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Cleaning Issues

parker cleaning

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33 replies to this topic

#1 Peterthebeginner

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 21:40

Hi all, I've bought this pen on a flea market and been cleaning it for two days already, but still some dried ink flakes are shooting out of it when flushed with a converter, and still stains the tissue that I wanna dry it with, any idea how to clean it thouroughly?

Thanks in advance 😋

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#2 taimdala

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 21:47

Hi there, I'm another beginner here.

Perhaps investing in an ultrasonic cleaner (the kind people use for jewelry) might be in order. It's gentle and it tends to loosen all the bits stuck in the nooks and crannies. Amazon.com (who else, of course?) has them for affordable prices. I'm considering getting one myself.

 

I hope this helps!



#3 Peterthebeginner

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 21:57

Hm okay, I'll take a look, thanks

#4 A Smug Dill

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 22:55

... been cleaning it for two days already, but still some dried ink flakes are shooting out of it when flushed with a converter, ...


How exactly have you been "cleaning it" for two days, though?
 

Did you leave it to soak in either just water or a cleaning solution (which could be commercial pen flush, or a dilute solution of dishwashing detergent and/or household ammonia) for most of that 48 hours in between flushing?

 

Did you flush the feed and nib with a pressurised jet of water (or cleaning solution) with a rubber bulb syringe?

 

They are things I'd try, in combination. For soaking (at least overnight), I would probably leave it in a bath of warm dilute cleaning solution in the temperature-controlled trough of my ultrasonic cleaner.

 

I once found a piston-filled fountain pen among my late father's belongings. It was encrusted with dried blue ink, which must have been on there for some thirty or even forty years since it was last used to write successfully. It took more than two days of soaking, flushing (only by filling and emptying the pen, since I could not detach the nib and feed for cleaning separately or access the interior of the ink reservoir) and multiple ten-minute ultrasonic cleaning cycles to remove almost all traces of blue.


As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.

#5 Bibliophage

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 01:16

I use an ultrasonic cleaner for many things - usually when I can get things apart.   However, I agree - soaking is one of the best ways to loosen things up.

 

The Eversharp with a twisted nib that I received last week, took two days to flush relatively clean.   That was rinses, then filling the sac (yes, it still held water), and letting it sit horizontally for a few hours (or overnight), then flush out MORE blue ink.... 

 

I don't think the original owner had bothered to ever actually flush it clean. It was a lot more ink than comes out from my pens when I forget about them for a few months.  (oops)



#6 Mr.Rene

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 01:48

Keep in mind the nib is gold plated..do not use aggressive product..can be gold plated damaged... :thumbup:  



#7 Peterthebeginner

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 08:01

So yeah, I've been soaking it in lucwarm water mainly and flushing it with the same, and the reason I don't dare to use chemicals is because I'm scared to damage something in it. I think it's a Parker 180, something like a vintage pen, so wannause it. The nib seems to be in an excellent condition, but I'll try it out when I'm happy with its cleanliness

#8 carlos.q

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 14:37

Besides the nib be sure to soak the section. Although I do not have a 180 it seems the nib/feed unit is similar to a Parker 75 which has a large collector inside the section. 



#9 alexwi

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 15:52

So yeah, I've been soaking it in lucwarm water mainly and flushing it with the same, and the reason I don't dare to use chemicals is because I'm scared to damage something in it. I think it's a Parker 180, something like a vintage pen, so wannause it. The nib seems to be in an excellent condition, but I'll try it out when I'm happy with its cleanliness

 

It's a Parker Classic nib. Happens to be 100% compatible with Parker 180.

 

I wouldn't be terribly  concerned about it staining tissue paper. If you've been soaking for a while, ink the pen and give it a shot. Especially if you're planning to write with a dark ink, in which case, you won't notice any difference.

 

Also, the solvents in the ink itself might help clean the old ink away.

 

If you insist on having it 100% clean (or as close as possible), an ultrasonic cleaner is a great gizmo to have around. I bought mine used on ebay for about $10 and works great. When you look on ebay be sure to check the "Used" box. Otherwise, for that price, you'll end up with a ton of brand new products with very questionable quality.

 

Go to a supermarket and get a bottle of ammonia. Make a 10% - 20% solution with a little bit, let the pen soak in it for about an hour and then flush repeatedly (preferably with an ear syringe, which should be an integral part of your toolbox, but you can also use the pen's own converter in a pinch).

 

Another option is Rapidoeze, which will dissolve any ink left in the pen. Soak it for about an hour or so, and see how it goes. I'm pretty sure that Rapidoeze won't affect the gold plating. I've only had to use it once, but that was with a Parker 75 nib and did amazingly well.

