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Solv-X: Apparently It Works


Bristol24
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So as many of you know, I dabble in restoring pens from the 1930s and 40s.  Recently I acquired a few celluloid Wearevers from the 1930s and, one by one, took each apart, right down to the nib before installing new sacs and actually writing with them.  I had one pen, however, where I got lazy and decided not to knock out the nib.  Instead I cleaned the section and nib in the ultrasonic with some Dawn and ammonia until there was no sign of ink and then flushed it with clear water using a bulb.  When I put the pen back together it wrote quite well.  Recently I loaded it with some vintage Quink with Solv-X.  When the pen ran out, I flushed it with clear water so that I could put it away.  As I flushed the pen, little pieces of partially dissolved dried ink started coming out.  The only place that could come from would be within the feed and nib because the sac is brand new.  What the ultrasonic cleaner, Dawn detergent, and ammonia didn't get Quink with Solv-X did...apparently.  Has anyone else had a similar situation?  Are there current inks that actually clean like this?

 

Cliff

“The only thing most people do better than anyone else is read their own handwriting.”  John Adams

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Hi,

 

From what you're telling, Solv-X is likely to be downright illegal in California.

 

The closest experience I've had  to yours wasn't with ink but with Rotring's Rapidoeze.

 

Alex

---------------------------------------------------------

We use our phones more than our pens.....

and the world is a worse place for it. - markh

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18 hours ago, alexwi said:

Hi,

 

From what you're telling, Solv-X is likely to be downright illegal in California.

 

The closest experience I've had  to yours wasn't with ink but with Rotring's Rapidoeze.

 

Alex

Alex,

If the truth be known California is probably getting ready to ban ban broccoli, refried beans, etc. due to their methane producing potential...

 

I do believe that Solv-X actually works...not that we can get it anymore.  I recall a thread or two dealing with the "magic ingredient" and should do a search to reread it.  Seeing the small clumps come out of a section that had been seriously cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner was an eye opener...

 

Cliff

“The only thing most people do better than anyone else is read their own handwriting.”  John Adams

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Solv-x appears to be Phenol (solv) plus amyl-xanthale  (x), a flow enhancer and, possibly also a fungicide. Phenol is likely the cleaning agent. Phenol is available on Amazon and is in some sore throat sprays (chloraceptic); do NOT buy the 99.98% version unless you are very experienced in laboratory safety procedures.  Personally, because I have asthma, ammonia and Dawn are too dangerous for me to use for cleaning though I do use other liquid soaps.

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/292295-what-was-solv-x-in-quink/

 

Quote

Check for an explanation by Corniche around November, 2010.

 

Greetings all,


I may have cracked the case. While the name Solv-X is not mentioned by name, there are allusions to it's purported qualities in an old patent application. I believe Solv-X was a combination of Phenol, (fungicide) and amyl-xanthale, a flow enhancer. The latter chemical is referred to in the followings ways; "flow promoter" and "the trend of flotation." I think Phenol was the "solvent," (Solv) and the amyl-xanthale provided the "X." Hence, Solv-X.

Parker Ink Patent

 

 

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solv-x was recently updated here:

 

Just give me the Parker 51s and nobody needs to get hurt.

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You might want to try R&K's reiniger (cleaner). It works well and is probably also available (i.e. not prohibited) in the States. I can recommend it and it is IMO really inexpensive. At least smell-wise there is no phenol in it but I do discern an amyl component, which may, of course be and/or include amyl xanthate. Hence its pale yellow color in solution.

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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I've been building up a tiny suspicion of late that one of the better ways to clean out pens besides just water is to use a wet flowing ink. An expensive solvent, to be sure, but one that might do a decent job since they all have solvents/surfactants in them of one kind or another. 

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2 minutes ago, arcfide said:

I've been building up a tiny suspicion of late that one of the better ways to clean out pens besides just water is to use a wet flowing ink. An expensive solvent, to be sure, but one that might do a decent job since they all have solvents/surfactants in them of one kind or another. 

you are not alone:

 

Just give me the Parker 51s and nobody needs to get hurt.

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Yes, per someone well positioned to know(a Parker ink chemist), bactericide+surfactant+anti-feathering agent make "Solv-X." Old formulae of Quink contained Phenol as the bactericide, while others have been used since.

 

A little anecdote that I don't think I'd shared here, but that Dr. Davies-Smith shared with me. Solutions of phenol in water have been used, going back to the beginnings of modern surgery, as operating room antiseptics. He relayed to me that at one point(obviously quite a number of years back) Quink contained enough phenol to be useable as an antiseptic, and in India, washable blue Quink was less expensive and easier to get than straight Phenol in water solutions. Consequently, Quink was used at least sometimes as a surgical antiseptic. I've never actually measured the amount of phenol in old inks, but if you open a bottle of them it will practically knock you over.

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Wow!  Thank you, everyone, for the information.  What I can say is that my recent experience indicates that Solv-X apparently does work and that it wasn't just advertising hype...not that it means much today.

 

Cliff

“The only thing most people do better than anyone else is read their own handwriting.”  John Adams

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If you will add some photos, I'll add this to the Topic O'Day Start here thread. We have some great links to cleaning inks and removing stains.

 

Cleaning or Not & Stain Removal
Inky T O D - Do You Ever Use Samples Because You're Feeling Lazy?
https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/267347-inky-t-o-d-do-you-ever-use-samples-because-youre-feeling-lazy/
Inky T O D - Cleaning Between Inking - What's Your Process?
https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/266313-inky-t-o-d-cleaning-between-inking-whats-your-process/
Inky T O D - How Long Does Any One Ink Stay In Your Pen?
https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/269697-inky-t-o-d-how-long-does-any-one-ink-stay-in-your-pen/

Stain Removal

Operation Exterminate Bsb Stains

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/303281-operation-exterminate-bsb-stains/

Informal Review - Noodler's - American Eel - Rattler Red

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/258169-informal-review-noodlers-american-eel-rattler-red/

What's Your Cleaner Ink?

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/297645-whats-your-cleaner-ink/

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

 

 

 

 

 

 

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