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Should I Store The Ink After Pen Cleaning ?

ink cleaning clean monthly maintain

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39 replies to this topic

#21 sherman1873

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 10:15

I would flush clean the pen only when I've run the pen dry. IOW there is no ink left in the pen to worry about putting back into the bottle or not. And even then, I will not clean the pen every time I empty the pen. Heck I have some pens that have not been cleaned for MONTHS, and they work just fine. But, as has been said, some inks do need cleaning more often/frequently than others, because the ink so saturated that it will gradually clog the feed. Also how often you use the pen also affects this, as infrequent usage could result in the ink drying in the feed. So bottom line is, it depends on YOUR specific ink/pen/usage combo.

The only time that I will clean the pen between fills, with ink still in the pen, is when I have a nib clog. Some papers leave a LOT of paper dust on the nib that migrates into the nib/feed, and clogs the pen. Then I need to flush clean that gunk out of the nib/feed.

Normally clip pens are stored nib UP. But there is nothing wrong with storing the pen flat. Some pens, however, need to be stored flat or nib down. This is because the ink gets stuck in the back of the converter when stored nib up, and you have to open the pen to tap the converter to get the ink to fall down to the front of the converter. This is why some converters have a stainless steel ball inside. The ball falls through the ink breaking the surface tension that is holding the ink to the back of the converter.

I will store the pen lying flat then, If i start noticing issues with that, then I will store it upright, I am guessing this is a logical way of thinking. 



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#22 sherman1873

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 10:17

Flushing a pen monthly does no harm to the pens and as long as you flush your pen regularly 2 to four weeks (depending on pen and ink) your pens will likely out live us all. :P

I do agree with Tinta about disassembly. Flushing a pen is different from taking it apart and cleaning each part--most pens were not meant for constant disassembly. You can wear out threads, loosen friction fit parts and lose pieces or forget how to put a pen back together when constantly taking apart pens. But, honestly, your pens will likely never need a cleaning that thorough and if it does send it to an expert.

In the past, there was not the huge variety of inks that one can find today. Back then, one could risk not flushing a pen since it was likely one used the same ink color and brand constantly. These days, it's safer to flush when switching to another color or a different brand.

You've received a lot of great advice and recommendations in this thread, but don't over think it. As long as your pens work, do what ever you are comfortable with. :)

But flushing the pen requires some disassembly, right ? And what if the minerals and particles found in the water damage the feed ? Should I be using a special kind of water ? Something like distilled water instead ?  



#23 sherman1873

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 10:22

.  .  .  .  .   and, if you clean your pen after six weeks, rather than four weeks ?   No, the fountain pen police will NOT come to your home !   If you pour a glass of milk, and fail to drink it all, do you pour the remainder back to the milk carton ?  

 

Try this :  Use up the ink, then flush.   If you are uncomfortable with the extended time between cleaning, fill with less ink.  Dried ink is bad for your fountain pen.  Liquid ink is not.  

 

Soooooo, which fountain pens do you use regularly ?  

I might be overthinking it, but I am just trying to make sure to take care of my pens. I want them to last a long time, work properly and so I am searching for the best way to take care of them.

 

I don't even own a fountain pen at this point but I will be ordering a few this week, the pens I will be ordering are as follows :

 

pilot Metropolitan pen - fine tip ($25)

 

U118 - Fashion Jinhao X450 B twist carved fountain ($3.14)

 

 

U118 - BAOER 388 ($2.09)

 

Now I know that some of those pens are probably (bleep), but I am getting them as back up pens, since they are so cheap. The pilot metropolitan is going to be my main pen since I know its of a higher quality than the other two.



#24 haruka337

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 16:59

But flushing the pen requires some disassembly, right ? And what if the minerals and particles found in the water damage the feed ? Should I be using a special kind of water ? Something like distilled water instead ?

Forgive me for not being more specific. If using a converter, yes, you will unscrew the mid section to get to it, but nothing more. Flushing pens is just drawing water or a bit of soapy water in and out of a pen until clear.

