Fountain pens are like a regular tool that needs cleaning after every heavy use. Because fountain pens tend to attract paper fibers, inconsistent ink, and dust of dried ink, they become useless if you don’t clean them periodically.
Especially, the nib requires to be cleaned every now and then. As the nib is the primal source to determine the flow of the ink it gets jammed so easily. It, then, causes unlimited trouble and inconsistency while writing. That’s why it’s become important to let you know how to clean a fountain pen for easygoing writing.
So, without further ado, let’s get started with tricks and techniques of keeping a fountain pen clean for a longer period.
Accessories that Help to Clean a Fountain Pen
Fountain pen never requires great accessories to make unnecessary trouble. But if you are being lazy and stubborn with your jammed nib of the fountain pen then it might cost you a little more. As fountain pens come with wide-ranged variation, the process of cleaning might vary slightly from one model to another.
However, when you mean to clean a fountain pen, you mean to clean the different parts of an individual fountain pen. Initially, to clean a fountain pen, you need to rinse the body parts particularly. And for this, a compact jar of water is fair enough. In most cases, the amount of dried ink behaves stubbornly.
If you want them to be cleaned properly, add a little amount of ammonia to your accessories list. It helps to breakdown the hard dried ink and melts in the water. Besides, for cleaning the more stubborn dried-ink, a tool named ultrasonic cleaner helps a lot.
This versatile cleaner is able to clean the discrete parts of the fountain pen without any effort. You can also use the bulb syringe as a fair alternative. It helps to provide a strong flush to remove the extra dirt from the cartridges or nib. These fine accessories are the primal options so far.
Initial Cleaning Process of a Fountain Pen
A fountain pen is made both with sensitive and strong materials. That’s why the cleaning process of a fountain pen requires some carefulness. However, your attention to detail is more important. You can do your whole cleaning process of a fountain pen following just the next four steps.
1. Separate the Parts of the Pen
A fountain pen comes with the advantage of assembling and disassembling. That’s why you can easily apart the different parts of the pen to clean them individually. This way the parts get clearer with several rinses. The cap of the pen can always be disassembled. Besides, to do a deep cleaning process, unknot the cartridge from the barrel and unscrew the nib at the same time.
2. Flush the dirt
The next step is to clean the dirt from the different body parts of a fountain pen. A dash of flush will work if the dirt seems old and clingy. The barrel sometimes carries sticky dirt which is hard to be cleaned. Rinse the segments properly. To rinse the parts, use the room temperature cool water.
3. Soaking and Drying of the Nib
The following step is to take proper care of the nib. As you can understand that the nib is the primal and sensitive part of a fountain pen. It carries all the dried ink and that’s why to pull out the clingy dried-ink, you need to soak it in the water for a certain amount of time. Remember that you shouldn’t be hurry while doing otherwise the inks would remain unclean and stickier.
After you get the confirmation that your nib is cleaned inside out you can pull it out from the water. To avoid messing up with the nib, your following step is to let the nib dry altogether. To dry the nib, keep it in a transparent compact jar. Put a soaking tissue or a soft cloth wrapping the nib. Give it 24 hours or more full rest and let it dry.
4. Check and Assemble the Pen Again
The dried nib is all ready to get fit in the body of a fountain pen. But, before that, check if the dust has gone completely. It provides assurance for your own welfare. After that, collect the other body parts of the fountain pen and recheck them. Assemble the separated parts of the pen following the right instruction. Load the ink in the barrel and see your nib giving the best consistent performance ever.
5. Cleaning Tools and Apt Fountain Pens
Not all the tools of cleaning a fountain pen are apt for all kinds of fountain pens. You have to choose your way wisely while cleaning up the pens. The cleaning kit comes with different variations.
For the short cartridges, the cleaning tool named Platinum fountain pen ink cleaner seems perfect. The European model helps to provide the exact flushing method to clean the cartridges or barrels of a fountain pen.
Besides, the Japanese model of the same cleaning tool is apt only for the fountain pens that are made of platinum. However, to clean the fountain pens, many brands cover cleaning kit along with the fountain pen. The Sailor Fountain pen maintenance kit is the perfect example of this.
6. Advanced Procedures of Cleaning for Saturated Ink
Fountain pens with saturated ink can cause trouble to a great extent in cleaning. That’s why some advanced techniques should follow before you put the pen to a fatal condition.
As the techniques are for those fountain pens that carry the glittery or well-pigmented ink. The nib of these kinds of fountain pens should be cleaned with intense care otherwise your whole hacking process could go terribly wrong.
7. Pulling Out the Nib Carefully
These kinds of fountain pens carry nibs that are a little sensitive for their saturated ink-flow. The feed of the nib stays with it strongly and while cleaning them, they need to get detached. In this case, you have to twist the nib from the feed to separate it properly.
8. Apply the Screw Technique
As the saturated ink makes the nib more fatal in most cases, twisting the nib from the feed doesn’t always work. That’s why the screw technique helps to a great extent. Using a screw to unscrew the nib is a part of advanced technology. To keep the collar of the nib safe, applying this technique is a master choice.
9. Soaking the Section for Reuse
At this moment, when you get all the parts around the nib are separated from each other, you need to soak them into warm water in a transparent plastic jar. This way the water can come up with the room temperature soon. Put all the nib, feed, and section to the water and let them soak in it for several hours.
Wait till they remove all the dust and saturated ink from their surface. Let them dry after a clean wash and assemble them together with proper care. And then they are all ready to serve you efficiently ever again.
10. Miscellaneous Process of Cleaning a Fountain Pen
There are other more options to fulfill the need of cleaning a fountain pen. If you are a busy person and don’t want to put much time into cleaning a tool that writes, then these methods will assist you big time.
- Following Commercial Solutions for Cleaning – You can always follow the instruction that the fountain pen companies provide. As water doesn’t carry any harmful molecules, distilled water has always been the best option for commercial fountain pen brands.
- Dishwasher Safe – You might not know that most of the fountain pen comes with the metals that are dishwasher safe. But for sensitive parts like the nib or section, you should take wise decisions.
- Ammonia for Cleaning – Ammonia helps to pull out the clingy and stubborn dust with its ultra-bond formula. To remove hard clogging between the nib and converter, a few drops of ammonia in the water, works incredibly. This mixture is not for all kinds of metals as ammonia can react terribly to brass, aluminum, or copper.
- Use the Bleach – Bleach is more of a strong cleaner than ammonia. You don’t have to rich in this method if you take the best care of your fountain pen by cleaning it at least once a week. However, the bleach acts well in the water if it is put in an exact ratio. Do not try to over-pour the bleach into the water as it can create toxic vapors instantly.
Fountain pens have always been the best choice for writing for scholars or potential intellectuals. The serenity that a fountain pen provides cannot be gained by any other ordinary pens. That’s why cleaning the fountain pen with proper instruction is necessary following the sensitivity, metal-materials, and other considerable parts of the pen. This article about how to clean a fountain pen has already lifted up a bunch of techniques in front of you. Now it’s your turn to apply the process and methods and keep your favorite fountain pen clean forever.