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Pen Flush And Mold In Pens



butangmucat

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Hello,

 

I have recently acquired several cleaned/refurbished/restored/NOS pens, and I have used them without treatment. Just read several posts about mold I wounder will these pens increase the chance of getting mold into my ink collection of 10+ bottles of ink? And will pen flush like the Goulet ones or J. Herbin ones doubled with an ultrasonic cleaner while doing pen maintenance help control and eliminate any possible mold? All my inks are contemporary ink that are presumably fresh and I read that biocide are used, will this make my collection less possible to be contaminated? I do rotate pen and ink so if something goes wrong I guess I have to disinfect every pen and dispose every bottle of ink.

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I did notice that the Goulet Pen Flush contains ammonia so will this help? The problem is that if I keep a bottle of ammonia in my dorm I will be in trouble, but not the pen flush.

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Ammonia, with it's high pH will kill many microorganisms, including fungi. You need to use it on an already clean pen, as dirt and oil or grease can protect the bugs. And you need to allow sufficient contact time. Say, at least 10 - 15minutes.

 

It is more important to clean the pen thoroughly. As a university microbiologist, I do food safety consultation. Very similar problems in many ways. We stress (or should) thorough cleaning with a dilute solution of an effective detergent, such Dawn. This will remove million of bacteria or mold cells and spores. Cleaning, followed by rinsing, will remove far more microorganisms than any safe disinfectant can kill. Indeed, in food service, the use of sanitizers is more to reassure the public and the sanitarian than to actually kill food-borne illness bugs.

 

So wash with very dilute Dawn, rinse, repeat. Use friction from a soft cloth or brush to help. Ultrasonic cleaning can help, too. Rinse well again. Then try using the pen flush. Rinse, then air dry under a new paper towel. Desiccation will also kill microorganisms.

 

i think you are right to be cautious, but don't become overly alarmed: the chances of infecting your ink are still small. Still I like clean pens carefully before I put them into use. But be cautios so that you do not damage pens.

 

good luck!

Brian

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Ammonia, with it's high pH will kill many microorganisms, including fungi. You need to use it on an already clean pen, as dirt and oil or grease can protect the bugs. And you need to allow sufficient contact time. Say, at least 10 - 15minutes.

 

It is more important to clean the pen thoroughly. As a university microbiologist, I do food safety consultation. Very similar problems in many ways. We stress (or should) thorough cleaning with a dilute solution of an effective detergent, such Dawn. This will remove million of bacteria or mold cells and spores. Cleaning, followed by rinsing, will remove far more microorganisms than any safe disinfectant can kill. Indeed, in food service, the use of sanitizers is more to reassure the public and the sanitarian than to actually kill food-borne illness bugs.

 

So wash with very dilute Dawn, rinse, repeat. Use friction from a soft cloth or brush to help. Ultrasonic cleaning can help, too. Rinse well again. Then try using the pen flush. Rinse, then air dry under a new paper towel. Desiccation will also kill microorganisms.

 

i think you are right to be cautious, but don't become overly alarmed: the chances of infecting your ink are still small. Still I like clean pens carefully before I put them into use. But be cautios so that you do not damage pens.

 

good luck!

Sorry I am a bit puzzled, can Dawn be replaced by things like shampoo or laundry detergent? They are more common in campus stores.

 

And I just need to do this when I do regular maintenance if nothing goes wrong?

Edited by butangmucat
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Come now, having gone to college, having had two sons who went to college, and now living in a college town, you can't tell me that you can't get off campus to a store that carries bottles of one of the most popular dish detergents on the market. You might even find it in a Dollar General, convenience store.

 

Look up the MSDS for the products you are suggesting.

 

Shampoo has other stuff in it that may or may not be safe for use with a fountain pen. The same for laundry detergent. On the other hand, Dawn has a (now) rather lengthy record of being a safe and effective product, when properly used and diluted, to clean pens. Just rinse well as the last step.

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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.

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Come now, having gone to college, having had two sons who went to college, and now living in a college town, you can't tell me that you can't get off campus to a store that carries bottles of one of the most popular dish detergents on the market. You might even find it in a Dollar General, convenience store.

 

Look up the MSDS for the products you are suggesting.

 

Shampoo has other stuff in it that may or may not be safe for use with a fountain pen. The same for laundry detergent. On the other hand, Dawn has a (now) rather lengthy record of being a safe and effective product, when properly used and diluted, to clean pens. Just rinse well as the last step.

Thanks, I am still a bit new to the US and trying to figure my way out. I guess I will just go in town or find it on Amazon.

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Ron Z is absolutely right. Dawn is worth the trouble- great for other applications such as quickly washing a few items in the sink, too. Or for inexpensive pre-treatment on laundry stains. Get a small bottle of the plain blue stuff, name-brand, nothing generic.

 

If you have some friends -even a professor or lab instructor- in the sciences, you might ask about obtaining a little TritonX-100. It is found in many labs, especially biology, and is a safe detergent (surfactant) when well-diluted. You only need a few drops of this or Dawn. Literally -a few drops in 6 - 8 ounces of cool tap water. I'd be delighted if one of my students asked me about obtaining some.

 

You might look online and see if the manufacturer of Dawn (Proctor and Gamble as I recall) has a sample for free. Try emailing them. In my students years, I found a lot of sympathy and support out there for the asking.

 

(Heck, P&G ought to advertise on here, given that Dawn is a standard recommendation on FPN.)

 

Good luck!

Brian

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Thanks, I am still a bit new to the US and trying to figure my way out. I guess I will just go in town or find it on Amazon.

 

Find a fellow student who has a car, and see if they're going to do a grocery store raid, and will take you along. You'll find Dawn at any grocery store, Wal Mart, K-Mart, maybe even at some of the larger drug stores like Walgreens or CVS. In the city there have to be food places, often within walking distance. Ask around...

spacer.png
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.

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Ron Z is absolutely right. Dawn is worth the trouble- great for other applications such as quickly washing a few items in the sink, too. Or for inexpensive pre-treatment on laundry stains. Get a small bottle of the plain blue stuff, name-brand, nothing generic.

 

If you have some friends -even a professor or lab instructor- in the sciences, you might ask about obtaining a little TritonX-100. It is found in many labs, especially biology, and is a safe detergent (surfactant) when well-diluted. You only need a few drops of this or Dawn. Literally -a few drops in 6 - 8 ounces of cool tap water. I'd be delighted if one of my students asked me about obtaining some.

 

You might look online and see if the manufacturer of Dawn (Proctor and Gamble as I recall) has a sample for free. Try emailing them. In my students years, I found a lot of sympathy and support out there for the asking.

 

(Heck, P&G ought to advertise on here, given that Dawn is a standard recommendation on FPN.)

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

Find a fellow student who has a car, and see if they're going to do a grocery store raid, and will take you along. You'll find Dawn at any grocery store, Wal Mart, K-Mart, maybe even at some of the larger drug stores like Walgreens or CVS. In the city there have to be food places, often within walking distance. Ask around...

 

Thanks. I guess I will figure out the suburban bus here on weekends. I need to do some light shopping anyways.

 

Freshman usually don't have cars and the town center is not far away anyways. Thank you all.

Edited by butangmucat
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