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How to Clean a Dried Out Fountain Pen

Q:
How do I clean a dried out fountain pen which has not been used for a long time?
A:
In a perfect word, the best practice is to clean out a fountain pen from any ink when you plan to not be using it. However, when a fountain pen is left for an extended period of time the ink can dry and freeze up the pen.

Fountain pen inks are water based and as the water evaporates from the ink the pen dries up. To clean the fountain pen you must first disassemble the pen. This may vary by the type of fountain pen and some pen such as a piston style may have little to disassemble. On a cartridge/converter fountain pen remove the attached cartridge or converter from the pen.

How to Clean a Dried Out Fountain Pen - flush nibOnce you have the pen disassembled, soak the nib and feed section in a warm water bath. Completely submerge the pen. The length of the soak time will vary on how long you have left the pen. If your pen has been sitting for awhile you may have to leave overnight. For stubborn, harder to clean dried inks you may want to use a pen flush as well.

You can also flush the pen with bulb syringe through the feed section of the pen. As you run water through the pen the water will turn from the color of the ink to clear. Once the water runs clear the nib and feed section will be ready for use.

Dry the pen and nib with a soft towel. Remember some paper towels may scratch your nib or pen. We recommend a soft micro-fiber towel. Once the pen is dry reassemble the pen and fill with ink and you are ready to write again!


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