Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies






Photo

Inky T O D - Cleaning Between Inking - What's Your Process?


  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#1 amberleadavis

amberleadavis

    Inky! En-Abe-Lawyer

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 35,587 posts
  • Location:North Las Vegas
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2014 - 00:10

From Sinistral1:  Final question: What is your pen cleaning process and what do you use? I use water (tap) then a 1:10 water/white amonia solution, then flush with tap water until it is clear. Somebody said using 1:10 white vinegar helps, too.

 

So, this got me thinking we should all discuss it.... what do you do to clean out your pens between inks?


Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

 

Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar  

 

Participate in the newest Inky TODs: 

Why do I like those nibs? 

What do I like about my handwriting? 

Whose handwriting do I like?  

Which Script Will I learn? 

Which Inks for my Handwriting

 

Ink comparisons:  The Great PPS Comparison  366 Inks in 2016

 

Check out inks sorted by color:  Blue Purple Brown  Red Green Orange Black  Pinks  Yellows  Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal


Sponsored Content

#2 Bookman

Bookman

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,036 posts
  • Location:Northern California

Posted 10 May 2014 - 00:32

I got into a bad habit several months ago, removing the nibs and feeds from the sections to clean them, all but my Pelikan M215 which has one of those funky nib-feed units.  I discovered I could disassemble the pertinent parts, rinse thoroughly under the faucet, hand-dry and then blow-dry everything with the cool-air setting, and finally put the next ink into a completely dry pen, all in about 10 minutes.  Just to clean a pen thoroughly the other ways—with the converter or a bulb syringe—usually took longer than 10 minutes. The drying took hours.  This new way was like picking low hanging fruit.  Now I fear the repeated friction will lead to a bad result.


Edited by Bookman, 10 May 2014 - 00:33.

I love the smell of fountain pen ink in the morning.

 

 

 


#3 Runnin_Ute

Runnin_Ute

    Super Pinks member:

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,330 posts
  • Location:Sandy, Utah - Elevation 4509'
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2014 - 00:34

Warm tap water and a bulb syringe, sometimes use a ink syringe as well. I use a glass that looks more like a flower vase than a drink glass. Fill/flush until water coming out is clear. I start using just the fill mechanism on the pen - whether converter or piston, then the bulb, then if necessary the ink syringe.


Brad
 
"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain
 


#4 Komitadjie

Komitadjie

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 629 posts
  • Location:Wenatchee, WA
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2014 - 00:56

All of my pens save one are C/C units, so I typically just use the ear syringe to flush a 1/10 ammonia solution through them until it runs clear, then another full bulb of water to flush away any ammonia residue, then shake them down and leave them tip-down in the dried out cleaning glass with a folded towel at the bottom to remove any remaining water.  That last bit is only if I'm going to be storing them, if I'm re-inking, I shake them down, then immediately refill.  

 

I actually do that routine between all fills, not just colour changes, because I don't use up that much ink.  I figure it doesn't take long, and once every couple weeks of use, particularly with the Carbon ink I like, is probably a good time for a flushing. 



#5 Vgimlet

Vgimlet

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 232 posts
  • Location:Seattle Area
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2014 - 01:04

I don't clean unless I'm changing ink color or pulling a pen for awhile. 

 

When I clean I usually just use warm water under the faucet,  and a bulb syringe on the nib until it runs clear.  If it's a more difficult color I do a dilute rinse with ammonia first, and then rinse well a few times to make sure all the ammonia is removed.  

 

Then I let it sit out on the counter at least overnight, with the nib in paper towels to draw the water out.  



#6 canibanoglu

canibanoglu

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 590 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2014 - 01:57

For my C/C pens, a lot of bulb syringe flushing with drinking water for the section, around 8-9 bulbs. Then I clean the cartridge with a normal syringe, also with drinking water. Cartridge or convertor cleaning can be a bit tedious, because I don't have a needle that is long enough for some of the cartridges but I found that if push the piston on the syringe really fast (that is more pressure) I can get the bottom of the cartridge clean. Then I wrap the section in a paper towel, do I couple of flicking motions, rewrap it with the same paper towel so a dry part of the paper towel meets the nib/feed and leave it nib down for about 10-15 minutes (really depends on how much I'm itching to try a new ink). 

 

I then take a toothpick, wrap it with two layers of paper towel so it is thick enough to clean the walls of the cartridge/convertor and use a scotch tape to make sure that I don't leave the paper towel piece inside the cartridge by mistake (it happened once, it was kinda hard to get it out of there). I dry the inside of the cartridge and get the last residues of ink (the walls just below the entry point in Lamy nibs seem to hold some ink no matter how much water I push through with the syringe) and then fill and use the new pen.

 

My only piston pen so far is a Lamy 2000 and it is pretty easy to clean out for obsessive people like me. I use drinking water for the whole process but maybe I'll add a couple of drops of dishwasher into the water next time. I start by just using the piston to draw clean water and expel it through the nib until it is reasonably clean at which point I take the pen apart, remove the nib carefully, and clean it directly with some water. I do the same with the barrel so I know for sure that the piston/ink chamber is clean. I put it back together and do just one more rinse with the piston and do the whole paper towel on the nib thing again.

