Fountain pens may be things of the past and serve as collector’s items nowadays, but their classic, timeless appearance and nostalgic writer’s vibes make them favorite writing tools for many. And like most collector’s items, fountain pens look and work better when taken care of correctly. Here are four maintenance tips to ensure your fountain pens write smoothly and last a long time.
Flush Out Excess Ink
Cleaning the nibs of your fountain pens is crucial as they help you write smoothly and create interesting lines. After carefully disassembling your fountain pen, run your nib and gripping section under cold water to flush out the remaining ink. When the water runs clear, submerge your nibs in a cup of lukewarm water to remove excess ink. Dry with a soft cloth before reassembling your fountain pen.
It is best to wash your nibs every three to four weeks or whenever you notice your inks changing color when you write. You want to flush out any excess ink stuck to your nibs as these may clog your pens if they are left to dry.
Clean Cartridge and Converters
Cartridges and converters hold the inks you need to write or scribble. Think of them as a water fountain or swimming pool’s water pumps. Clean pumps mean a smooth flow and water that isn’t murky. For example, future owners of Pag-IBIG foreclosed properties who plan to restore garden fountains should clean their pumps regularly to prevent mold and bacteria growth.
Remove empty ink cartridges and replace them with a new one. If you want to save money from changing and disposing of cartridges, wash an empty one with lukewarm water to remove the old ink stuck inside the cartridge. Use a syringe to fill your cartridge with new ink with minimal spillage. For fountain pens with converters, rinse them under running water until all leftover ink is flushed out and the water runs clear. Dry with a soft cloth before refilling it with fresh ink.
Use Fountain Pen-safe Inks
Speaking of ink, only use fountain-pen-safe inks. Avoid India inks and waterproof or pigmented inks as these can clog and damage your fountain pens in the long run. Choose bottled inks intended for fountain pens to be on the safer side. As much as you want your handwriting to be smooth, you want your pens to last long and avoid spending money by throwing away a high-quality fountain pen.
Store Horizontally or in Upright Position
Keep your fountain pens with their nibs pointing upwards when not in use. Storing them this way keeps the ink from pooling and drying out at the nibs, which eventually will clog your pen. Use your fountain pens’ storage boxes to keep them safe from scratches. Keep your pens closed with their caps to prevent your nibs from bending or breaking. When traveling, it is wise to remove the cartridge or converter before packing your pens. Doing so will avert ink spillage that may be hard to remove when dried.
Overall, fountain pens are great tools to remind you of the olden days where handwritten content is valued and well-loved. Continue to live your vintage dream through clean, smooth, and beautiful ink lines by maintaining your fountain pens with these four helpful tips.