While fountain pens make wonderful gifts, and can bring that great touch of class and accomplishment to a desk, it’s also important for people who want to use their pens that they know how to maintain them. Unlike many modern pens that are designed to be used until they run out of ink and then thrown away, fountain pens can last an amazingly long time.
These pens are meant to be more of a full time writing utensil and that means making sure to clean and maintain them in order to keep the best of your fountain pens working as a practical writing tool for the long term.
A Little Prevention Goes a Long Way
The first step that can be taken to help make sure that everything goes smoothly is to work on the prevention side of things. You don’t want to press down too hard because that could damage the nib. If you are having issues with getting a smooth line of ink that is most likely due to how you are holding the pen. Pressing down won’t help.
The second bit of prevention is to make sure you are using relatively new ink. Ink cartridges that are two or three years old or even more might have issues like mold or a type of glop that jams everything up.
Steps for Maintaining a Fountain Pen
The cleaning is a major part of keeping your fountain pens up and writing on the level you want them to be. Cleaning should take place after every two ink cartridges. That means after every two cartridges, and right before a third, you need to clean the pens and rinse them. Rinsing should only be done with cold water. Hot water can damage certain parts of the pen, so only go with cold water. This can’t be emphasized enough!
When maintaining a fountain pen you also want to flush the nib until the water coming out is completely clear. A thorough drying is also important once the cold wash is completely done. Avoid soap, but if your pen is particularly dirty for some reason, a little bit of ammonia can go a long way to getting that sheen that you’re hoping to see again after the cleaning and maintenance is done.
Don’t Overlook the Importance of Storage
One of the major details that can’t be overlooked is how you store your fountain pen. This isn’t just true of right after a cleaning but it is also true at any given time. Pens should never be stored laying down or on their sides, but they need to be held vertically (so basically the opposite of how bottles of wine are properly stored).
When it comes to maintaining a fountain pen a little bit of prevention and a few really simple occasional cleaning steps are enough to make sure that your fountain pen isn’t just an on desk decoration or in need of a replacement. Follow the steps outlined in this article and you’ll have a fountain pen that lasts a long time and meets all of your writing needs!