Fountain pens are popular and, without a question, costly. As a result, appropriate storage is critical. But, before you do anything else, you need to know how to store a fountain pen so that it retains its quality and function.
You must be prepared to maintain your pen efficiency in a variety of settings and places as you go through them. Let's look at some of the best methods to keep your prized fountain pens secure.
The proper storage of a fountain pen is an important element of its maintenance and upkeep. Inadequate storage might result in leaking or damage to the tube, feeder, and/or nib. Throughout this post, we will discuss many methods for storing a fountain pen, whether at home, the office, or while traveling. We've included a decision tree below that explains how the environment and length of usage might impact your storage options.
A fountain pen should be stored in a cool, dry area, away from direct sunlight, and in either a vertical or horizontal posture, with the nib section facing up or sideways. When traveling, it is recommended to keep a fountain pen in a travel case, with the ink converter either empty or full.
The suggested storage period for a fountain pen is determined by the amount of ink in the reservoir and its location. Below we show the suggested storage time and how to store a fountain pen for each location and ink level.
How To Carry Fountain Pens In Your Pocket For Everyday Use
If you're going to use your fountain pen on a regular basis, you'll want to know how to carry it in your pocket. While the results aren't the sensationalized bursting ink in your face you'd see on TV, it does pay to be cautious in order to protect your jeans or reduce ink stains on your hand.
This may appear to be an easy task. Putting a pen in your pocket should be as simple as slipping it in, but fountain pens' ink behaves differently (especially if they have piston fillers). Because they are water-based inks, they have a propensity to leak if your pen is damaged or subjected to specific circumstances.
That being stated, while putting your pen in your pocket, avoid putting it in your side or back pocket. This may cause the air inside the reservoir to heat up and expand, causing any ink inside the converter or tank to leak out. While the repercussions may be as simple as ink overflowing the cap of your pen or collecting in the feeder, you don't want the worst-case scenario to occur, which is ink staining your clothes.
The easiest method to transport them is upright in your shirt pocket. As it will be adequately ventilated, your body heat will have little effect on it. You may take further measures by using a pocket protector to ensure that any leak does not come into direct touch with your garments. Also, it is recommended to transport your modern pen ink in an ink bottle of your favorite brand.
Gravity and capillary action are used by fountain pens to transfer ink from the pen to the paper. By keeping it upright, gravity will pull the ink down to the bottom of the converter's tube, forcing the air up towards the nib. If the air expands due to heat, the pressure will not cause any ink to spill out of the nib and will just provide an easier path for the hot air to follow out of the pen.
How to Store a Fountain Pen: Time Length Recommendation
Position of Storage & Time Length of Storage
- Horizontal without ink - Up to a year
- Horizontal with ink - No more than two weeks
- Vertical without ink - Up to a year
- Vertical with ink - No more than a month
Fountain Pen Storage Basics
It is critical to clean the nib of any ink before storing your fountain pen. This is done to keep the ink from drying on the nib and/or pooling within the cap, eventually clogging up the nib. If the fountain pen will not be used for several days, the ink reservoir does not need to be drained. If the fountain pen will be stored for longer than a month, the ink reservoir should be drained.
After cleaning the nib of a fountain pen, it should be capped. Capping, also known as posting, is the act of putting the cap over the nib until the cap can no longer be lowered any further. Once the cap has been put all the way down, some fountain pens make a gentle click. This protects the nib from harm and keeps the ink within the fountain pen from drying out.
Fountain Pen Storage Basics: Nib Up or Down
The objective of keeping your fountain pen is to safeguard the internal mechanics, keep the ink from drying out, and preventing ink from pooling in the feeder or nib. The first step to know how to store a fountain pen is to determine where it will be stored.
Vertically, with the fountain pen nib pointing upwards, and horizontally, with the nib facing sideways are the two suggested orientations. Fountain pens should never be kept upright with the nib looking down. Gravity will draw the ink flow towards the feeder and nib, causing it to pool in the feeder, block the nib, and seep into the cap through the nib. Leakage and clogging will not only cause problems for the user but will also harm the fountain pen's internal mechanics.
While the position is ultimately determined by user choice, there are several things to consider before making a decision. If the ink in the fountain pen has run out, any position is an option. If your fountain pen's cartridges are full of ink, however, both orientations provide distinct benefits. This is due to the fact that a fountain pen relies on capillary action or the flow of liquid.
When a pen is filled with ink, the horizontal positions maintain the nib moist while preventing gravity from drawing all of the ink into the feeder, nib, and cap. This reduces the possibility of leaking while allowing the pen to write quickly after being removed from storage. However, because this posture keeps the nib moist, it might result in ink pooling in the feeder and nib and/or drying.
