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How Often To Clean Or Flush Fountain Pens Used Regularly

clean ink flush nib feed drying

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28 replies to this topic

#21 by_a_Lady

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 15:43

After every fill unless the filling mechanism does not lend itself to easy flushing.  Even if I am using the same ink (does not happen often).  For the few of those I have that are hard to flush, I try to use a dedicated ink for them.  Really, I do not use pens like that very often.  Now, if you mean CLEAN the pen, it depends on what I'm doing.  I can't recall the last time I have cleaned a vintage pen after first assembly.  Flushing is fine and the pen does not need it usually.  And vintage pens have a potential to break.

 

That being said, I have a pen that has had Diamine Registrar's ink in it for over a year (yes, flushed every time before filled) and I am noticing it is starting to clog.  I think some of the iron gall is beginning to build up a sediment.  I read on another post recently I should do an Ascorbic Acid flush.  I was going to attempt that and see if it helps before I do a full disassembly.  It is an old vintage safety pen with a glass nib on it.  I am not keen on disassembling it if I do not have to.

 

Ascorbic acid, now that's a new one! Do you maybe have a link to that post? And please tell us how it went if you do end up doing it!

 

 

Dominique


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#22 inkstainedruth

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 15:53

I know people have talked about ascorbic acid (which is basically crushing up a vitamin C tablet, but a stronger formulation).  But I've never had a problem with IG inks where I needed to go that severe a route.  I do flush IG inks more often (maybe every fill or two).  But my regimen of distilled water, vinegar solution (with a drop of Dawn dish detergent), distilled water, ammonia solution (someone on here who is a chemist explained why that works -- but not until AFTER the vinegar solution) and then more distilled water.  And I use IG inks a fair amount (although not Diamine Registrar's -- my sample of it oxidized to a washy blue grey that had nice shading but was otherwise insipid looking).

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."

#23 eharriett

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 16:50

 

Ascorbic acid, now that's a new one! Do you maybe have a link to that post? And please tell us how it went if you do end up doing it!

 

 

Dominique

 

I'll do you one better than that!  I'll link to the link that was referenced in the original discussion so you can see for yourself.  It was made by Konrad, the creator of KWZ Inks.

 

http://kwzink.com/la...pens-iron-gall/



#24 by_a_Lady

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 22:03

 

I'll do you one better than that!  I'll link to the link that was referenced in the original discussion so you can see for yourself.  It was made by Konrad, the creator of KWZ Inks.

 

http://kwzink.com/la...pens-iron-gall/

 

:notworthy1:


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#25 Tonhao5

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 15:36

I think that "in the days" of fountain pens nobody flushed their pens, just re-filled. For YEARS. And guess what, the pens from that era, which I buy regularly, are usually just fine after cleaning up and some standard maintenance. Sometimes I come upon vintage manuals from the 1930s through 1960s and frequently read "flush once or twice with cold water once a year". In my opinion, many aficionados here overdo cleaning to a degree that is probably more harm than good to their pens. Especially Pelikans are prone to being ruined by over enthusiastic cleaning fans who even take out the nib and then crack the section by over-tightening when putting it back. SIMPLY DON'T. Only flush your pens when it's absolutely necessary like when you change to another ink or retire the pen for a longer period. In case you ever get a vintage piston filler with cork seal, keep it filled with water if you don't use it so that the piston ring doesn't dry out. But the pens and inks you list should be totally carefree.


I agree, sometimes excessive maintenance does more harm than good. Flushing may be beneficial for very old pens or pens that were inked and sat for years but I only do it when I change ink color.

#26 Penpulsar

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 16:06

TO RON Z --

 

First, thanks to all here for an interesting thread. Next, Mr. Z -- I just returned (unopened and with regret) a bottle of Noodler's Baystate Blue, after reading warnings from dead and dying pen owners complaining about this pen ailment or that. I then wondered about Platinum and other dye-based inks, and if they suffered from similar issues as BSB. Do dye-based inks chemically resemble BSB ? Can't find reliable physical/chemical information about either. (For example, I've seen people state with conviction that BSB has either a pH of 4 or 8.) I'd be particularly interested in ideas about safe handling of BSB, and  Whatever you have time to respond is accepted with thanks.

