periods of time. Never utilize alkali and dye together, as they will respond to make poisonous vapors.

Fountain Pen Troubleshooting

If a pen has a problem that isn't resolved by using the normal cleaning process, it might need a more thorough cleaning. This section will show you how to properly clean and maintain your writing instruments.

Fountain Pen Skipping

If a wood fountain pen begins to skip when writing, then there is not enough ink in the ink cartridge. This problem can be difficult to fix, but it is necessary for the pen to work properly. You'll need to open up the pen and carefully clean out any dried ink or debris from the feed chamber. The pen should be thoroughly cleaned and then re-filled with ink.

To fix this problem, move the nib and feed fix this problem, disassemble the pen, soak the nib and feed, and flush the pen with water or pen flush until the water runs clear. If this is a recurring problem, use a thinner, self-lubricating ink d. Consult the pen manufacturer to obtain information on recommended self-lubricating inks. apart. Then, flush the pen with water to clear any lingering ink. If this occurs frequently, take apart the pen, choose a thinner, self-lubricating ink, and see if that will solve the issue. Consult the manufacturer for other recommended ink.

If your fountain pen is scratchy, there may be several reasons for the scratchiness. A fountain pen repair technician can often fix a scratchy fountain pen by realigning the nib and repairing or replacing the feed.

To effectively clean a fountain pen, it is necessary to use a cleaning solution for the device. A commonly used fountain pen flush recipe is 1 part household ammonia to 10 parts water. Pen cleaning fluids can also be purchased from pen suppliers.


General Tips and Tricks

If your tap water is difficult (incorporates a tall mineral content), it may take off behind mineral stores within the bolster or barrel when the water vanishes. This will cause stream issues. We prescribe utilizing refined or mollified water when cleaning your wellspring pens.

Use as it were cold or room temperature water when cleaning a wellspring write. Hot water may twist or harm a few components.

If you're performing an essential cleaning of your fountain pen and need to save the ink within the cartridge or converter, utilize a chunk of tape to seal the opening of the cartridge or converter to keep it from drying out.

Press rankle, pigmented, and gleaming inks clearly labeled for fountain pen utilize are not hurtful to pens. Be that as it may, in the event that you may not be employing a pen filled with one of these inks for a week or longer, we suggest flushing the pen.

For fountain pens that have ink stains within the barrel or converter, Mariner Shikiori Do you may be able to remove the stains. Clean the pen as typical, at that point fill the pen with the ink. Take off the pen overnight, at that point flush the ink from the pen and clean once more. This won't continuously work, but it may be a lifesaver for recolored demonstrator pens.

How to Clean Piston Fountain Pens

Cylinder fountain pens are basic to function, but getting all the ink out can be a chore. Turn the cylinder to purge out any remaining ink. Fill a bowl with water and embed the nib unit. Fill and purge until the water runs clear or your tolerance runs out. I flick the write to purge out any remaining water, but take care to hold onto your pen and observe where you flick–you do not need to mangle your nib on the side of the kitchen sink.

One of the foremost troublesome sorts of pens to clean is Vacuum-filler fountain pens. It fair appears that getting all the ink out requires a horrendous part of plunging, but unless you'll dismantle the pen (as you'll be able with a Conid Bulkfiller), you basically need to rinse and rehash. Purge the ink out, drag out the plunger, put the nib unit in clean water, and plunge. I gently shake the pen to assist evacuate the ink from the barrel dividers. Empty and repeat until the water is as clear as you'll be able to get it.

Once in a while, ink spills into pen caps, so I usually flush out my caps when I'm cleaning my pens. Afterward, I utilize a Q-Tip to wipe out any remaining ink and dry the writing cap. I take off the cap upright on a paper towel to total the drying process. Cleaning your fountain pen can get a bit messy, you could get ink in your skin or clothes but don’t worry there are a series of household products and methods to help you remove these undesired ink stains.

Dealing with Sticky Pistons/Converters

In some cases, cylinders get sticky and are troublesome to move. In case the wellspring write features a detachable nib (as Pelikans do), the issue is effectively remedied. Essentially withdraw the cylinder, expel the nib unit, put a bit of silicone oil on a toothpick, and tenderly rub the oil onto the dividers of the barrel as near to the cylinder seal as conceivable. You do not require much. Move the cylinder in and out to grease up the pen and reinsert the nib unit.

A few converters (such as Platinum and Mariner) can too be dismantled and greased up. I ought to do this very regularly with Platinum converters which get gummed up effectively. Unscrew the gold/silver parcel (getting it started can sometimes be difficult. Use rubber gloves if you need to get a better grip).

Pull out the cylinder get together carefully. On Platinum converters, there's a minor gasket that comes off and can effectively be misplaced, so do this at a table or counter.

Dry off the end and spread a little sum of silicone oil on the parcel that touches the converter sides. Reassemble and move the cylinder in and out until it works easily.

Obviously, there's a part more to fountain pen support than cleaning and greasing up pistons/converters. But this article gives a beginning point.

How regularly you clean your pens is truly up to you. You will choose a turn system as I described within the presentation. Otherwise, you may utilize your pens until the ink runs dry and clean them sometime recently refilling. Most present-day fountain pen inks won't harm your fountain pens (but utilize additional caution with vintage pens). In case you utilize profoundly immersed inks and/or press irritate inks, clean your pens more frequently.

Cleaning your fountain pens truly can be a pleasant, zen-like errand. There's something very fulfilling almost purging a write, flushing it clean, and preparing it for a modern color of ink. Just do not hold up to do your whole collection on one day.

How to Clean a Fountain Pen with Dried Ink

Sometimes pens are left unused for a short period of time. While the ink in these pens is water-based, it does not evaporate completely. Because the water has evaporated, there will be deposits of dry, flaky ink that can be difficult to clean.

To clean a pen, remove the writing tip and soak it in warm water. It's best to immerse the pen in water for up to 48 hours so the ink in the cartridge can drain out. After this, you need to use a bulb syringe to let out the excess water and use a brush to clean the nib of any dried ink. Finally, get your refilled pen ready for use by following the steps above.

How to Store a Fountain Pen

To keep fountain pens running smoothly, practice constant pen care, you will notice the difference when holding it. Part of that is understanding how to clean a fountain pen, but also how to store one. Whether it's a monthly pen cleaning or a weekly routine, regularly taking care of your fountain pen will ensure that it lasts longer and is more enjoyable to use.

A fountain pen should be stored in a pen holder or a cup if it has dried out. To prevent the ink in a fountain pen from drying out, keep it capped and in a safe place. The ink inside a fountain pen should also be completely cleared out every year or two. Pen cases are made for storing pens that have been flushed with water. Never store filled pens inside one.

For pens that are rarely used, remove ink from the pen and clean them after each use. It's also a good idea to clean and dry pens that you'll store for weeks at a time. Be sure to allow the pen and the nib to completely dry before storing them. A fountain pen should be stored in a pen holder or a cup if it has dried out. Putting a fountain pen with its cap off will keep the ink inside from drying out.

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