How to get a long life out of a Fountain Pen
Fountain pens are often the most expensive pens that money can buy. However, for many people the joy of owning and writing with a fountain pen makes it a great value item. Here we look at what you can do to maximise the life of enjoyment that a fountain pen brings.
Quick Guide to Fountain Pen Care
- Use the Fountain Pen. Use the pen regularly, every other day at least because when you are not using it, the ink may dry and cause problems. Carry the fountain pen with you so that it is available for all occasions. For many people, writing something by hand helps remember the matter better than when entering it digitally.
- Use the right ink. Avoid cheap inks and inks that have solids like carbon inks and Indian inks. A good quality ink will pass though the ink delivery system without clogging. Most good inks are colourfast, which means that any ink on your fingers will take a few days to wear off.
- Use the right paper. Fountain pens generally place more ink on the paper with medium and larger nibs, so avoid paper that allows the ink to “bleed” as you write. Alternatively, use a fine nib to reduce the amount of ink that flows onto the paper. Use a slightly thicker paper stock or purchase special fountain pen paper. These papers will absorb ink better.
- Keep an even pressure on the nib. Avoid excess pressure on the nib so that it does not scratch the paper or cause other problems. Should you damage the nib, it can be replaced quite easily.
- Avoid any physical damage. Always place the cap on so that if it rolls off the desk or falls out of a pocket, the nib is protected.
- Carry out Routine Maintenance. Check the barrel and cap for and dirt or grime and clean with warm soapy water (or otherwise, if you have manufacturers instructions). Remove all ink every couple of months (unless otherwise specified), clean with warm water and refill with new ink. There are other techniques like ultrasonic cleaning which may become necessary if you cannot clean the pen with water.
- Store your fountain pen correctly. For short term storage, store with cap on and in upright position (nib up) and for long term storage, remove the ink prior to storage. When traveling by air, keep the fountain pen upright to avoid those nasty stains.
Just a few suggestions to help keep your fountain pen in top condition.