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How to Care for a Fountain Pen?

how to care for fountain pen

The fountain pen hobby is an expensive one. With that in mind, you truly have to know how to care for a fountain pen. Not all fountain pens are high-maintenance but that does not mean you can just leave them be like you would ballpoint pens. There are still a lot of maintenance tasks you need to do to keep your pens in good working condition.

In this article, you will learn basic maintenance of all kinds and brands of fountain pens. With these tips, you can be sure that your fountain pens will work for many years to come.

Step-by-Step Guide

Basic Cleaning

What to prepare:

  • Bowl of water
  • Paper towels

Detailed steps:

Here’s what you need to do if you have a converter ink reservoir:

Step 1 – Remove the barrel

Unscrew the barrel of the fountain pen from the grip and the nib section. You do not need to do this over the bowl of water if the pen is not leaking. Wash the barrel separately using a bit of soapy water and allow it to dry.

Step 2 – Pump the converter into the water

pump converter into water

You will need to remove as much of the ink remaining inside the nib and converter, and you can do that by flushing the system with water. Place the nib into the bowl of water and pump the converter to fill the cartridge with water.

After that, you should pump it out again to flush the system. Repeat this step as many times as needed until the water runs clear.

Step 3 – Clean the interface under running water

Remove the converter and then rinse it and the interface under running water. This will remove even more of the remaining ink inside the fountain pen. Once the water runs clear, you can stop.

Step 4 – Dry the components

Once the individual parts of the fountain pen are clean, you will need to dry them using paper towels. First, wipe the outside of the components using paper towels to remove excess moisture.

After that, wrap the individual parts in paper towels. Wait for the parts to dry completely before you put them back together. Do not use your fountain pen while it is still damp as it might damage the nib.

How About When You Are Using a Cartridge Fountain Pen?

If you decide to use a cartridge fountain pen, here’s how you clean it:

Step 1 – Disassemble the pen

disassemble pen

Unscrew the barrel of the pen off the nib assembly. You can then wash the barrel separately using a bit of soapy water. Remove the spent cartridge and dispose of it properly.

Place the nib and converter under the faucet and let water flow through the assembly until the water runs clear. If the cartridge still has a lot of ink left, seal the opening and use it later.

Step 2 – Dry the fountain parts

Once the fountain parts are clean, you can now start drying them. Start by wiping the surface of the components, and then wrap each individual part in paper towels. Wait for a couple of hours until the parts are completely dried before you reassemble the pen and load it with a new ink cartridge.

Helpful Tips for Taking Care of Fountain Pens

helpful tips for taking care of fountain pens

  • Never use hot water to clean your fountain pen – You might think that it will be easier to clean your fountain pen by using hot water but it will actually do more harm than good. The nib of fountain pens is made from thin sheet metal and when exposed to high heat, the nib would warp. Always use cold or room-temperature water when cleaning your fountain pens.
  • Seal the ink cartridge – If the ink cartridge still has a lot of ink when you decide to clean your fountain pen, you do not have to waste the ink. Get a bit of sticky tape and use it to seal the opening of the ink cartridge. This will prevent the ink from drying, making it possible to use it after the fountain pen is dry.
  • Clean your pen if you will not be using it in a while – If you will not be using a fountain pen for an extended period, you need to clean it first. This will prevent the ink inside the pen from drying up and gunking up its insides. Cleaning the pen ensures that you can use it immediately whenever you want to.


You need to know how to care for a fountain pen if you want it to work as intended for many years. This is even more important if you consider yourself a fountain pen collector. You have to know how to keep your pens in tip-top condition.

Cleaning your fountain pens is the most basic maintenance task that you should do. It might seem hard and tedious but it is extremely important, especially if you constantly use your fountain pens.