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Koh-I-Noor Rapido Eze Pen Cleaner


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#1 SamCapote

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 19:55

I first heard about this from FPN member, kraz in this thread post here.

I had not heard of it being mentioned elsewhere, but having the name, I could then search and find it mentioned frequently on FPN. I decided to check into it a little further. I saw it was being sold at Blick's Art Supply here. A quick call to Nibs.com told me they were somewhat familiar with it, but recommended cleaning dried ink with a 1/2 cap of ammonia in a cup of cool water, drawing up for 20 mins, then ejecting and rinsing. Never use warm/hot water or alcohol which can damage the feed. Ammonia is NH3, and when added to water, becomes Ammonium Hydroxide which is a base (vs. an acid)

I clicked on the MSDS link for Koh-I-Noor, they have shown here, it has:


<1% Potassium Hydroxide
5-10% Triethanolamine
85-90% Water

I like to check a bit more than most people when a suggestion is made, and everyone just assumes the person telling them was automatically right, so I looked up the Koh-I-noor company which is based in Czechoslovakia here. I don't speak Czech, so I went back to the MSDS which revealed that it is manufactured by a MA company called Chartpak Inc!, so I called them (1-800-628-1910). They said they bought out Koh-I-noor (maybe worldwide, or maybe just their USA presence?), and they do make the cleaner in their lab. I asked to speak with their technical adviser, whose name was Barb Willard (x460). She confirmed that they mix up the product in their lab, and she works directly with them doing it.

She said it was completely safe for use in all fountain pens & feeds, and said it seems to work well even if dilluted with cool water 1:4.

Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) (like Ammonia) is also a strong base. Triethanolamine is also a base, but seems to be used as a surfactant/emulsifier agent.

So, I can see this may work a little differently than just some Ammonia in water. I wonder if it is similar to adding a few drops of dishwashing liquid to a dilute ammonia solution. I'm not as afraid of using it after doing this research and talking to Barb Weller.

Edited by SamCapote, 30 April 2010 - 19:58.

With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

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#2 ZeissIkon

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 00:25

Triethanolamine is a chemical I know from photography -- it's used as a non-ionizing carrier, as well as alkali "accelerator", for some concentrated developers. It's probably present in Rapid-O-Eze mostly for buffering, to control the pH of the solution which would otherwise go to the solution pH of potassium hydroxide, which is above 13 somewhere. In English, by buffering the solution, it keeps the potash lye from eating the pen parts. TEA is also a good solvent in itself, and will assist in dissolving stubborn ink deposits that might not respond to just an alkaline water solution (like ammonia water).

The big difference between Rapid-O-Eze and ammonia solution with a surfactant (like dish liquid) added is that TEA will wash out cleanly and leave no residue after only a couple rinses; ten to twenty rinses are typically required to get all the surfactant out of a pen that's been flushed with a solution of just a couple drops of dish liquid in a cup of water. Rapid-O-Eze has been around for a very long time (I recall seeing it in the college bookstore when they still taught drafting using pencils and pens on paper, back in the late 1970s, and it wasn't a new product then); it's renowned as the only cleaner that will reliably remove India ink from a pen without damaging the pen materials (and India ink was once used a lot in drafting, because of its permanence, clean line, and high opacity); TEA might well be the "magic ingredient" that lets Rapid-O-Eze do what it does.
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#3 Ron Z

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 02:25

I keep a bottle of Rapid-0-Eze in the shop at all times. Most of the time I use ammonia in water in my ultrasonic. But there are cases where this is not enough, and the Rapid-0-Eze is brought out. Ammonia will not remove India ink, Rapid-0-Eze will, and it will also very quickly break down the most stubborn dried ink.

In many years of use, I have never had it damage a pen, and it has saved many.

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#4 SamCapote

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 03:13

Great information/feedback. Thanks.
With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

#5 Tweel

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 05:16

There's also Higgins Pen Cleaner, which I use because I can buy it locally. It's available from Dick Blick, too -- and again, it's now made by Chartpak! Can these stationery conglomerates be "too big to fail"?

BTW, the Higgins Pen Cleaner works very well.

-- Brian

Edited by Tweel, 01 May 2010 - 05:18.

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#6 jde

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 00:24

That's some great research there! Excellent. Rapido eze costs more than ammonia which may be why you hear more about the latter. Mostly I use water and if the pen comes to me old and neglected I use the Rapido eze. Ron Zorn has said it's safe and his word/experience is good for me. But I love you followed the trail!
 
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#7 metropen

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 20:51

I also keep Rapido Eze technical pen cleaner on hand for my fountain pens, and the pens of my friends/customers. I have cleaned countless pens with it, including some very stubborn Pelikan pens that someone had used acrylic ink in. It is by far the best cleaner I have found. You can also use it multiple times. You do not need to discard Rapid-O-Eze every time you have finished using it. I have reused the cleaner up to three times.