 

I know this is a bit obsessive but I just cringe when I think that I might not clean one of my pens thoroughly. I wonder how much time I'll spend cleaning when I get a piston filler that I can't clean so easily. 

 

PS: I do this whole process even if I'm inking the pen with the same ink. 


Edited by canibanoglu, 10 May 2014 - 01:57.

I sometimes write about pens, inks and papers!

#7 Waski_the_Squirrel

Waski_the_Squirrel

    Forum Squirrel

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,043 posts
  • Location:North Dakota
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2014 - 03:02

I'll normally rinse out the pen, feed, and nib with tap water. Usually I'll also soak the nib and feed in water until they quit oozing color.

 

Occasionally, I will use a bulb or entirely disassemble the pen for more thorough cleaning.

 

If I'm keeping the same ink in the pen, I normally don't bother cleaning the pen.


Proud resident of the least visited state in the nation!

#8 Sandy1

Sandy1

    Minty

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,902 posts
  • Location:Voodoo Convent

Posted 10 May 2014 - 09:47

Hi,

 

For most ink+pen combos I'll use water to flush the ink until the rinse water's clear, then either fill the pen if has an integral reservoir (e.g. sac, piston, ED) or if a c/c let the section soak in water for perhaps an hour, then see what if any ink remains by emptying the pen of soak water onto a white saucer, then do another water flush.

 

For ink+pen combos that are tedious to cleanse, after most of the ink was removed I'll use a DIY cleaning solution to expedite things. (My Tedium Tolerance is diminishing.)

 

When I start with a new ink, I'll do an 'escalating' clean-up, checking the rinses to see what if anything was left behind. I'll start with plain water until I'd usually consider the pen to be clean, then do a thermometer flick or maracas shake to remove most remaining water; then give the pen a soak+flush with the pen cleaning solution, then rinse until I'd consider the pen to be clean; then give it another round using a technical pen cleaner, such as Rapido-Eze.

> That approach revealed that some inks can leave a residue after plain water, and after a 0.5 - 1.0% ammonia + surfactant.

> Emptying the soak water after each stage onto a piece of white paper, then letting it dry, will give a better idea than using a white saucer to see what's left in the pen after each stage.

 

The ultrasonic bath is used mostly for jewelery and used pens found in the wild or if I've used a persistent ink in a Parker 61 or if I don't want to use aggressive chemicals (on vintage pens.)

 

I tend to avoid removing the nibs from the feed, but if I thought there was persistent inky residue, I'd give them a whirl in the ultrasonic.

 

When I learned that a dilute acetic acid solution would remove IG ink residue that ammonia-based cleaners leave behind, I tried that in my pens which see a lot of those inks, but nothing visible was released. So either my pens had no such residue or the residue removed was not visible to the unaided eye.

 

Bye,

S1

 

__ __

See also 'Limit to Soaking?' http://www.fountainp...king/?p=2453755


Edited by Sandy1, 10 May 2014 - 09:49.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#9 Tanzanite

Tanzanite

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,094 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2014 - 11:13

I use slightly warm tap water to flush the pen till the water is clear and if possible I use a rubber bulb. If I have used a difficult ink I put the nib section in som water for a while. I wipe the nib with tissue and fill the pen directly. Usually no drying time.

Edited by Tanzanite, 10 May 2014 - 11:15.


#10 PaperDarts

PaperDarts

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 849 posts
  • Location:Toronto, Canada
  • Flag:

Posted 10 May 2014 - 15:43

First I rinse the pen under cool running water, with sink stopper in place and folded paper towel to cushion any accidental drops. Then I get out the bulb syringe and flush the nib and section until the water runs clear.  I have never had the courage to take a section apart. I usually flush a converter or piston filler separately, the bulb syringe works so much faster to flush a nib.

 

Next I fill the converter or piston filler with clean water and let the pen parts soak in a shallow white bowl for awhile, changing the water until no ink is visible. I put a few drops of household ammonia into the bowl of water if anything is really gunked up.  

 

When I'm satisfied that the pen parts are clean, I put them into a small cup lined with paper towel for a day or two until they're dry. This method tests my patience when it's a favourite writer, but no doubt that's character-building.


"Life would split asunder without letters." Virginia Woolf

#11 Jadesycakes

Jadesycakes

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 10 May 2014 - 22:21

My only piston pen so far is a Lamy 2000 and it is pretty easy to clean out for obsessive people like me. I use drinking water for the whole process but maybe I'll add a couple of drops of dishwasher into the water next time.

Be really careful doing that. Even a few drops of dishwashing fluid is way, way too much. Maybe dip the very tip of a toothpick into the soap, then whisk that into the water.



#12 Callique

Callique

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 118 posts

Posted 12 July 2014 - 21:46

Hi,

 

I'd like to know how you clean your pens between inkings please.  I'm finding it really difficult to get all traces of previous ink out so that the next ink I use is often not in its pure colour.  Can you help with suggestions?

 

Thanks!