 

Alex



#10 SenZen

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 16:04

I've had good luck with water, a drop of dishwashing liquid and lots of patience; just let it soak and forget about it for a few days. I managed to recover a clogged up Pelikan that had not been used in 15 years this way. Once the ink softens, a bulb syringe can make flushing very easy and quick.


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#11 BaronWulfraed

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 18:39

You might try filling it with a water solution (maybe with ammonia and/or dish soap), then setting it in a cup, nib down, on a wad of tissue paper for a day or two until it has sucked all the solution through.

 

This may pull out some of the slower moving residue from the pen, that rapid flushing just bypasses.



#12 tinta

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 19:17

Szervusz "Peterthebeginner"!

Minden amit eddig mondtak ervenyes.  Csak lassan, ovatossan kell haladni evvel.  Jo szerencset!

 

As others have said, a long soaking of the nib/section, where the feed is located can help.  Use a rubber ear-syringe or a de-soldering bulb to force water through this area "in both directions."


Edited by tinta, 26 January 2020 - 20:14.

*Sailor 1911S, Black/gold, 14c. 0.8 mm. stub(JM) *1911S blue "Colours", 14c. H-B "M" BLS (PB) *2 Sailor 1911-M Burgundy/gold pens: 14c. 0.6 mm. "round-nosed" CI (MM) & 1.1 mm. CI (JM) *Sailor Pro-Gear Slim Spec. Ed. "Fire",14c. (factory) "H-B" *2 Kaweco SPECIAL fountain pens: 14c."M" "B",-0.5 mm & 0.7 mm stubs (PB) *Kaweco Stainless Steel Lilliput, 14c "B" -0.6 mm. stub (PB) *Montblanc 254, 14c. "BB" (1.1 mm?) flügelfeder factory stub

#13 Peterthebeginner

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 08:01

Wow thanks all for the info, guess I'll have to work on my patience game will gice a shot for some of these.

Zoë-kutya koszonom szepen :D jo tudni, h akad az oldalon masik magyar toll rajongo is

#14 azbobcat

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 06:29

I'll vouch for the soaking method. I use D.I. and a few drop of Dawn. If this is a pen bought on FleaBay, it could take you several days of soaking, rinsing, and re-soaking. I bought a Parker 45 with a gold nib on FleaBay that was sold as "Clean". Indeed it was "Clean", but the first thing I do -- either with pens I bought new and have been in use, or ones I buy used, is I take the ENTIRE pen APART: Converters, Nibs, Feeds, etc. and everything gets a good soak until there is no more color coming out of the pen. I do this after a few cycles of the same ink, or between changing to a different ink.

 

When I went to take the Parker 45 apart -- something I can do asleep, drugged, with one hand behind my back -- I could not unscrew the hooded nib. That was a first. So I soaked the pen in D.I. and Dawn, and within a second the water turned a midnight blue-black. Plumes came from the converter, the cap, and the lower unit w/ nib unit. Every two hours I'd return, empty out the water rinse all the parts under running tap water until the water flowed clear, then re-soak in D.I. and Dawn. With in seconds new plumes of midnight blue-black ink would pour forth.

 

On the third day I was at last able to unscrew the nib unit from the lower half of the pen, but just as soon as I did new ink poured fourth from the pen. Thirty-six hours later I was able to slide the collar that held the nib and feed together and the second I did that more ink poured forth. After the sixth day no more ink after a 2 hour soak in DI plus Dawn, a rise under the tap of all the parts, and a final 2 hour soak in straight D.I. water.  

 

Whoever had that pen originally used the same midnight blue-black ink. How often they cleaned it, who knows, but I seriously doubt if ever. The seller probably rinsed the pen under tap water and "cleaned" it up. But you have to remember that Distilled water is heading in the direction pure water. Laboratory Grade water is Ultra Pure -- so pure that it can't even conduct an electrical current. (Contrary to popular belief water is an insulator, NOT  a conductor of electricity, but water is also the most polar solvent known to man and rips electrons off anything that is dipped into it, and it is those impurities in the water that conducts electricity). The purer the water, the more it is able to dissolve things. A soap solution made with Distilled Water is a perfect solution for dissolving old dried up ink. My guess is that there was a lot of OLD dried up ink in that pen and just soon a one layer would dissolve the next layer would be exposed.

 

An ultra sonic bath might speed up the process, but if there is a lot of dried up ink in it, you will have to fill and empty the bath several times over before you can no longer see color in the water.  This could take as little as a day to a week or more. The idea is to get rid of any trace of old ink in the pen. This will help with the flow of ink through the pen.