When a fountain pen is filled with ink, the pen holds the bottled ink in place by gravity. The vertical position of ink creates the effect of gravity pulling the ink to the back of the pen — away from the nib and cap. This prevents leaks to the nib and feeder that can occur due to clogged ink reservoirs, but it alters the way the pen writes after being brought back into storage from use. The ink pools towards the back and may take a few seconds for the nib to refill and start writing.
Fountain Pen Storage Basics: Environment
Keeping fountain pens in the dark is not ideal, but it's also not detrimental to their condition. Keeping pens away from sunlight is crucial to keep them from drying out, but there are also other ways to protect pens from heat and humidity. When your pen heats up, either because it's exposed to direct sunlight or the air inside the casing becomes too humid, you risk having ink leak from the tip of your pen. Be sure to keep your fountain pen away from heat and humidity and store your writing instrument in a cool, dry place.
Having a fountain pen stand is essential for any fountain pen collector. This enables the automatic regulation of the temperature and atmosphere around the fountain pens, as well as preventing lost pens, damaged nibs, and dry or leaking ink.
Temperature can have a marked effect on pens, particularly those with water-based ink. Fountain pens and rollerballs are notorious for their effects at high temperatures and require extra care when in use.
Cold weather can cause the ink to freeze. This causes the ink to expand, crack the cartridge converter, and eventually leak. If this happens to your pen, you may experience usage issues down the line or leakage when it heats up again. Low temperatures can also cause some fountain pen inks to separate. If this happens, a blockage can occur in your nib and feed, preventing the ink from flowing freely through the pen.
Very hot temperatures will cause your ink to dry faster, causing the nib to be drier when writing. The drier the nib, the faster you'll write. Some fountain pen users avoid using hot weather pens because of the drying aspect of these temperatures. For others, this means they have more ink in their pens than usual and they usually use it faster than usual.
We recommend keeping your pens at a comfortable room temperature, such as between 18° and 22°C. If you keep them at a constant temperature, the ink inside should remain stable. To store a fountain pen safely remember to avoid extremes in temperature that can cause damage to the pen.
How To Store Fountain Pens On Your Desk
The same principle applies to pens. However, it depends on which pen you have when you are storing them on your desk.
Storing your pen upright with a pen case or pen holder will prevent it from leaking and will make sure that your pen doesn’t dry out if left there. However, the nib size of your pen is important as it tends to get drier over time and will take longer to start up after it has been stored at an angle. Letting your pen sit horizontally will allow it to start up easier and keep the nib dry. This will mean that it will function properly and not have to be frequently adjusted.
Having the pen stored nib assembly up will lead to a dry ink reserve. If the nib of your pen isn’t working properly, you can store your pen with the nib facing up to ensure that your pen continues to function properly. Depending on the type of pen you are using (Gel pen, calligraphy pen, etc) you can choose whether to store it standing up or nib down. Most pens are designed to write more smoothly if stored nib down, but some fountain pens can write with more ease when standing up.
Properly maintaining fountain pens isn't supposed to require you to worry about the state of their ink supply. Just make sure that you don't leave your fountain pens in a hot place or where sunlight can cause their ink to dry up.
How to Store Fountain Pens when Not in Use
In general, fountain pens are not used frequently. They are mainly used on special occasions such as weddings or conferences. However, users can also use them on a daily basis. If you want to remove the ink from your pen, cleaning it is the best way to go about it. The ink in a fountain pen does tend to get clogged up from time to time. However, the dried ink inside can cause all kinds of problems. So, it's best to empty the pen and let it dry out before filling it up again.
There are a lot of options that you can use to keep your fountain pens in good shape, such as display cases, pen pouches, and writing cases. You can even use the original box that the pen came in to store the pen. You do not use your pen whether traveling or going outside for any reason. The majority of fountain pens with good designs do not leak. However, when traveling, carry or keep your pens with their points up wherever feasible.
Every pen comes with a clip that allows you to keep it in your shirt's pocket. The clip also allows you to keep the pen in many smaller spaces such as pockets, drawers, or briefcases.
If you are traveling with your fountain pen, the ink level will be affected by temperature and pressure. These changes can occur at random times, which makes them difficult to predict. This change in ink storage level may be more prominent when the pen is stored with the nib facing up. To keep your fountain pens safe and in good condition, store them in a cool place. Avoid extreme temperatures like very cold or very hot for storing pens. This kind of care can increase the lifespan of your pen and you can use it again with original quality and services.
Flying with a Fountain Pen
There is a difference in storage methods between a fountain pen and a standard ballpoint pen during travel. Fountain pens are more sensitive to changes in temperature and altitude, leading to the degradation of ink quality and inconsistency of writing. Flying is one of the most stressful methods of travel for a pen. The pressure inside the ink cartridge increases as a result of the changes in cabin pressure. This causes air bubbles to form in ink and push ink out through the nib, causing a leak. Leaking ink 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.