 

(That goes for inkstainedruth and the other Jedi masters who contribute here, as well.)

 

Regards, PP



#27 BaronWulfraed

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 17:38

Uhmm... "wondered about Platinum and other dye-based inks"... Over 90% of the inks out there are dye-based inks. The inks that aren't, yet are usable in fountain pens, are either nano-pigment (Platinum Carbon Black, Sailor Storia series) or acidic Iron-Gall (still a dye-based for initial color, but then oxidation with air to convert a transparent chemical into a blackish "rust").

 

Dyes and inks run a gamut from fairly acidic to moderate alkaline (the Colorverse Multiverse series runs from pH 6.5 for Electron to 8.7 for Selectron (interesting, the most acidic and the most alkaline are in the same box [the Multiverse series has two inks per box, a 65ml and a 15ml]). Then there is the saturation (how strong the dye is relative to the carrier [water]), what flow-control agents may have been added, biocides to kill mold/fungus, maybe lubricants.



#28 inkstainedruth

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 17:43

I can't answer for what Ron will tell you (other than I know he basically only uses Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue and occasionally 4001 Brilliant Black).  I will say that I only use Noodler's Baystate Blue in a dedicated pen (currently a Noodler's Charlie eyedropper), because it stains the snot out of everything.  Plus I've had bad feathering problems with it unless I dilute it with distilled water (and with a transparent-ish eyedropper that's easy to do).  But mostly because it just doesn't play well with other inks.  Even other non-Bay State Series Noodler's inks, and while I'm pretty OCD when it comes to flushing, I'm not convinced that I'm OCD ENOUGH when it comes to BSB.  Especially after seeing a thread several years ago when someone decided that the "ideal" blue-black ink would be to mix BSB with Noodler's Black -- and then immediately put it in a pen without seeing how the mix worked in a sample vial *first*.  The results?  Let just say that they weren't pretty....  They didn't mix at all at first (so some lines would be blue and some black) and then came out of the pen in CHUNKS. :yikes:   

I don't know if the person every got the pen fully flushed out....

And truthfully, I'm not all that enamored of the color of BSB to start with.  It leans a little purple for my taste.  Although if you like "eye-searing" there is little to equal it (the only other ink I can think of that is that bright is Platinum Mix-Free Flame Red, and I gave my bottle of it away because the ink looked like Mecurachrome; and the guy I gave it to then gave it away to somebody else...).

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."

#29 by_a_Lady

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 17:59

TO RON Z --

 

First, thanks to all here for an interesting thread. Next, Mr. Z -- I just returned (unopened and with regret) a bottle of Noodler's Baystate Blue, after reading warnings from dead and dying pen owners complaining about this pen ailment or that. I then wondered about Platinum and other dye-based inks, and if they suffered from similar issues as BSB. Do dye-based inks chemically resemble BSB ? Can't find reliable physical/chemical information about either. (For example, I've seen people state with conviction that BSB has either a pH of 4 or 8.) I'd be particularly interested in ideas about safe handling of BSB, and  Whatever you have time to respond is accepted with thanks.

 

(That goes for inkstainedruth and the other Jedi masters who contribute here, as well.)

 

Regards, PP

 

Baystate Blue is a dye-based ink, at least as far as I'm informed, just a very peculiarly formulated one (called cellulose-reactive). For comparison: Waterman, which are considered the safest inks in the world, are dye-based as well. The overwhelming majority of dye inks are absolutely harmless, and the ones that aren't usually have that reputation following them around in every review anyway.

 

 

Dominique


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(fluent in SK, CZ, DE, EN

currently learning EO, JP, NL)






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