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

Soapy Wash Fixes Uneven Writing On New Pens


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Precise

Precise

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 521 posts
  • Location:Silicon Valley California
  • Flag:

Posted 13 January 2018 - 20:31

I've had two new pens which wrote unevenly:

 

Sailor King Of Pen

 

Omas Milord (the last version with converter)

 

To my surprise, a wash with water containing only 2 drops of liquid soap in a cup of water fixed the problem.  I suspect that the fix was not cleaning the pen, but rather adding a trace of soap to the ink.  Because I did not rinse them with pure water after the wash, so there was a trace of residual soap in the nib and converter.

 

If either pen returns to uneven writing after several refills, I'll first test only adding a trace of soap to the ink before re-washing.

 

Regards,

 

Alan


Edited by Precise, 13 January 2018 - 20:32.


Sponsored Content

#2 Aysedasi

Aysedasi

    24 Heures du Mans and Oblique Addict

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,898 posts
  • Location:New Forest, England
  • Flag:

Posted 13 January 2018 - 20:34

It's often recommended to use this process for new pens to clean out any oils and chemicals from the manufacturing process.  I guess it may also help in time to rid the pen of any other impurities it acquires from ink etc.  


Edited by Aysedasi, 13 January 2018 - 20:34.


#3 thx1138

thx1138

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 216 posts
  • Location:Western Australia
  • Flag:

Posted 14 January 2018 - 01:27

Dish washing liquid would also act as a fairly powerful surfactant.

#4 pajaro

pajaro

    Amblin along like I had good sense.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,632 posts
  • Location:Tecumseh, MI
  • Flag:

Posted 14 January 2018 - 01:38

This is recommended all the time here.  I have never found it to help.  That doesn't mean it won't work for you.


"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#5 pepsiplease69

pepsiplease69

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 929 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 14 January 2018 - 02:25

A pen that writes well, should deliver adequate amount of ink to the paper without the need for the ink to be laced with additional surfactant.

A thorough wash before the pens maiden voyage should allow for consistent ink flow. If it doesnt work, then the next thing I try is to gently tune the nib to spread the tines a bit.

Additional soap into the ink poses three problems for me:

1) the ink becomes so runny and over-wetting that whenever it does end up on the paper, it bleeds and feathers like crazy.

b ) theres no scientific way to ensure quality control. You cannot guarantee that once youve mixed the ideal amount of soap into ink, that you will be able to concoct the same cocktail every time. Youd have to purchase some pretty expensive equipment to accurately measure the surface tension to have any sort of guarantee.

And iii) the dyes in some of the inks (particularly the reds and browns) can be unstable and adding soap to the ink can cause unexpected character shifts in the ink over time. I had this happen to me with Diamine Red Dragon, the result wasnt pretty.

Edited by pepsiplease69, 14 January 2018 - 02:26.


#6 Precise

Precise

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 521 posts
  • Location:Silicon Valley California
  • Flag:

Posted 14 January 2018 - 20:29

"adding soap to the ink can cause unexpected character shifts in the ink over time. I had this happen to me with Diamine Red Dragon, the result wasn't pretty."

 

Tell us some details.  

 

Thank you,

 

Alan



#7 Chrissy

Chrissy

    Ancient Artifact

  • Away
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,301 posts

Posted 14 January 2018 - 23:02

While I tend to clean new pens with lukewarm water that has a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid added to it, I always rinse the pens out very well, in clean water, afterwards. Many inks are quite wet enough without having added traces of soap in there.



#8 pepsiplease69

pepsiplease69

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 929 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 15 January 2018 - 00:29

 
Tell us some details.  
 
Thank you,
 
Alan


I tried adding palmolive dish soap in tiny quantities to the ink reservoir of a Kaweco Sport (eyedropper converted) the flow was dismal.

I noticed that the deep rich red color of Red Dragon lost all of its life. It became a very boring brown ink within the course of a few weeks.

#9 mitto

mitto

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,729 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:06

While I tend to clean new pens with lukewarm water that has a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid added to it, I always rinse the pens out very well, in clean water, afterwards. Many inks are quite wet enough without having added traces of soap in there.


+1

I do the same and have found it helps a great deal.
Khan

#10 jar

jar

    A Vintage Pen has to be older than me.

  • Premium - Ruby

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,364 posts
  • Location:From Deep South Texas
  • Flag:

Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:49

Don't use soap, only detergent.  They really are not the same thing.


