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Thread: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

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    Default Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    hey,
    Do you clean your aeromatic pen before changing ink? As far as I could research cleaning up an aeromatic Parker 51 is not an easy task so I'm wondering if I'd get into trouble just getting new ink and wait until the new color become "pure"?

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    Senior Member Wahl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    I donīt think cleaning a P51 is a real chore, on the other hand, I only use blue, blue/black and black, which minimizes the problem.

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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wahl View Post
    I donīt think cleaning a P51 is a real chore, on the other hand, I only use blue, blue/black and black, which minimizes the problem.
    How do you get the water out of the ink sac? I mean, all the water without having to remove, use shellack etc

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    Senior Member Ron Z's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    Wrap a paper towel over the end of the pen and shake it out like you were shaking down a fever thermometer. Tight hold, firm flick of the wrist several times... or you make a salad spinner centrifuge.

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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    seems tricky hehe!

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    You should flush any pen if you change inks, no matter what. Mixing inks inside a pen can lead to a lot of issues, not just the crossover of colors. If you refill with the same ink you can do so, safely, for many fills before needing a flush, but changing inks is a different ball game.

    You don't have to take the pen all apart like some OCD people do, just flush out the old ink by repeatedly filling with water and expelling until the water is relatively clear. Then shake dry as Ron Z said above. Your pens will last longer, write better, and give fewer problems if you do this.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Z View Post
    Wrap a paper towel over the end of the pen and shake it out like you were shaking down a fever thermometer.
    Um... we're probably at the point where more than 50% of the populace haven't seen one of those things. Shaking a thermometer these days might cause a battery to fly out!
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    Stick it nib down in a jar with kitchen paper in the bottom and wait. It'll dry out eventually. Meanwhile use another pen. (Yay!)

    Not to say that you can't go straight from one ink to another if you like, but you risk a potential reaction between them if you haven't previously tested to check that they play nicely, or that they're known to be compatible. Plus you'd probably want to take steps to avoid cross-contamination in the the bottle of the new ink. In days of yore it was probably done more often, but possibly with less risk. These days there are all sorts of odd inks and formulations out there, some of which are known to play badly with others.

    To be honest? The 51 is one of those pens I seldom use because it's not really an easy ink switcher. Shhh. Don't tell.
    In the words of Paul Simon, you can call me Al.

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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    Thanks, do I really need to shake it out like a thermometer? I do have a salad spinner but I don't think my wife will be happy if she sees it
    If there is a slower way like grainweevil suggestet with kitchen paper in the bottom and wait (after flushing on water a couple times)

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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    Ok found this old one searching "flushing" (cleaning mostly brought about restoring stuff)

    https://fpgeeks.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-5069.html

    key points: Takes lots of patience, use water with 10% ammonia, it is almost impossible to completely clean/flush a parker 51

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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    I don't use ammonia on my 51--or really any pen, anymore. It's really not necessary.

    Gee, good thing I bought two gallons of the stuff. Anyone need some ammonia??

    The design does tend to hold a lot of ink in the feed fins versus some designs I own.

    I empty any remaining ink out then flush until the output starts to clear up, then put the pen nib down in a 30ml jar of water and let it sit a few hours then repeat the flush and soak until no more ink appears in the water in the jar. (Don't soak hard rubber parts or they will discolor)

    I just got done cleaning mine and this time it took two repetitions (sometimes it's 3 or 4) and all of 5-10 minutes of actual work It's really not that bad, though.

    But, yeah, you should flush unless you want your old ink contaminating your new ink.
    Last edited by azkid; November 16th, 2020 at 05:17 PM.

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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    I usually fill my 51 with clear water four or five times, then fill with the desired ink. Get the pen as clean as you think necessary.

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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    You should flush any pen if you change inks, no matter what. Mixing inks inside a pen can lead to a lot of issues, not just the crossover of colors. If you refill with the same ink you can do so, safely, for many fills before needing a flush, but changing inks is a different ball game.

