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Thread: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

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    Default How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    I've seen people on several blogs suggest that fountain pens should be flushed out monthly. That seems a little excessive to me, especially with dye-based inks like Diamine or Waterman, but I'm open to changing my mind if enough people who at least seem to know what they're talking about tell me that I'm wrong. I've gone a couple of months without cleaning some pens with no problems (yet), but I change ink colors often enough that sometimes I'll clean one after a week or two. But I'm talking about staying with the same ink. Thanks.
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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    I clean my pens frequently because many of them don't get refilled with the same ink. For the odd pens that are refilled with the same ink, yes, they just get refilled without being flushed in between fills.

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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    I'm not a frequent ink changer. I clean a pen if I've written it dry and plan to put it away for a bit. Otherwise I refill it with the same ink and carry on.

    Back when I used two pens and one ink all the time I'm not sure I ever cleaned a pen. My technical pens, on the other hand, spent more time being cleaned than used.

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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    Only when changing the colors or when put it back empty in a drawer.
    Otherwise just refill.

    Everything else is imho unnecessary.

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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by calamum View Post
    I've seen people on several blogs suggest that fountain pens should be flushed out monthly. That seems a little excessive to me, especially with dye-based inks like Diamine or Waterman, but I'm open to changing my mind if enough people who at least seem to know what they're talking about tell me that I'm wrong. I've gone a couple of months without cleaning some pens with no problems (yet), but I change ink colors often enough that sometimes I'll clean one after a week or two. But I'm talking about staying with the same ink. Thanks.
    When staying with the same ink in a given pen, I just go with it until I get a hard start or until the ink seems too concentrated or until I just feel like cleaning the pen. No schedules. It's mainly my pens at work that get this kind of treatment because the ones at home rotate in and out of use too frequently. One of the pens at work has IG ink in it and routinely goes a few months or more between any kind of flushing, and the other has carbon ink in it, so I'm really living on the edge. At times they've gotten dried out in the feed enough that I had to flush it and re-ink them before I could write with them. Nothing bad happened.
    Last edited by mhosea; April 21st, 2018 at 02:25 AM.
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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    Only when changing colours or putting it away.
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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    I have one pen that I've been refilling with the same ink for three or four months now, and I've seen no need to flush it. But I probably will put it away for a while in another month, and will flush it then.

    If I'm going to refill a pen directly from a bottle of a different kind of ink, I'll flush it first. But if I'm refilling it by a method that doesn't involve dipping the nib in an ink bottle, such as putting in a new cartridge or refilling the cartridge that's in there, I don't necessarily even flush it out when changing inks. I've had no problem with say, a Sailor blue gradually working its way down to a feed saturated with a Pilot green. I just don't want to contaminate the bottle by constantly dipping nibs and feeds that are saturated with other inks. Of course, some people don't want the effect of mixing particular inks, or any inks at all, but I use mostly Pilot and Sailor inks which seem to play well with each other.
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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    Only when changing colours or putting it away.
    +1
    If a feed has ink sludge in it, I hold it under running water for a few seconds and then keep writing.
    "Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little." -Epicurus-

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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    If I'm switching inks, I'll flush the pen. I'll do the same if I'm putting the pen out of use for a while. That clean is either holding it under a running tap, or drawing water in and pushing it out with the converter/piston. It's not a thorough deep clean. If I'm refuelling it with more of the same, then I wont clean it at all. The only other time is if the feed doesn't seem to be behaving properly.

    If a pen has been sat inked up and unused for a couple of weeks, then I have too many pens inked up. This will prompt me to either wash out and lay up that pen, or do the same to one of the others to get that first pen into use again. I don't like having pens inked up and not being used.

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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    I only clean them when changing inks or putting them away.

    I once put away a Pelikan M605 and forgot to clean it out first, it sat for a couple of years with ink in it. After a soak and a flush it was fine, no staining.

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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    I prefer to clean my pens monthly. I tend to keep 12+ pens inked regularly, essential pen hygiene is needed monthly I feel. I rarely refill a pen with the same ink and also I do not refill between cleanings. If a pen runs out of ink during the month it is pulled from rotation and cleaned, it doesn't get refilled til the next month.


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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    Thank you to everyone who's contributed to this thread. I suspect the once-a-month admonition may be a ploy to sell more pen flush, which I've never had to use, but am glad to know exists in case I ever need it. When I used fountain pens in school ćons ago I never flushed them out, but I always used the same ink.
    Last edited by calamum; April 21st, 2018 at 03:35 PM.
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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by calamum View Post
    Thank you to everyone who's contributed to this thread. I suspect the once-a-month admonition may be a ploy to sell more pen flush. When I used fountain pens for school ćons ago I never flushed them out, but I always used the same ink.
    Me too, even on a color change we just put a different colored cartridge into the pens and enjoyed the color change in the writing (used mostly Pelikan 4001 colors at school).
    Flushing and cleaning a pen was unknown (at most used to bring a pen to live again if it stopped writing for reasons I better not write into a FP forum).

    That people clean their pens regularly, was a new learning experience decades later for me.
    Also that something like pen cleaning fluids exist to support pen cleaning fetishists was new to me (never used something like that and will also most likely never use it, I can’t imagine a single reason as long as water exists on this planet).
    Last edited by Pterodactylus; April 21st, 2018 at 03:35 PM.