 

Once you can no longer see color coming from your soak solution, a good soak in straight Distilled water for a few hours is called for. If you still see no color, then the pens is clean. Air dry. If you plan to polish the pen this would be the point where you do that. Congratulations the pen is now ready to go back into service.


Edited by azbobcat, 12 February 2020 - 06:35.


#15 corniche

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 06:36

Hi there, I'm another beginner here.

Perhaps investing in an ultrasonic cleaner (the kind people use for jewelry) might be in order. It's gentle and it tends to loosen all the bits stuck in the nooks and crannies. Amazon.com (who else, of course?) has them for affordable prices. I'm considering getting one myself.
 
I hope this helps!


Hi Taimdala, Everyone,

You'll never regret the purchase. I found one at Walmart with a detachable reservoir; which is a real big plus. :D

Sean :)
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#16 alexwi

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 07:06

... I use D.I. and a few drop of Dawn. ..

 

What is "D.I.?"



#17 corniche

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 07:33

 
What is "D.I.?"


Hi Alex,

It means DEIONIZED water; which is ultra pure, it goes beyond the routine distillation process and is primarily used in medical applications and specialized industries. My hats off to Azbocat, but I just use ordinary distilled water.

Sean :)
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#18 awa54

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 13:25

Just a note on ultrasonic cleaning... even when the solution is seemingly saturated with pigment, the ultrasonic cleaner is still doing its job, no need to change out the bath every time it gets dark.

I *will* say that changing the solution between pens that are very dirty, or suspected of possible mold contamination is important, you'll also want to wipe down the U.S. cleaner tank with a strong surface disinfectant before refilling with the pen cleaning solution of your choice.

Another note, full sized commercial cleaners above 35 watts should only be used in short intervals, where lower powered home units might take multiple 20-30 minute sessions to accomplish the same result. The less powerful versions are safer for plastic parts and anything with enamel, laquer or inlaid resin, some of which probably shouldn't go in a U.S. cleaner anyway.

David-

 

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#19 inkstainedruth

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 18:02

Another issue with ultrasonic cleaners, I've read, is that they can damage/remove plating.  So be careful with that.  I keep looking at getting one, but in my experience, just soaking and flushing, nib and feed down, in distilled water with a little clear ammonia (9 parts water to 1 part ammonia, although admittedly, I personally just eyeball it) with a drop of Dawn dish detergent -- or the equivalent ratio of distilled water to white vinegar for low pH inks like iron gall inks) works well enough, followed by flushing well with more distilled water; in the case of IG inks, I've read that after rinsing the vinegar solution out with water, do another flush with the ammonia solution, making sure that you flush with water before and after every step.  I then let the pens drain, nib down, into paper toweling (I have a couple of super cheap glass votive candle holders that cost about a buck or two apiece: they have straight sides (some people use shot glasses, but the votive holders tend to be less top heavy and don't tip over).  One is for the actual flushing (I use a plastic clothes pin to stabilize the pen and keep it at about a 90° angle) and then the second one for draining.  If I get a lot of color leaching into the paper toweling, I know that there is still in the pen barrel or feed, and repeat the process.  The advantage to this over an ultrasonic cleaner (besides, of course, the price  :rolleyes:) is that I can start the soaking process and then go do other things and then check back an hour or two later; cycling the solution through the pen, and turning it end-on, so that the solution goes all through the pen's barrel or converter, also helps.

And yes, it does take patience.  I strongly recommend anyone getting a vintage pen that may not have been restored should read the pinned topic in the Parker Forum about finding your first 51 in the wild -- because the advice is good for most any vintage pen (with the exception of Sheaffer Snorkels and probably PFMs, because if the sac is leaking, filling the pen can rust the spring: for those pens, they should go to a pro unless you know what you're doing repair wise...).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#20 Dr.X

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 19:37

"Another option is Rapidoeze, which will dissolve any ink left in the pen. Soak it for about an hour or so, and see how it goes. I'm pretty sure that Rapidoeze won't affect the gold plating. I've only had to use it once, but that was with a Parker 75 nib and did amazingly well."

 

I use Koh-I-Noor's Rapido-eze solution almost exclusively these days. Expensive, but it works so well, it's reusable (to a point), and I also "cut it" with water for more mileage. Not only does it unclog pens faster and more completely than home-made solutions I've tried, you also need to only rinse it out a couple of times. Great for soaking - 100% safe (and I have a lot of pens).







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