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(Newbie's Question) How to clean a fountain pen from dried out PERMANENT ink?



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Hi! 

I have a Lamy Safari fountain pen with the Z28 converter for the ink. I used it for some time with a permanent ink DeAtramentis Document Ink (Black). After few weeks of not using it the ink seems to be partially dried. How can I clean it safely? I assume water won't do any good.

 

Please, dear people, who love fountain pens for a long time, take into the consideration that I have never clean any fountain pen and I'm a complete newbie when it comes to the subject, so I would greatly appreciate a detailed explanation or perhaps a link to video if something like that exists. Thank you for your understanding!

 

Best,

Olina - a complete newbie in the subjects of fountain pens.

 

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Is the ink just permanent on documents?  It wouldn't hurt to try soaking the nib in water. If nothing happens then there are soaking products that may help.  But try water first.

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sgphototn

May I suggest going to Youtube and doing a search. There are many videos that will show you what you can do.

 

Watch several videos (as many as you can sit through) and you'll see different techniques and opinions. 

 

Look for videos from SBRE Brown. I believe he has a video or two on cleaning pens.

 

Watching someone go through on video it is far better than someone telling you how to do it. It's not complicated and you'll get the gist of it rather quickly.

 

Good luck.

 

 

"Bagpipes are the missing link between music and noise." E. K. Kruger

 

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inkstainedruth

I haven't used that ink, but I have tried some of the other colors and have been mostly underwhelmed by them because of the chalky flat colors and because of the amount of spread.  I tried their "Archive Black" and it wasn't as bad but if I need something that is black (which I don't use a lot in general) and pretty permanent I'm more likely to reach for Noodler's Heart of Darkness, or even Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black.

If soaking in water (I recommend distilled water if you have have hard water -- i.e., a high mineral content; you'll know if you have a lot of crud building up on your faucets), your next step would probably be soaking the pen nib and feed in ammonia solution (1 parts clear ammonia to 9 parts [distilled] water, with a drop of Dawn dish detergent [the regular blue stuff -- I don't know enough about the other varieties such as the stuff that supposedly has sanitizing agents in it] for a while, flushing the nib and feed occasionally (i.e., fill as if you're filling with ink, then expel, and maybe invert the pen a few times so you know you're getting it in all of the converter.  Then flush well with more [distilled] water and let the pen drain, nib down, into paper toweling.  You may have to repeat the process and/or replace the solution with another batch if it gets too full of crud.  

The nice thing about making up your own solution is that you should be able (depending on where you live, of course) to get both distilled water and clear ammonia by the gallon in your local grocery store -- and you only need to make up small batches at a time.  (If you're in the UK my understanding is that "Fairy" brand dish detergent is the equivalent to Dawn, but of course I live in the US.)

If that doesn't work, your next option (I'm pretty sure that the D'A Document inks are NOT acidic like iron gall inks are -- in which case you would substitute white vinegar for the ammonia) would be to see if you can get Rapid-o-Eze at an art supply store (that's the stuff used for cleaning Rapid-o-graph technical pens, which have a tube with a wire through it insead of a nib).  I have some, but fortunately have never had a FP in bad enough shape to need it as yet.  Again, I think you would flush before and after (and certainly after) with water, from what I've read in posts from people who have had to go that route....

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."

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A Smug Dill
8 hours ago, olina said:

... the ink seems to be partially dried. How can I clean it safely? I assume water won't do any good. ...‹snip›... take into the consideration that I have never clean any fountain pen and I'm a complete newbie when it comes to the subject,

 

OK. Let's start with: don't assume. It doesn't hurt (either you or the pen) to try soaking the gripping section, preferably having drawn some water into the converter if its piston still moves when you rotate the red stem on it, in a cup or beaker filled with room temperature water for several hours or even up to a day, before trying to disconnect the Z28 converter from the section and rinse all the parts under a running tap.

 

Next: a pressurised jet of water would clean the feed, and dislodge particulate matter in the process, more effectively than just a running tap. If you have a rubber bulb syringe, squeeze it to drive out the air in its cavity, then keep it squeezed and connect it to the pen's gripping section, then submerge the business end of the gripping section into a cup of clean water, and release your squeezing grip on the rubber bulb to suck water up through the nib and feed into it. Disconnect the bulb syringe, expel the water inside it, then fill it with clean water, connect it to the gripping section, and push the water out through the nib and feed. Rinse and repeat until the water coming out freely through the nib and feed runs clear.

 

If you're not convinced afterwards that the nib and feed is clean, I'm recommend trying a commercial pen flush (as opposed to the more common recommendation in the forum of concocting your own with Dawn/Fairy detergent and aqueous ammonia, which by the way is not the wrong advice). The priority is to get the pen clean in a way that gives you peace of mind, not doing it with the minimum of fuss and out-of-pocket expense, so if you don't already have clear ammonia solution and all that on hand and aren't used to cleaning pens, you may as well just to straight to using made-for-purpose retail products. De Atramentis has a pen flush (which I think it labels “Cleaning Supplies”), Rohrer & Klingner has one specifically marketed at cleaning its pigmented SketchInks, and other ink manufacturers such as Herbin and Diamine also have their own pen flush products. Try one of those and use according to the product's instructions, which generally include just soaking and then rinsing.

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; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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The best cleaner for removing permanent ink is RapidoEze.

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7 hours ago, Ron Z said:

The best cleaner for removing permanent ink is RapidoEze.

+1 Rapido-Eze is currently removing ink from a feed and section that had previously seen an ammonia solution soak, then a water rinse. Would have sworn it was ink free. It wasn't.

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inkstainedruth

Oh it's amazing sometimes how much ink is still in there, even after soaking and flushing repeatedly.

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."

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Thank you, wonderful people, for so many explanations and tips!

 

I wasn't sure if I can use just plain water with this ink and all the YT videos I found weren't exactly talking about cleaning a pen from a permanent ink, so what you wrote here helps me a lot and gives me a confidence to try some techniques. 

 

I will give it a try and if I will have any problems or questions I will get back to you. 

 

In general I'm not a big fan of forums, but I can see that the community here is truly helpful and to-the-point.

For now, thank you for your time and effort!

 

Best,

Olina

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