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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pterodactylus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by calamum View Post
    Thank you to everyone who's contributed to this thread. I suspect the once-a-month admonition may be a ploy to sell more pen flush. When I used fountain pens for school ćons ago I never flushed them out, but I always used the same ink.
    Me too, even on a color change we just put a different colored cartridge into the pens and enjoyed the color change in the writing (used mostly Pelikan 4001 colors at school).
    Flushing and cleaning a pen was unknown (at most used to bring a pen to live again if it stopped writing for reasons I better not write into a FP forum).

    That people clean their pens regularly, was a new learning experience decades later for me.
    Also that something like pen cleaning fluids exist to support pen cleaning fetishists was new to me (never used something like that and will also most likely never use it, I can’t imagine a single reason as long as water exists on this planet).
    While you were writing this post I was editing my earlier response to add that I've never used a pen cleaning fluid!
    Quid rides? Mutato nomine de te fabula narratur. — Horace
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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pterodactylus View Post
    That people clean their pens regularly, was a new learning experience decades later for me.
    Also that something like pen cleaning fluids exist to support pen cleaning fetishists was new to me (never used something like that and will also most likely never use it, I can’t imagine a single reason as long as water exists on this planet).
    The existence of other people and other people's lives can act to make up for the deficiencies of imagination. If Pterodactylus is talking about his pens, filled by him (or is it her?) with water-soluble inks, the existence of water may indeed suffice.

    If he is talking about other people, into whose hands come pens that may be clogged with artists' inks, not soluble in water, not intended to be used in fountain pens, that is another story, is it not?

    Some among us repair pens, and are not often called upon if nothing more than filling the pen with water is the right way forward. Others collect used pens, and receive pens that have been abused. As the English say, it's a funny old world.

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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Tarshis View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pterodactylus View Post
    That people clean their pens regularly, was a new learning experience decades later for me.
    Also that something like pen cleaning fluids exist to support pen cleaning fetishists was new to me (never used something like that and will also most likely never use it, I can’t imagine a single reason as long as water exists on this planet).
    The existence of other people and other people's lives can act to make up for the deficiencies of imagination. If Pterodactylus is talking about his pens, filled by him (or is it her?) with water-soluble inks, the existence of water may indeed suffice.

    If he is talking about other people, into whose hands come pens that may be clogged with artists' inks, not soluble in water, not intended to be used in fountain pens, that is another story, is it not?

    Some among us repair pens, and are not often called upon if nothing more than filling the pen with water is the right way forward. Others collect used pens, and receive pens that have been abused. As the English say, it's a funny old world.
    Sure you understood the question of the thread creator?

    The question is not about restauration projects, itˋs about “How often do you clean your FP’s”

    The deficiencies of understanding asked questions and responses often can be fixed by reading the original post and the responses carefully.

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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    I clean a pen only if I and putting it away. I will flush a pen if changing inks, but accidental ink-mixes can be interesting...remains of one ink with a fill of the next. Of course, I write with various blue and blue-black inks. Have never had a problem.

    Sometimes, people write as if it is required to tear a pen down to parts when changing inks. That seems excessive and more likely to wear or break a component...pens are meant to be refilled, but torn down only if something needs to be repaired. "If it's not broken, don't act like you are fixing it".
    Last edited by welch; April 23rd, 2018 at 07:46 AM.

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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pterodactylus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Tarshis View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pterodactylus View Post
    That people clean their pens regularly, was a new learning experience decades later for me.
    Also that something like pen cleaning fluids exist to support pen cleaning fetishists was new to me (never used something like that and will also most likely never use it, I can’t imagine a single reason as long as water exists on this planet).
    The existence of other people and other people's lives can act to make up for the deficiencies of imagination. If Pterodactylus is talking about his pens, filled by him (or is it her?) with water-soluble inks, the existence of water may indeed suffice.

    If he is talking about other people, into whose hands come pens that may be clogged with artists' inks, not soluble in water, not intended to be used in fountain pens, that is another story, is it not?

    Some among us repair pens, and are not often called upon if nothing more than filling the pen with water is the right way forward. Others collect used pens, and receive pens that have been abused. As the English say, it's a funny old world.
    Sure you understood the question of the thread creator?

    The question is not about restauration projects, itˋs about “How often do you clean your FP’s”

    The deficiencies of understanding asked questions and responses often can be fixed by reading the original post and the responses carefully.
    I thought it was a very useful addition to the discussion, and not not really off-topic. I have some old fountain pens with italic nibs that I used for calligraphy, and recently dusted off after about 20 years. It's only by great good fortune that I apparently knew not to use India ink in them, and cleaned them well before putting them away, because they still write.
    Quid rides? Mutato nomine de te fabula narratur. — Horace
    (What are you laughing at? Just change the name and the joke’s on you.)

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    Senior Member fountainpenkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    Only when changing inks--which I do frequently.
    And the few times I've let ink sit in a pen for more than a month or so and it has begun to gunk up...
    Will
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    Default Re: How often do you clean your fountain pens?

    Whenever there's room in the dishwasher.

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