Best Practices in Fountain Pen Maintenance & Cleaning

Part of what makes having a fountain pen enjoyable is learning how to keep it in good condition through the years. These writing instruments are carefully designed with many components that work together to ensure they last a lifetime. That is why they require a bit more attention than, for instance, ballpoint pens or rollerballs. Maintenance is key to keeping your fountain pens in tip-top shape!

 

Knowing where to start with fountain pen maintenance can be daunting. Fortunately, knowing the basics and best practices will get you far. Here are some reliable ways to clean and maintain your fountain pen:

 

Usage

Some people may write sparingly with the intent of not overusing their fountain pen. On the contrary, writing a lot is actually one of the best ways to keep your pen in good condition. This keeps the ink flowing and prevents it from drying out and causing clogs. It’s best to find an everyday pen that you like, such as the Opus 88 Koloro fountain pen.

 

There is no set rule on how often you should use your fountain pen since different inks and pens will dry out at different times. It will also depend on the conditions your fountain pen is exposed to, like temperature and humidity. However, most pens will be maintained well if used every few days or even once a week. The bottom line: write with your pen!

 

Cleaning

Fountain pens need regular cleaning to perform well. If not, you may experience common fountain pen problems, including ink flow issues, skipping, leaking, and even mold. Here’s how to clean your pen:

 

Flushing

Trying beautiful and dynamic inks makes fountain pen writing a more delightful experience, but it also requires some work. You may not want to mix inks with the same color, and some inks have different textures and finishes that can affect pen components (sheening and shimmering inks). In this case, it is to learn how to flush a fountain pen.

 

To do this, place the nib and feed into cool, clean water and draw water up into the pen. Flush the water out in the sink or in a separate cup. Repeat this process until the water coming out of the pen is clear. Let it air dry on a clean cloth or paper towel.

 

Deep Cleaning

While flushing a pen is usually sufficient, you may also wonder how to clean a fountain pen a little more thoroughly.

 

First, take off the cap and then unscrew the section. Remove any cartridges or converters before placing the section under cool running water for a few seconds. Then, get a clean cup of water and place your nib and section in it to soak. Replace the water when it becomes saturated and repeat this step until the water remains clear. Keep in mind that some inks will take longer to clean out of your pen.

 

Once the water is clear for more than an hour, remove the section from the water to dry. Place a soft cloth or paper towel in a cup and nestle the section nib-down in it. This will draw the water out of the nib. After this, you can refill and reassemble your pen.

 

You can also clean your pens further with something like the Sailor Maintenance Kit, which includes blunt syringes for inking and cleaning as well as a washing nozzle attachment. There are also cleaning concentrates you can use to get your fountain pen squeaky clean!

 

Storage

Last but not least is fountain pen storage. This is especially important if you keep ink in your fountain pens. Not only can they dry up, as mentioned earlier, but they can also cause leaks.

 

Image from @micahfinds on Instagram

 

To learn how to store fountain pens properly, fountain pen users must understand what conditions are best for fountain pen storage. These pens are best kept in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight to avoid damaging the pen and ink. Store them vertically with the nib pointing up or horizontally. Rotating pens every day can also keep the ink flowing properly to reduce clogs.

Image from @micahfinds on Instagram

 

If you have an especially large fountain pen collection, then it might be better to store your writing instruments in a collector’s box without any ink. Before you store a pen for a long period, it’s best to clean them thoroughly using the methods we mentioned above.

 

The Bottom Line

Fountain pens require plenty of maintenance, but that’s part of what makes them so engaging to use. There is always something new to learn, and apart from the pretty inks and smooth writing experience, that is why we keep coming back for more.

 

 

Written by EndlessPens Blogger Ramona Kabigting

Author: Ramona

2 comments

EndlessPens

Hi, Karen! You can usually accomplish this by flushing out the pen. If all else fails, when you’ve used up all the ink in your pen, leave it to soak overnight in a container filled with clear water. The water will draw out any residual ink from your pen. :)

Karen Nichols

How do you clean an inexpensive fountain pen that doesn’t unscrew to open apart from the bottom or the top? I am a newbie using fountain pens, and I’m enjoying writing with my current collection. Purchased my inks from Endless Pens.

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