Short Guide To Cleaning Your Fountain Pen

We all love a fountain pen that looks and writes as well as when it was new. In fact, whenever you clean your pen, it looks like new, right? Or at least it should, if you keep it away from scratches or other damages. In today’s article I’ll give you some tips on how to clean your fountain pen so that it always looks and writes like a brand new item.

Now, if you’re a collector who owns perhaps hundreds of pens, the cleaning part is always a nightmare. Sometimes it can take you weeks to make sure you’ve cleaned your entire collection. However, if you have to do it, there’s no other way but doing it yourself. 

So, first things first. How often do you use your fountain pen? If you use it regularly without changing inks, you should give it a simple cleaning about once every two months to make sure it’s working properly. Otherwise, we don’t suggest keeping your pen filled with ink for months.

Also, it’s a good idea to set a date when you do this cleaning to stay organised. 

How to clean a Cartridge/Converter Fountain Pen

Step 1.

Take your fountain pen, uncap it and unscrew the nib section from the barrel.

Step 2.
Hold the nib section under lukewarm, running water to wash off some of the ink. 

Step 3.

Then take a glass and fill it with lukewarm water (preferably distilled water) and place the nib section inside to soak. You should replace the water when it becomes coloured and repeat this process until the water remains clean. The procedure may take longer for highly saturated or permanent inks, so be patient. In the meantime, you can indulge in one of the latest articles on inkstable.com

Step 4.

Once the nib section is completely clean, remove it from the water and allow to dry or use a soft cloth or paper towel to wipe excess water from the pen section.

Step 5.

Now you can attach the converter or cartridge to the nib section and screw it back into the barrel.

How to clean a Piston Fountain Pen

Step 1.

Uncap the fountain pen and release excess ink into a sink.

Step 2.

Now take a glass and fill it with lukewarm water (distilled water, if possible). By operating the piston, draw water in and release into the glass and change the water when it gets coloured. Repeat the process until the water is clear.

Step 3. 

Once your fountain pen is clean, wipe the nib and feed with a soft cloth or paper towel and let it dry.

Step 4.

Now that your fountain pen is clean, fill it up with ink and you’re good to go! 

How do you clean your fountain pen? Tell us your tips and tricks in the comments section!


  1. Gihan Zohdy

    I perform the ritual as ecplained but also use a rubber ulcer to pump distilled water into the nib from within as long as the pen has a cartridge converter. Leave them 48 hours to dry.

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  3. Mark Cotter

    I speed the clean of the section by using a bulb syringe a couple of times to clear most of the ink from the section before leaving it to soak.

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