#8 Fishi

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 12:52

Hello there, I think it's my first post here. :)

... including some very stubborn Pelikan pens that someone had used acrylic ink in. ...


Just out of curiosity, what's the cleaning procedure exactly?
I would think if a pen gets clogged, the cleaning fluid just by itself also has difficulty to enter the feed, so how do you make it work?
And when you manage to do so, do you "circulate" the fluid in the feed (in other words, do you rinse it in fresh fluid multiple times), and if you do, what are the steps?

Thanks very much!

#9 PJohnP

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 16:10

As much as we all like to make our own "home-brew" materials for various tasks, fountain pens most definitely included, sometimes the commercially made materials are exactly the items needed for certain tasks. I'd say that this is the case for Rapid-0-Eze compared with most home-grown remedies.

Could one find a mixture that's comparable to Rapid-0-Eze with some effort ? Most certainly, that's a possibility, especially given that the materials in Rapid-0-Eze are available with some effort (emphasis added). But the question really comes in as to whether that amount of effort is better made with caring for the pens specifically, and simply acquiring the Rapid-0-Eze to do so...

Please note, that's no knock on anyone who wants to make their own cleaning mixtures up, just a comment on using the marketplace to obtain something beneficial in an efficient manner.



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#10 jde

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 16:15

Hello there, I think it's my first post here. :)

... including some very stubborn Pelikan pens that someone had used acrylic ink in. ...


Just out of curiosity, what's the cleaning procedure exactly?
I would think if a pen gets clogged, the cleaning fluid just by itself also has difficulty to enter the feed, so how do you make it work?
And when you manage to do so, do you "circulate" the fluid in the feed (in other words, do you rinse it in fresh fluid multiple times), and if you do, what are the steps?

Thanks very much!


There are various "versions" of Rapido Eze (e.g., concentrate that must be diluted, or stuff ready to go). There should be directions on the bottle for you. You'd be amazed by just sitting the nib/feed/section part of the pen in the fluid for a bit how much old ink comes out. Depending on how cruddy the pen is can determine how long you soak it (a few minutes to overnight). Experiment.

BTW: Welcome to FPN!

Edited by jde, 07 June 2010 - 16:23.

 
...writing only requires focus, and something to write on. —John August
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#11 replicnt6

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 06:49

Forgive me for resurrecting a dead thread, but I wanted to put in a caveat about Rapido Eze from my own experience (some 20 years ago). I'm a big soaker. I soak pens. Soak and soak and soak.

I once soaked a Pelikan, probably a M600, in Rapido Eze and water overnight. This was a green one. I discovered, much to my chagrin, just how the barrel of these pens is constructed: in the morning, the striped green wrap had come off of the transparent green base of the barrel. Apparently, the striping is a sort of veneer over the actual plastic structure of the barrel. I guess it is glued on in some manner, and the Rapido Eze dissolved the glue. Happily, Pelikans, at least at the time, were repaired by Koh-I-Noor. I reported the situation and they replaced the barrel for free.

Conclusion: avoid soaking a pen in a Rapido Eze solution.

#12 SamCapote

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 06:19

Forgive me for resurrecting a dead thread, but I wanted to put in a caveat about Rapido Eze from my own experience (some 20 years ago). I'm a big soaker. I soak pens. Soak and soak and soak.

I once soaked a Pelikan, probably a M600, in Rapido Eze and water overnight. This was a green one. I discovered, much to my chagrin, just how the barrel of these pens is constructed: in the morning, the striped green wrap had come off of the transparent green base of the barrel. Apparently, the striping is a sort of veneer over the actual plastic structure of the barrel. I guess it is glued on in some manner, and the Rapido Eze dissolved the glue. Happily, Pelikans, at least at the time, were repaired by Koh-I-Noor. I reported the situation and they replaced the barrel for free.

Conclusion: avoid soaking a pen in a Rapido Eze solution.


All experiences are valid. Just to give my own observations, I have put Pelikan M400, M600, Nakaya Aka Tamenui (made with Urushi laquer), MontBlanc 149, 146, Noblesse Oblige enamel, Waterman Phileas, Parker Duofold, Sailor 1911 Red, several Sheaffers, Platinum, TWSBI, & others in the Rapido-Eze Pen Cleaner--strongest dilution was 1:4 parts water--many times overnight. Never any bad effects like you described 20 years ago. Perhaps the Pelikan glue has changed and/or the Rapido-Eze formulation?
With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

#13 Abel Penman

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 17:18

Forgive me for resurrecting a dead thread, but I wanted to put in a caveat about Rapido Eze from my own experience (some 20 years ago). I'm a big soaker. I soak pens. Soak and soak and soak.