    You don't have to take the pen all apart like some OCD people do, just flush out the old ink by repeatedly filling with water and expelling until the water is relatively clear. Then shake dry as Ron Z said above. Your pens will last longer, write better, and give fewer problems if you do this.
    Unless you're using Waterman. They mix well. THat said, do a simple flush and fill. These pens were made for real people and have lasted many decades.

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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    I have used my first 51 for 50 years, since 1970, July. Often I didn't bother with a flush. In my twenties I used india ink and white laundry ink, flushing that stuff out. This 51 medium point is the best writing pen I have ever used. It still works perfectly and smoothly. I like it better than any of the Montblancs or Pelicans I have had. Some of my other 51s are not as smooth writers. They are still fairly nice, though. You people are welcome to not believe what I am writing here, but it is true in my experience. If you take reasonable care of a 51, and if other nuts don't use it, it will be a superior pen without exercising fanatical care. It has been a marvelous surprise how good my Air Force blue USAF Base Exchange-bought 51 has been.

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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    Quote Originally Posted by pajaro View Post
    I have used my first 51 for 50 years, since 1970, July. Often I didn't bother with a flush. In my twenties I used india ink and white laundry ink, flushing that stuff out. This 51 medium point is the best writing pen I have ever used. It still works perfectly and smoothly. I like it better than any of the Montblancs or Pelicans I have had. Some of my other 51s are not as smooth writers. They are still fairly nice, though. You people are welcome to not believe what I am writing here, but it is true in my experience. If you take reasonable care of a 51, and if other nuts don't use it, it will be a superior pen without exercising fanatical care. It has been a marvelous surprise how good my Air Force blue USAF Base Exchange-bought 51 has been.
    I don't doubt that for a second, and the couple that I've kept in my collection are, indeed, remarkable writers. It was just never destined to be a pen I use often simply for how narrow the front-end of the pen is: it is just too small to be comfortable for me. My favorite is a cedar blue with gold cap.
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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    Quote Originally Posted by MRusso View Post
    Thanks, do I really need to shake it out like a thermometer? I do have a salad spinner but I don't think my wife will be happy if she sees it
    If there is a slower way like grainweevil suggestet with kitchen paper in the bottom and wait (after flushing on water a couple times)
    These are the recommended methods. Once the pen is clean of ink you need to ensure there is no water left in there before refilling it. Otherwise you will water down any ink you refill it with.
    You either have to shake it out or leave it in wads of kitchen towel until it's dry. Whichever method works best for you.

    Ron's salad spinner is an adaptation of the regular version. I don't have a photo of it but Ron posted one somewhere a long time ago.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    So if I flush the aeromatic a couple times and the put in a jar of water and change water until no ink (or amost no ink) is coming out is it reasonable to expect the water in the sac will evaporate/run down within a week or so?

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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    Quote Originally Posted by MRusso View Post
    So if I flush the aeromatic a couple times and the put in a jar of water and change water until no ink (or amost no ink) is coming out is it reasonable to expect the water in the sac will evaporate/run down within a week or so?
    No that's not a recommended method of cleaning out the pen.
    You first need to keep flushing out the pen with clean water until the water that comes out of the pen is clean. You could potentially then leave it overnight in a small amount of clean water to see if any more ink comes out, but next day you should get it dry enough for reuse. Leaving a pen soaking for a week isn't recommended.
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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    I like 51s. I have a bunch. I just stick with blue & non-iron gall blue black in them

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    Default Re: Cleaning Parker 51 before changing inks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MRusso View Post
    So if I flush the aeromatic a couple times and the put in a jar of water and change water until no ink (or amost no ink) is coming out is it reasonable to expect the water in the sac will evaporate/run down within a week or so?
    No that's not a recommended method of cleaning out the pen.
    You first need to keep flushing out the pen with clean water until the water that comes out of the pen is clean. You could potentially then leave it overnight in a small amount of clean water to see if any more ink comes out, but next day you should get it dry enough for reuse. Leaving a pen soaking for a week isn't recommended.
    Yes, when I first read leaving a pen in standing water I immediately thought "I don't think so".

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