How Do I Store My Fountain Pen?

Last week, a new customer brought in a fountain pen. They had found the fountain pen at the bottom of an old moving box. Who knows how long it had been there? They Googled how to clean it then came into Paper Papier to purchase some ink. Before leaving the store, we discussed the types of paper they could use with their pen including Rhodia and Clairefontaine. Last but most importantly, they asked me “How do you store a fountain pen?” 

Why is it Important to Store a Fountain Pen Correctly?

limited edition Lamy fountain pen

An essential part of fountain pen maintenance and care is proper storage. Improper storage can cause damage to different parts of the pen as the ink can dry up. A pen stored on the nib can damage the nib over time. Also, such things as temperature, humidity, and travel can have an impact on your pen. 

Fountain Pen Storage 101

It’s best to store a fountain pen away from direct sunlight, preferably in a cool, dry place The pen can be in a horizontal position or nib pointing up. If travelling, a storage case is important with the ink reservoir either completely empty or completely full.

Length of Time Fountain Pen Storage 

If you’re going to store your fountain pen for a few days, you don’t have to empty the reservoir but make sure to clean the nib. This will help to avoid ink from drying up on the nib or running into the cap. If you would like to learn more about how to clean your fountain pen, you can read our blog The Dos and Don’ts for Taking Care of Your Fountain Pen.

Also, we’ve made you a little chart about storage:

how do i store my fountain pen?

Capping Your Fountain Pen

Once you’ve cleaned the nib, the cap should be placed securely over the nib. Capping is also called posting and the cap should be gently pushed into place until it can go no further or there is a “click” as it settles into place.   

how do i store my fountain pen? cap

Fountain Pen Storage Position

It’s more about in what position not to store it. Nib-down is never recommended as it could damage the nib and cause ink to pool. You are best to either store your fountain pen nib up or horizontally. It’s really your preference, however, there are a few things to consider. 

don't store your fountain pen nib down

If your fountain pen is empty of ink, either position works well. If you do have ink in your pen there may be reasons to store it either way. This is because when the pen is filled with ink, the horizontal position keeps the nib wet and prevents gravity from pulling the ink into the feeder, nib, and cap. This makes the risk of leakage far lower and your pen will be ready to write as soon as you take it out of storage. nib up or horizontal fountain pen

If filled with ink, a fountain pen in a vertical position lets gravity pull the ink to the back of the pen, away from the nib and cap. You won’t have any leakages to deal with nor will you have damaged or clogged feeders or nibs. The drawback is that your pen won’t be ready to write immediately after storage. It will take a few seconds for the ink to move into the nib. 

What Causes a Fountain Pen to Leak?

leaking fountain pen

As one fountain pen expert informed us, “Fountain pens don’t leak unless there is something wrong with them which you’ve caused.” While this is probably true with the help of gravity, it’s a little more complicated.

Fountain pens, like almost anything, can be affected by heat, sunlight, and humidity. That’s why selecting the right location to store your pen is important. If your pen becomes too warm, the air inside the cartridge expands which can cause the pen to leak. 

Fountain Pens on Planes

how do i travel with my fountain pen?

If you love your fountain pen enough to take it with you when you travel, there are a few things to consider. The change in altitude and therefore the change in pressure causes the air in the pen to expand. This, as with heat, can cause the ink the leak as it’s pushed out of the reservoir and into the nib. 

A messy pen accident on a plane is something you certainly want to avoid. If you want to use your fountain pen on the plane, it’s best to wait until the plane has stabilized. 

Tips for Travelling with Your Fountain Pen

  • If you’re not going to use it on the flight or soon afterwards, empty it completely of ink.
  • OR fill it completely full. This will help prevent the build-up of air pressure in the reservoir.
  • If full of ink, store it in a vertical position, nib up. This will help prevent leaks.
  • Keep it separate from other items in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Better yet is to keep it in a special carrying case in the plastic bag.

Fountain Pen Storage Cases

fountain pens on display

There are several different storage cases for fountain pens: Travel cases, display cases, storage boxes, and leather pen cases.

Storage Box

These are usually horizontal, rectangular boxes lined with a variety of materials from felt, to cotton flannel or even suede. Velvet isn’t recommended as there can by nylon strands on the velvet that can damage the fountain pen’s finish. 

Display Case

This is an excellent way to show-off your fountain pen collection. Often there is a glass panel for viewing. Beware of direct sunlight which can magnify the sunlight causing damage to your pen.

Travel Case for Your Fountain Pen

A travel pen for your fountain pen is usually small and made of leather. Alternative materials ar wood or plastic. The sole purpose is to protect your pen and they aren’t necessarily the most attractive but they serve their purpose. Suede and felt lining are most common with a strap to hold the pen in tightly. No movement while in flight. Conveniently small, they fit in the back pocket or easily into a travel bag.

fountain pen case

Leather Fountain Pen Case

A must-have for true fountain pen aficionados, they look better than most travel cases and are lined with a soft cloth to prevent damage while in transport. 


If all this discussion of fountain pens has piqued your interest in fountain pens and how you too can enjoy learning how to store them, take a look at our collection of fountain pens We have one to suit every style and budget.