My Sister's website :  Rose Hill Studios

My Website


#11 Chrissy

Chrissy

    Ancient Artifact

  • Away
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,301 posts

Posted 15 January 2018 - 12:05

Don't use soap, only detergent.  They really are not the same thing.

 

We find it confusing jar. You call it "dish soap" and we call it "dishwashing liquid" which is detergent.  :)

 

Here, soap is something that comes as a solid bar, or a small pump container that you keep by the sink. Both are for hand washing.  :)



#12 mitto

mitto

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,729 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 15 January 2018 - 12:10

We find it confusing jar. You call it "dish soap" and we call it "dishwashing liquid" which is detergent.  :)
 
Here, soap is something that comes as a solid bar, or a small pump container that you keep by the sink. Both are for hand washing.  :)


+1
I too use dish washing liquid.
Khan

#13 jar

jar

    A Vintage Pen has to be older than me.

  • Premium - Ruby

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,364 posts
  • Location:From Deep South Texas
  • Flag:

Posted 15 January 2018 - 13:35

 

We find it confusing jar. You call it "dish soap" and we call it "dishwashing liquid" which is detergent.  :)

 

Here, soap is something that comes as a solid bar, or a small pump container that you keep by the sink. Both are for hand washing.  :)

Actually I don't call it "dish soap" if it is detergent.  Soaps and detergents are two totally different critters. I also don't call anything "dishwashing liquid".

 

Ducks can actually swim in soapy water but not detergent water.

 

This goes back I fear to our (me and my siblings) basic education.  The difference between soap and detergent was one of those really, really neat pre-school lessons for all us kids.


Edited by jar, 15 January 2018 - 13:37.

My Sister's website :  Rose Hill Studios

My Website


#14 Ron Z

Ron Z

    Museum Piece

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,639 posts

Posted 15 January 2018 - 19:16

I would be careful adding random detergents to ink.  I suggest reading the articles in the blog Fountain Pen Design.  There is one in particular that's titled Simply Inks.   His comment on Detergents:

 

 

DETERGENTS

… reduce the surface tension of fluids, and it is believed it is used in ink to increase its flow, and no doubt it would do that. I invite you to a test but use a fountain pen that you can miss. Just add the smallest amount of detergent (one grain of washing powder to a cartridge) into your ink.  It will end in a disaster, and your fountain pen may never work again.

The wettability of fountain pen components carrying ink is critical, though it is achieved by other means, which I will describe in the chapter of the feed.

 

Its well worth noodling around the blog.


banner200.jpg
Visit Main Street Pens
A full service pen shop providing professional, thoughtful vintage pen repair...

Please use email, not a PM for repair and pen purchase inquiries.


#15 ASCIIaardvark

ASCIIaardvark

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 89 posts
  • Location:Seattle
  • Flag:

Posted 15 January 2018 - 22:35

I would be careful adding random detergents to ink.  I suggest reading the articles in the blog Fountain Pen Design.  There is one in particular that's titled Simply Inks.   His comment on Detergents:

 

 

> something about a grain of washing powder

 

We're talking about all sorts of things here... I thought "washing powder" was the same as "washing soda" (ie: sodium carbonate) -- but some googleing implies that "washing powder" can also be boric acid crystals... which sounds less than PH neutral.

 

 

As it happens, just hours before OP's post, I was adding dish soap to an ink - less than a drop (I used blunt needle to transfer a smear) into the pen, then shook vigorously to mix (it's in the new Noodler's safety pen, so no ink mess in cap).

 

It did make the ink "wetter" - came out more copiously when I flexed for fewer railroading problems. I've refilled a couple times since then, without cleaning the pen, and it's gotten dryer as the soap becomes more dilute but everything's still working fine.

 

This is the same soap I use to flush a new pen to be rid of any oils on the feed, and is so gentle I can't imagine it harming the materials of any pen in my collection (though it may stain an un-sealed wood)



#16 Ron Z

Ron Z

    Museum Piece

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,639 posts

Posted 16 January 2018 - 00:38

Read the article.  The guy was an engineer for a major pen company.


banner200.jpg
Visit Main Street Pens
A full service pen shop providing professional, thoughtful vintage pen repair...

Please use email, not a PM for repair and pen purchase inquiries.







Sponsored Content




|