Pamper Your Fountain Pen: How to Clean One

Whether you are an old or new owner and user of luxury fountain pens, you’re certainly going to have questions about how to care for them. Fountain pens rely on capillary action to distribute the ink to the tip of the nib. It is inevitable to have foreign particles, fibers, and clusters of dried solvents of ink build up in the feed that interrupts the capillary action and affecting the writing of the pen. If one day you notice that your fountain pen’s writing is inconsistent or slow, then it is high time to refill the ink. If the ink is completely used up, then it is best to clean out the old ink. Here are some basic reminders to observe on how to clean a fountain pen:

Basic Parts of the Fountain Pen

Almost all fountain pens are made up of these basic gears: a nib (or the point of the pen, this is the decorative metal writing tip that is usually available in stainless steel, gold and other metals), a feed (the ribbed piece attached to the back of the nib), and the ink source (they can either be a converter, plunger, cartridge, piston, or vacuum). Many people do not recognize that in caring for your fountain pen there are definite necessities to solve the problems and avoid future ones.

Use Cold Water for Rinsing Only

Luxury fountain pens must only be rinsed with clean, cool water. You should never use warm water as it will damage the feed since it is made of metal and metal expands when heat is applied. If your fountain pen is too dirty, a teaspoon of ammonia mixed with some water can be soaked with the nib overnight. You can also utilize window cleaner solutions with ammonia because it aids to break up dry ink and dirt best. Check Notedian for more details.

Flushing Out Excess Ink

Fountain pen inks that are more than a year or two old should be examined first before use since one may contain mold that grew on the surface. The same can be said with old ink inside the nib. You can run some cool water by the faucet or by an ear syringe to flush the nib part until the water comes out clear.

Drying the Parts of the Pen

Since the nib is usually made up of metal, it is imperative for it to dry completely.

You should wrap the nib with a dry cloth and shake it to force the excess water out. It is best to leave it to dry overnight for it to completely dry before using. To store the nib for the overnight drying, you can use a toothbrush rack with a paper towel below where the nib will rest vertically.

Safe Storage

It is a rule of thumb for owners of luxury fountain pens to never store them horizontally.

This is because the ink will coagulate and dry in the nib making it problematic for the ink to flow and write properly. Keep the fountain pen capped in a pencil can or other type of holder with the nib pointed upwards. If you are not going to use your fountain pen for a week or more, empty the ink source or remove the cartridge.  For more info, visit