I personally, clean my pen on the day it runs dry or exits rotation. This is done with cold tap water, I use a nasal aspirator (bulb thingie as it is popularly known) to force water through the feed and nib. The converter is rinsed out and the pen is left to air-dry overnight. Once reassembled, I use an old Sunshine cloth (it has been hand washed once) to remove fingerprints and water spots. All my pens are stored in a dark and dry storage box. I do not expose them to sunlight.
I rarely clean the pen if merely switching inks. I enjoy the blended coloration. I know, probably not the smartest thing in the world but hey, it’s my pen. Back to the topic at hand, as my father would say “don’t do as I do, do as I say,” thus without further ado… Cleaning and Care of your pen,
I opted to crowdsource this topic as I am far from the expert and I have established I may be a danger to some pens. Thus, I consulted with the membership of several groups of pen enthusiasts, what follows is their collective wisdom.
- Don’t – simply keep refilling the same pen.
- When changing to a different ink.
- When the pen leaves rotation.
- Clean the pen on the same day/night they run dry.
- Within a week of running dry.
- Every few months when refilling with the same ink.
- Rinse in cold water.
- Force water through the feed and nib with an ear bulb syringe or nasal aspirator
- Use a blunt-end syringe to rinse out the converter.
- Piston fillers take time to flush out, but patience and water will win the day!
- Rinse the cap/barrel with water, then use cotton swabs to remove ink residue and excess water.
- Add a drop of dish soap to the water if the pen that’s been sitting for a while, or a poorly behaved ink.
- Sometimes just swap a cartridge for a new one and enjoy the transition between colors.
- Allow to air dry on a paper towel.
- Sunshine cloth to polish and removed finger prints and water marks.
- Distilled water is recommended but tap water is the choice 99.9 percent of the time.
- Ultra Sonic cleaner on scruffy eBay purchases, or to remove inks stain be misbehaved inks.
- Cotton swabs to clean caps and barrels.
- For vintage or used pen, add a drop or two of dish soap to the water before soaking.
- Rapidio-Eze pen cleaning solution.
- Sailor pen cleaning kit.
- Goulet Pens flush for stains.
- Clean the converters with blunt-end syringe will save time.
- Ammonia for stubborn ink stains.
- Use a cotton towel or a connoisseurs cleaning cloth to remove finger prints etc.
Fears and Concerns
- Polishing pens with a Sunshine cloth or anything else is too abrasive and may remove gold plating.
- Infrequent cleaning makes the process much more arduous.
- Never remove nibs from the unit or section as ebonite sections are heat set and will not fit correctly when reinstalled – causes leaks.
On a Lighter Note
- Do not wash your pen in the dishwasher
- Do not use a steel wool pad on your pen
- Do not soak your pen in bleach to remove stubborn ink stains
- If interested in applying wax or polish to your pen please read my post on polishing first.
- Fountain Pen Love – How to Clean a Fountain Pen