Mastering the Art of Fountain Pen Care

Mastering the Art of Fountain Pen Care

A Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Nib"


Fountain pens are not just writing tools but a testament to craftsmanship and elegance. However, regular cleaning is essential to ensure your fountain pen's longevity and optimal performance. In this guide, I will walk you through the steps to clean a fountain pen nib, ensuring that your writing instrument remains a reliable companion for years.

I have to add that I take no responsibility for any damage to yourself, your work area, your pen and your nib by following the suggestions below.

If you are unsure, search for a nib maestro in your area who will do this for you at a charge.

Materials Needed:

Distilled water (although I have used normal tap water)

Mild hand dishwashing liquid (dish soap for our US clients)

Bulb syringe or ink converter

Soft lint-free cloth or paper towel

Toothpick or brass shim


Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Before you begin, ensure you have all the necessary materials. Distilled water is preferred to prevent mineral deposits from tap water, and a mild wash-up liquid will help remove stubborn ink residue.

Place a covering on your work area so the ink cannot stain your surface, and wear an old T-shirt or apron / covering to protect your clothes


Step 2: Disassemble the Fountain Pen

Carefully disassemble your fountain pen, separating the nib, feed, and converter or cartridge. Refer to your pen's user manual if you're unsure how to disassemble it properly.

Step 3: Rinse with Distilled Water

Flush the nib and feed with distilled water using a bulb syringe or ink converter. This helps remove any leftover ink from the pen. Hold the nib and feed under a gentle stream of water, allowing it to flow through and carry away any ink particles.

Step 4: Soak in Mild Soapy Water

Create a mild, soapy water solution by mixing a small amount of washing-up liquid with distilled water. Allow the nib and feed to soak in this solution for 10-15 minutes. This will help break down any dried ink residue.

Step 5: Gently Brush Away Residue

After soaking, use a soft or old, soft-bristled toothbrush to brush away any remaining ink residue gently. Be cautious not to damage the delicate nib.

Step 6: Clean the Feed

Use a toothpick or a brass shim to carefully clean the feed channels. Insert the toothpick or shim into the channels and move it gently to dislodge any dried ink. Avoid using excessive force to prevent damage.

Step 7: Rinse Again with Distilled Water

Flush the nib and feed once more with distilled water to remove any soap residue. Ensure that the water runs clear, indicating that the pen is thoroughly cleaned.

Step 8: Dry and Reassemble

Pat the nib and feed dry with a soft, lint-free cloth or paper towel. Allow them to air-dry completely before reassembling the fountain pen. Be patient during this step to avoid trapping moisture inside the pen.


Regular cleaning is the key to maintaining the performance and aesthetics of your fountain pen. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your fountain pen nib remains pristine, providing a smooth and reliable writing experience every time you put pen to paper. Remember, a well-cared-for fountain pen is not just a writing instrument; it's a timeless piece of craftsmanship that can be enjoyed for generations.

If you have any questions please drop me an email at

Have fun and enjoy the best writing instrument there is.

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