Unless the tap water you use has a high mineral content (hard water) I wouldn't worry about it. Though, if it would make you feel more at ease, then use distilled water, go for it. :)

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#25 Mangrove Jack

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 17:29

Just as a test I filled my Pelikan M200 (my daily user these last few months) with Noodlers Bulletproof black ink and kept refilling with the same Ink whenever it ran dry without flushing, just to see what would happen or how long I could go without having to flush out the pen. It's been 4 or 5 months now and everything works fine.

#26 sherman1873

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 18:14

Forgive me for not being more specific. If using a converter, yes, you will unscrew the mid section to get to it, but nothing more. Flushing pens is just drawing water or a bit of soapy water in and out of a pen until clear.

Unless the tap water you use has a high mineral content (hard water) I wouldn't worry about it. Though, if it would make you feel more at ease, then use distilled water, go for it. :)

Forgive me for asking, but I just want to make sure.

 

If I use only distilled water for flushing the pen, and I flush it every month it would not get worn out at all from the water, but it might get worn out due to all of the unscrewing of the converter.

 

Would unscrewing the converter once per month to flush be bad for the pen ? Would the thread wear out and not be usable after a year or two



#27 sherman1873

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 18:16

Just as a test I filled my Pelikan M200 (my daily user these last few months) with Noodlers Bulletproof black ink and kept refilling with the same Ink whenever it ran dry without flushing, just to see what would happen or how long I could go without having to flush out the pen. It's been 4 or 5 months now and everything works fine.

Thanks for sharing the results of the test with me, that is interesting, but I think there are many factors that go into it, like people in here said. It depends on the paper, ink and pen, so I might not be able to gather the same results with my pen, ink and paper. 

 

I don't know if anyone has actually done a mass test on how often pens must be cleaned 



#28 Pterodactylus

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 18:48

25192007512_098110e41b_o.jpg

 

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#29 sherman1873

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 18:57

25192007512_098110e41b_o.jpg

 

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First of all, I wanna say that, that is some impressive handwriting ! 

 

And I am guessing that 1 time a month may be too much, but I keep hearing so many different opinions that I don't know what I should really do, I wanna maintain the pen writing well, not scratchy or anything, but at the same time I don't wanna wear it out by cleaning it too often.

 

In your opinion should I clean it maybe 2 times a year ? Or perhaps I should never clean the pen, unless I run into some issues.



#30 Pterodactylus

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 19:19

Thanks :)
I would suggest flush your pens as often as you like, it will not harm (even if it's not needed).
Do it when you change the ink color.

Fountain pens are really robust, they don't need much care.
Don´t let them dry out, but this might also take several months (depending on the pen and how well it seals)

Don't dismantle the pens unnecessarily, this will harm on the long run.

Sometimes I have the impression that the cleaning fetishists do it because they like to play with their pens.

There are also people which wash their cars on a daily base.
Is it needed? No
But it's ok if it make them happy ;)
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#31 sherman1873

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 19:29

Thanks :)
I would suggest flush your pens as often as you like, it will not harm (even if it's not needed).
Do it when you change the ink color.

Fountain pens are really robust, they don't need much care.
Don´t let them dry out, but this might also take several months (depending on the pen and how well it seals)

Don't dismantle the pens unnecessarily, this will harm on the long run.

Sometimes I have the impression that the cleaning fetishists do it because they like to play with their pens.

There are also people which wash their cars on a daily base.
Is it needed? No
But it's ok if it make them happy ;)

alright, I don't plan to change the ink of my pens, I just plan to use different colors for different pens and change the pen if I want the different ink. I don't really think I will need that much maintenance since I wont be having to change inks, I will probably just flush the pens whenever it has been a while, maybe 2 or 3 times a year just in case ? I hope that won't wear them out too fast.

 

I just don't know what to expect since like many people I come from the crappy world of cheap ballpoints, and they don't really require any care



#32 haruka337

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 19:32

Forgive me for asking, but I just want to make sure.
 
If I use only distilled water for flushing the pen, and I flush it every month it would not get worn out at all from the water, but it might get worn out due to all of the unscrewing of the converter.
 
