How do I clean my fountain pen?

“I found this post from Andreas Koeniger very interesting; USk is a community where we share knowledge and help each other, and this post with his  nice drawings shows that spirit. I asked him if he could translate it to English. He was was very kind to do it. This post appeared first on USk Germany on February 13th 2014. You can also read the post in original German here.” (Omar)

Andreas Koeniger is a correspondent for the USk Germany blog. He lives and works as a graphic designer in Darmstadt (a city not far from Frankfurt). He likes to draw with fountain pen.

How do I clean my fountain pen? 

I draw a lot with fountain pens and waterproof ink. The problem with waterproof ink and fountain pens is that the ink dries in the fountain pen and the ink flow decreases.

Many people have the same problem and hence I decided to write about “How do I clean my fountain pen”.

I don’t know if this is the best way, but this method of cleaning fountain pens is the best way for me.

Usually it is enough to clean your pen once a week, depending on how often you used the fountain pen.  To clean the fountain pen, first remove the converter or ink cartridge (I always use converter) Rinse it with warm water.

When most of the ink is removed, I blow with my mouth from the back of the fountain pen (from where the cartridge or the converter is placed). Repeat this a few times. Fill it with water and then blow through.

Once the pen is cleaned, I dry it with a kitchen towel and shake it 2-3 times vigorously in the wash-bowl, so that the last remaining water is removed as much as possible.

Then I refill my converter with waterproof ink, I use ” Noodler ‘s Ink , Black , Bulletproof “. At this point, I use a standard syringe with a blunt needle (you get both in the pharmacy).

So I squirt the ink directly into the converter. This has the advantage that I have no air in the converter.

I have a feeling that air bubbles in the converter / filler brings the ink faster to drying and the ink flow stops earlier. I also have the converter filled as maximum.

Now I put back the converter on the pen and turn it until some ink comes out from the tip of the pen. In that way I push even the last remaining water from the ink feed system.

After I had draw a couple of lines on paper, to test whether there really is only ink, I fill the converter again.

Now your pen should work properly again.

Only when I realize that the ink flow isn’t available in full, I take the pen apart depending on the use, about every two months .

You must find out for yourself, how do you disassemble your fountain pen. In the majority of cases you can pull carefully out the Ink-Feed-System and the nib with a small pliers to the front. I always wrap a thin cloth around the nib and the Ink-Feed-System, to prevent scratching of both.

There are some cleaning agents for fountain pens, however I’ve never used them, because that was never necessary.

Good luck !

PS: If you have other ways to clean your pen, tell us in a comment. (Omar)


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