I once soaked a Pelikan, probably a M600, in Rapido Eze and water overnight. This was a green one. I discovered, much to my chagrin, just how the barrel of these pens is constructed: in the morning, the striped green wrap had come off of the transparent green base of the barrel. Apparently, the striping is a sort of veneer over the actual plastic structure of the barrel. I guess it is glued on in some manner, and the Rapido Eze dissolved the glue. Happily, Pelikans, at least at the time, were repaired by Koh-I-Noor. I reported the situation and they replaced the barrel for free.

Conclusion: avoid soaking a pen in a Rapido Eze solution.


I began collecting during the early 1950s. If what you say is so, I'd rather avoid buying striped Pelikans! What you describe does certainly dispel any notions I had concerning the pen's durability. I own a black M800 which I have used on and off for many years and love the pen. No amount of soaking in Rapido-Eze has ever damaged this pen or caused any part of it to unravel. In short, I have always found Rapido-Eze to stand head and shoulders above its competition and highly recommend it.

#14 Abel Penman

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 17:40

I first heard about this from FPN member, kraz in this thread post here.

I had not heard of it being mentioned elsewhere, but having the name, I could then search and find it mentioned frequently on FPN. I decided to check into it a little further. I saw it was being sold at Blick's Art Supply here. A quick call to Nibs.com told me they were somewhat familiar with it, but recommended cleaning dried ink with a 1/2 cap of ammonia in a cup of cool water, drawing up for 20 mins, then ejecting and rinsing. Never use warm/hot water or alcohol which can damage the feed. Ammonia is NH3, and when added to water, becomes Ammonium Hydroxide which is a base (vs. an acid)

I clicked on the MSDS link for Koh-I-Noor, they have shown here, it has:


<1% Potassium Hydroxide
5-10% Triethanolamine
85-90% Water

I like to check a bit more than most people when a suggestion is made, and everyone just assumes the person telling them was automatically right, so I looked up the Koh-I-noor company which is based in Czechoslovakia here. I don't speak Czech, so I went back to the MSDS which revealed that it is manufactured by a MA company called Chartpak Inc!, so I called them (1-800-628-1910). They said they bought out Koh-I-noor (maybe worldwide, or maybe just their USA presence?), and they do make the cleaner in their lab. I asked to speak with their technical adviser, whose name was Barb Willard (x460). She confirmed that they mix up the product in their lab, and she works directly with them doing it.

She said it was completely safe for use in all fountain pens & feeds, and said it seems to work well even if dilluted with cool water 1:4.

Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) (like Ammonia) is also a strong base. Triethanolamine is also a base, but seems to be used as a surfactant/emulsifier agent.

So, I can see this may work a little differently than just some Ammonia in water. I wonder if it is similar to adding a few drops of dishwashing liquid to a dilute ammonia solution. I'm not as afraid of using it after doing this research and talking to Barb Weller.


Love the link and the way you dug in on this to determine whether it is safe to use! Kudos.

#15 ville900

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 21:40

Hello,

I am resurrecting this old thread. Does someone know if Rapido-Eze can be bought in Europe?

#16 Strombomboli

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 15:43

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#17 carlos.q

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 16:16

In the same page there are other pen cleaning fluids suggested such as:

- Speedball Pen Cleaner

- Rotring Cleaning Fluid

- Higgins Pen Cleaner

Are these similar to Rapido-Eze? Are they safe for fountain pens?  :unsure:



#18 OldGriz

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 16:40

In the same page there are other pen cleaning fluids suggested such as:

- Speedball Pen Cleaner

- Rotring Cleaning Fluid

- Higgins Pen Cleaner

Are these similar to Rapido-Eze? Are they safe for fountain pens?  :unsure:

 

They are all basically the same type of cleaner as Rapidoeze and safe for fountain pens....

I prefer Rapidoeze and purchase it by the quart container.....


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#19 carlos.q

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 16:47

 

They are all basically the same type of cleaner as Rapidoeze and safe for fountain pens....

I prefer Rapidoeze and purchase it by the quart container.....

Thank you!



#20 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 17:22

I think Hobby Lobby carries Higgins and Doc Martin's (cleaner not boots ;) ) I tried one of them, don't recall which, don't care, while my Kooh-i-nor was enroute. (I have no patience and They have an available all the time 40% off cupun.)

 

Don't waste your money. Get the Koh-i-noor. IMO, the other two are like tap water in comparison. (I think I had the Higgins.) I'm not sure where the rest of the bottle of the Higgins is but I SURE know where the Koh-i-noor is resting.

 

20% Ammonia water will handle most inkcidents. When you need the big(ger) gun don't bother with the water pistols.

 

Bruce in Ocala, FL








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