Would unscrewing the converter once per month to flush be bad for the pen ? Would the thread wear out and not be usable after a year or two


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#33 sherman1873

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 19:38

Your pen will be fine. :)

Yeah, I tend to worry too much about the nice things I have xD



#34 LionRoar

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 16:30

I'm not saying that I'm using the best possible methods, and I probably don't use my pens as much as some contributors to this forum, but I do all the bad things that they say you are not supposed to do. I don't clean the pens every month, when I do clean I just use regular tap water. When I refill the pen with the same ink, I just squirt the ink back into the bottle and refill. I've let the ink dry out in the pens. My oldest fountain pen is more than 20 years old and still writes just fine, no problems.

 

If you are just using inexpensive pens like Pilot Metropolitans, and you are using safe water-soluble ink like Waterman or Skrip (and not bulletpoof ink or thick super-saturated boutique ink etc.), I don't think you need to really worry about this stuff. (Especially true with Pilot pens because you can just pull out the nib and feed and soak them in water, very easy to clean.)

 

Maybe if I had a $1000 MontBlanc I'd be more cautious.


Edited by LionRoar, 28 February 2016 - 16:41.


#35 sherman1873

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 16:34

I'm not saying that I'm using the best possible methods, and I probably don't use my pens as much as some contributors to this forum, but I've done all the bad things that they say you are not supposed to do. I don't clean the pens every month, when I do clean I just use regular tap water, when I refill the pen with the same ink, I just squirt the ink back into the bottle and refill. My oldest fountain pen is more than 20 years old and still writes just fine, no problems.

 

If you are just using inexpensive pens like Pilot Metropolitans, and you are using safe water-soluble ink like Waterman, I don't think you need to really worry about this stuff.

 

Maybe if I had a $1000 MontBlanc I'd be more cautious.

I know that in the world of fountain pens 25 dollars isn't much, but for me it's a lot since I am used to the cheapness of ballpoints.

But you are right, I shouldn't worry too much, and if I (bleep) up the pen, big deal I will at least learn what not to do in the future : )



#36 tinta

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 19:36

Depends where you live & the quality of your water. 

If you would live in my village, you'd most likely not want to drink or some days even bathe in our heavily discoloured communal well water.  Our tap water contains a lot of lime, iron & other minerals.  In our house we use bottled Reverse Osmosis water for coffee,  tea & cooking.  My pens are also flushed using RO water. 


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#37 sherman1873

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 19:46

Depends where you live & the quality of your water. 

If you would live in my village, you'd most likely not want to drink or some days even bathe in our heavily discoloured communal well water.  Our tap water contains a lot of lime, iron & other minerals.  In our house we use bottled Reverse Osmosis water for coffee,  tea & cooking.  My pens are also flushed using RO water. 

I will just go with distilled water, just to be on the safe side ^^



#38 avoiceinthedistance

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 01:50

DON'T SPEND THE BABY'S MILK MONEY ON PENS AND INK!  C. S. 

 

The baby's milk money should ONLY be spent on custom nib work, right? And maybe really good paper?

 

Welcome to fountain pens -- and to FPN. You can find lots of good advice here (and maybe a wisecrack or two).

 

As for flushing pens, I flush when changing inks; otherwise, I just let my pens tell me when they need flushing. They will let you know.


Edited by avoiceinthedistance, 03 March 2016 - 01:55.


#39 sherman1873

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 08:48

 

The baby's milk money should ONLY be spent on custom nib work, right? And maybe really good paper?

 

Welcome to fountain pens -- and to FPN. You can find lots of good advice here (and maybe a wisecrack or two).

 

As for flushing pens, I flush when changing inks; otherwise, I just let my pens tell me when they need flushing. They will let you know.

alright, so I flush when changing to a new ink, or when I notice that my pen is not performing as well as it used to, got it !



#40 CraigR

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 00:32

I have noticed that I can easily spend time on pen "maintenance" when not actually writing with them. I have a very modest pen collection of about 40 pens, down from over 200. When I had a lot of pens, Many evenings were spent cleaning and adjusting pens just for the joy I get in doing it. Writing provides similar enjoyment but I have some carpal tunnel issues in my writing wrist and so I do that less than I used to. As previously mentioned, my cleaning habits are pretty tame nowdays.

 

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