#13 doggonecarl

doggonecarl

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 983 posts
  • Location:Virginia
  • Flag:

Posted 12 July 2014 - 22:18

What kind of pens? Cartridge/converter? Piston filled?

Forcing clear water through the nib and feed works 90% of the times. Sometimes I add something to aid in the cleaning. Sometimes I soak. But I have had little problems cleaning ink out.

#14 Callique

Callique

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 118 posts

Posted 12 July 2014 - 22:25

Thank you for your answer.  Lever and piston at the moment.  I do fill with water and expel many times but I still find the water doesn't run clear after many goes.



#15 Chrissy

Chrissy

    Ancient Artifact

  • Away
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,301 posts

Posted 12 July 2014 - 22:30

I find C/C fillers easy to clean with an ear bulb and water. Piston fillers I occasionally give a good clean in the ultrasonic bath. If the nib and feed is removable I remove it.

 

Maybe not every time though. Most times I just keep emptying and filling the piston with water until there are no marks on the wad of kitchen roll.

 

I have also used Perfect Pen Flush that I bought from Richard Binder



#16 inkstainedruth

inkstainedruth

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,866 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 12 July 2014 - 22:33

Try adding a little clear ammonia to the water (most people on here suggest a 9 to 1 ratio of water to ammonia, but I just sort of eyeball it, adding a little Dawn dish detergent (a drop or two).  Some people just use tap water, but I always use distilled water, even when just flushing with water, because my water is very hard (i.e., has lots of minerals in it).  Then flush that really well with plain water.  I dry the pen with the nib down, wicking any liquid into a paper towel in a small jar.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#17 amberleadavis

amberleadavis

    Inky! En-Abe-Lawyer

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 35,587 posts
  • Location:North Las Vegas
  • Flag:

Posted 13 July 2014 - 02:17

So, I stained one of my Pelikan Pens:

 

20140706_133641.jpg

 

After serious flushing and sonic bathing, it looked like this:

 

20140706_195944.jpg

 

After 1 fill with Noodler's Rattler Red - American Eel ink, it looks a lot better. I'll post photos AFTER I do another flush.

 

20140712_165723.jpg


Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

 

Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar  

 

Participate in the newest Inky TODs: 

Why do I like those nibs? 

What do I like about my handwriting? 

Whose handwriting do I like?  

Which Script Will I learn? 

Which Inks for my Handwriting

 

Ink comparisons:  The Great PPS Comparison  366 Inks in 2016

 

Check out inks sorted by color:  Blue Purple Brown  Red Green Orange Black  Pinks  Yellows  Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal


#18 Komitadjie

Komitadjie

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 629 posts
  • Location:Wenatchee, WA
  • Flag:

Posted 13 July 2014 - 02:39

Looks like BSB syndrome to me!  :lol:



#19 amberleadavis

amberleadavis

    Inky! En-Abe-Lawyer

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 35,587 posts
  • Location:North Las Vegas
  • Flag:

Posted 13 July 2014 - 02:46

Looks like BSB syndrome to me!   :lol:

 

1 day in my window and BSB removes from even the most stubborn pen.


Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

 

Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar  

 

Participate in the newest Inky TODs: 

Why do I like those nibs? 

What do I like about my handwriting? 

Whose handwriting do I like?  

Which Script Will I learn? 

Which Inks for my Handwriting

 

Ink comparisons:  The Great PPS Comparison  366 Inks in 2016

 

Check out inks sorted by color:  Blue Purple Brown  Red Green Orange Black  Pinks  Yellows  Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal


#20 ac12

ac12

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,481 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA - SFO
  • Flag:

Posted 13 July 2014 - 04:09

A LOT depends on the type of pen; lever fill, vac fill, aerometric, c/c

And can I remove the nib assembly, as on Pelikan, Esterbrooks, Parker 45, etc. 

The more I can disassemble the pen the better.  Then there is less places for the ink to hide in.

 

I try to flush wash as much of the ink out of the pen as I can, using plain tap water.

I found here that the ink you are using (being liquid) is easier to clean out than the dried/concentrated stuff in used pens.  Those are a totally different story.  :(

After flushing till clean, I will soak the section (nib down) in water, to let ink in the ink reservoirs dissolve and drift out of the pen.  Sometimes nothing comes out, other times a cloud of ink comes out, and I have to do the soaking several times.

 

The cleaning is more important when I am going from a dark ink (like black) to a lighter ink (like turquoise), where the effect of color contamination is more visible.  If going to black, you don't have to clean as much because the black will overpower any other color.

 

For lever fill sack pens, aerometric, piston or vac fillers, the trick is if you have a "sticky" ink that sticks to the inside of the sac/ink chamber.  Then I may have to resort to a 10% ammonium solution to try to dissolve the ink, so it can be washed out.  The problem is, unless you have a clear pen, you can't see the ink sticking to the inside of the sac/chamber.

 

If I am changing brands, I try to clean the pen well, because I do not know what the ink interaction/reaction will be between the 2 brands of inks.


San Francisco Pen Show - August 23-25, 2019 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com







Sponsored Content




|