The Do’s and Don'ts of Taking Care of Your Fountain Pen

Like anything you love, fountain pens require special care and maintenance if you want to have a long and happy relationship together.

fountain pen maintenance


Don’t Leave Your Fountain Pen Filled and Unused

As much as you may love your fountain pen, perhaps you even use it daily, it’s best to empty it of ink if you don’t plan on using it for a while. Simply empty it of ink then give it a gentle flush with water. Afterwards, set it aside on some paper towel or soft cloth to dry. You may even consider flushing out the cap as the ink does tend to settle and dry in there. Once dry, replace the cap and store it somewhere safe.


Do Seat your Cartridges and Converters Properlyleaking fountain pen

Nothing is more annoying than a fountain pen that has leaked in the barrel -  except a leaky fountain pen that has leaked all over your hands! Want to avoid this conundrum? Then make sure to push your cartridge or converter firmly until you feel it seat in place. Also highly recommended - change your cartridge or converter regularly.


Do Stand Your Pens Vertically

If you plan to store your pen for some time, you should take a few steps. Firstly, as discussed above, it’s always recommended you flush out your pen. Once flushed and dried, your fountain pen will be better off if standing vertical with the nib and cap upwards. If any ink or moisture remains in the pen, it will flow downwards, out of the tiny channels rather than in the pen.

Don’t Damage the Nib

If you haven’t used your fountain pen in a while and stored it with the ink still in it, there are some steps to take in order to avoid damaging the nib. The most important thing to take into consideration is if the ink was left in the pen. The ink may have dried and you may be tempted to press hard on the paper with your fountain pen in order to get the ink flowing. This may damage your nib! Instead, make short strokes diagonally across the paper using regular pressure. If nothing happens, dip the nib in some water. 

Do Travel with Your Pen

With a little extra attention, your fountain pen can be a wonderful travel companion. However, before you hit the road or sky, it’s always safer to remove the ink from your pen. This is especially important if travelling by plane due to air pressure changes which can cause the ink to drip into the cap. Cartridges are the best option when you travel. Once you arrive at your destination, simply pop one in your pen and you’re good to go!

Do Flush Your Fountain Pen on a Regular Basis

It’s a good idea to give your fountain pen a good flush every month or so. This means pulling in and pushing out the existing ink with good, straight tap water. Repeat this process until no more ink shows in the water.

Don’t Use Hot Water

Instead, use lukewarm water as hot water may damage your pen. Hot water could weaken the seals in the pen causing your pen to leak ink when you are writing with it. If your pen is clogged even after you’ve flushed it with water, the best solution is to let the nib section stand in a glass of water overnight.

Cleaning and Maintenance of Different Finishes and Materials

cleaning fountain pens

Fountain pens come in a wide variety of materials and finishes. Therefore we recommend that you vary your care accordingly


Sterling Silver. Silver, Sterling and Plated

We encourage you to use a special store-bought polishing cloth or glove infused with silver cleaner. If your pen has an intricate pattern or finish (e.g. barley etched), causing it to be more challenging to be cleaned, your best choice is to use a liquid silver polish with a soft brush. This will allow you to get the polish and tarnish out of the crevices. 

Remember, silver is a soft metal that will take on a patina and show scratches and small dents. This is part of its charm but keep in mind that it will require a little extra TLC. 

Hard Metals. Platinum, Palladium, Rhodium, Stainless Steel, and Chrome

These durable finishes generally do not tarnish like silver, remaining “mirror-like”. While they can show scratches and wear, they are definitely more durable. A soft cloth is perfect for removing fingerprints and dirt.

Fine Resins

This material gives many pens, like the Pineider Avatar UR Fountain Pen its light weight, which some of Paper Papier’s customers prefer. However, this also makes the pen more vulnerable to cracks or breakage if dropped or misused.

These pens will also show slight scratches on the barrels over time, especially with the darker colours. With this in mind, we recommend that you take special care. While a soft cloth is perfect for cleaning and polishing your pen, we also suggest that you invest in a leather pen case to help protect your special pen.


Fountain Pen Cleaning in Action

We suggest the following video that illustrates how to clean your fountain pen using just water as we suggested above;

How to Clean Your Fountain Pen

We trust these tips have helped you in caring for your fountain pen. Of course, if you have any questions about your pen, please feel free to reach out to us.