When purchasing and using a fountain pen it is important to consider the time and care that need to be put into your pen so it maintains its condition and writing ability.
As standard a fountain pen used regularly should be thoroughly cleaned or "flushed" at least 4 times a year and more frequently than this if used less often to prevent the ink drying and clogging up the pens inner-mechanisms.
In this blog we will outline how to do a basic clean and how to fully flush your fountain pen. A basic clean is ideal for those who are planning on using the same ink in their fountain pen and find that their pen is writing well with no skipping or clogging.
The Basic Clean
1. Disassemble your pen by removing the cap and screwing apart the nib or grip section from the pen body.
If using an ink cartridge or converter, remove this also. A piece of tape can be used to cover the opening to either if you want to save the remaining ink.
2. Turn your tap on to run cold or cool water and hold the nib section under the flowing water to remove any excess ink.
Make sure not to use hot or warm water as the heat could warp or damage parts of the pen.
3. Fill a glass with some cool water and place the nib section in to soak; the water should be replaced every time it becomes saturated with ink. Keep repeating this step until the water remains clear for an hour.
Fountain pens that haven't been cleaned for a prolonged period of time or have been filled with stubborn ink may take longer to become clean during this step.
4. Remove the water and place some kitchen roll or soft cloth at the bottom of the glass before placing the bottom part of the pen into the cup with the nib pointing downwards. The tissue will draw out any remaining ink or moisture.
Ideally the pen should be left to dry overnight or for 24 hours.
5. Once dry simply reassemble your pen and replace your ink cartridge or converter and you are ready to write again!
Full Fountain Pen Flush
We recommend flushing your fountain pen for a more thorough clean and when changing inks or having any issues when writing with your pen e.g. skipping or clogging.
The steps below are for flushing a fountain pen that has a built-in filling system or is using converter.
1. Disassemble the pen and follow steps 1 and 2 of the basic clean method.
2. Fill a glass with water and submerge the open end of the barrel or converter, then fill and empty the ink chamber until clean replacing the water when it becomes saturated with ink.
3. Reattach the converter or barrel section to the nib and place in a glass of clean water.
4. Use the filling system to draw and flush water in and out of your pen, repeating until the water coming out is clean. Change the water in the glass when it becomes saturated.
5. Leave the pen to soak in clean water for a few hours in order to remove any stubborn ink stains.
6. Follow steps 4 and 5 of the basic cleaning method and your pen is then fully cleaned and ready to go until next time.
Tips & Tricks
• When first receiving your fountain pen if it seems to skip or jump then a quick flush through with some water should resolve the issue. It is often the case that manufacturers will factory test a pen and some ink residue may have been left behind. Lamy is a common example but it is often more expensive, luxury brands that may do this.
• For stubborn ink stains and residue that won't budge you could invest in some fountain pen flush to help shift them. We stock Monteverde's 8 oz. bottle of flush.
Advice from Parker on cleaning, care and other fountain pen FAQ'S
This JetPen post explores advanced cleaning techniques for those wanting to find out how to completely disassemble their pen.