The biggest risk of leakage is during take-off because the plane won’t pressurize until it reaches altitude. Many fountain pen inks expand and become more vulnerable to leakage as the temperature and air pressure rise. Once the plane has stabilized at an altitude of 6,000 feet, the fountain pen can be used with no fear of leakage. However, keep in mind that if one is taking a flight with an ink-filled cartridge, there is a risk of the pen running dry through lack of ink while on the ground.
How to Travel with Fountain Pens - Avoiding Leaks
Though most contemporary fountain pens do not leak readily, if you are traveling or simply going about your daily business with a full pen, store or carry it with the writing point up whenever feasible - the clip on a fountain pen is designed to allow pens to be carried tip up in a shirt pocket.
Changes in air pressure and temperature can cause the amount of ink to fluctuate when flying with a fountain pen; for more information, visit our article on flying with a fountain pen. When the nib is stored up, there is less likelihood of ink rising into the cap. Even when not in use, full pens should be kept with the tip up whenever feasible.
Traveling with Fountain Pens:
1 - Before traveling, empty the ink reservoir and clean the fountain pen.
2 - Fill the ink reservoir all the way to the top. There is no air to expand in a full ink reservoir, preventing leaking.
3 - If you want to fill your fountain pen all the way to the top, store it vertically, with the nib pointing upwards, so the ink pools at the rear of the fountain pen rather than near the tip.
4- Keep the fountain pen(s) in a separate bag from your other possessions so that if a leak happens, it does not damage your other items.
5- A frequent piece of advice is to store your fountain pens in a plastic bag, however, this might be harmful to your health.
6- A fountain pen travel case might be a better option.
Fountain Pen Cases
Fountain pen cases are classified into four types: storage boxes for fountain pens, exhibition cases for fountain pens, travel cases for fountain pens, and leather fountain pen cases. Storage boxes and display cases are ideal for workplace storage, whilst the travel case and leather fountain pen case are ideal for travel. Finally, all of the cases that will be described may be used to keep your pens, but the choice is entirely up to your personal preference, price range, and requirement.
Fountain Pen Storage Box
Fountain pen storage boxes are typically horizontal and rectangular in shape (similar in design to a dresser drawer). To preserve the pen's exterior, it is lined with suede, felt, or cotton flannel. When you store a fountain pen in velvet-lined storage cases, exercise caution. The cloth contains nylon strands that might harm the pen's body. Boxes with plastic dividers can potentially damage the fountain pen's body.
Fountain Pen Display Cases
A fountain pen display case can look like a storage box, or it can be a vertical box with a glass panel in the lid. These cases are a fantastic way to show off your vast fountain pen collection. Because of the glass panel, it is vital to avoid storing the case in an area that is in direct sunlight. If you don’t, the glass will act as a magnifier, focusing the light on the fountain pens, running the risk of damaging your pens or causing them to leak.
Fountain Pen Travel Case
A fountain pen travel case might be tiny and made of leather, but it can also be made of plastic or wood. Because these cases aim to protect the pens while they travel, they are not necessarily the most attractive or colorful containers. However, the functionality should take precedence over beautiful aesthetics in this situation. These bags frequently feature suede or felt lining and straps that secure the pens in place, preventing them from moving about while traveling. They are very compact, fitting into a back pocket or a travel bag.
Leather Fountain Pen Cases
A leather fountain pen case is a subcategory of the broader category of travel cases. These more costly cases are favored by fountain pen users because they are more aesthetically pleasing than other travel cases and imply a more affluent lifestyle. They are lined with plush fabric to protect your pens when traveling. The leather cases are small enough to put in a back pocket or a travel bag.
All of these storage alternatives are simple and practical methods to keep your pens organized. However, when it comes to office storage, the display case and storage box are the finest options. The leather pen case and travel case are unquestionably useful while traveling.
Never Leave It Inked For a Prolonged Time In your Pen
If you are going to store your pen, make sure that it is fully empty. It is better to take the time to refill it than to risk ruining it due to moisture.
If you don’t clean it, it could lead to the parts inside the pen drying out, ruining your pen. This is especially dangerous for the ink cartridge. You definitely don’t want to use a dried-out pen on important documents, so it’s best to clean your pen every once in a while.
If you own a fountain pen collection, you must store them in a safe place so that they will maintain their best performance. This is vital since it is important to know how to store fountain pens properly. The above tips will help you to store your fountain pens for long-time usage. With proper care and storage, your fountain pen collection will serve you for a lifetime.
Storing a modern fountain pen isn't as hard as you think - but it does take some forethought and preparation. Many fountain pen collectors find that they accumulate additional vintage pens over time, which can make storage more complicated. There are several different ways to store pens, and it's important to figure out which method works best for you. By storing fountain pens like this, you'll ensure that your pens won't dry out and become unusable for years to come.