3 Simple Steps To Cleaning Your Fountain Pens
2 July 2021

3 Simple Steps To Cleaning Your Fountain Pens

For those of us who use fountain pens, I’m sure there are many times we get frustrated, especially after cleaning and flushing our pens out under the running tap for more than 10 minutes, air drying them, filling it up with new ink or cartridge, and only to find out that there’s still residual ink left over in our nibs that has mixed into the new colour, changing its colour profile completely. Today’s tutorial is for these situations, and we present you a cleaning tutorial for all Fountain Pens, regardless whether it’s a Montblanc, Lamy, Pilot Kakuno, etc.

Contributed by my friend Nurul a.k.a. @laydeh on IG.

You’ll Need:

  1. Running water or distilled water (if your area has hard water)
  2. (If possible) Pen Flush solution in a jar (e.g. Monteverde USA’s Fountain Pen Flush or J.Herbin’s Fountain Pen Cleaning Solution)
  3. Microfibre cloth / tissue / paper towel

Fountain Pen Cleaning Under Running Tap

Step 1: Rinse and Blow

Unscrew cap and body of fountain pen. For fountain pens with a:

a) Piston converter – rinse the fountain pen under running water by either a pumping or twisting action depending on your piston converter. Remove the converter to rinse the nib and blow the water out from the underside of it. Repeat until the water is clear.

b) Squeeze converter: same as 1a) but use a squeeze motion.

c) Cartridge: remove the cartridge and rinse the nib under running water, occasionally blowing it out from the underside until the water goes clear.
Note: Another way to know if your nib is clean, wipe the nib with tissue and see if any ink comes out after wiping.

Fountain Pen Soak Monteverde Pen Flush

Step 2: Pen Flush Solution 

This step is good for ink that has dried up in the nib, pen feed or if a more stubborn / staining ink has been used. Use a Pen Flush solution like Monteverde Fountain Pen Flush or J.Herbin Cleaning Solution for Fountain Pens. Pour some into a clean jar, immerse the nib for 10 minutes in it and repeat step 1 (i.e. rinsing it under running water).

Careful not to let the solution come into contact with skin. If it does, wash it off immediately.

For pens with piston converters or converters with sliding mechanisms, you can also draw pen solution into it and let it soak in the converter for 10 minutes.
Note: waterproof / bulletproof / iron gall / shimmer or sheening inks may be more difficult to clean thus should not be left idle in a pen for too long, or keep a separate pen specifically for these inks.

Fountain Pen Components Converter Nib Barrel

Step 3: Microfibre Cloth

Dismantle the pen parts, wipe dry with a microfibre cleaning cloth / tissue and let it air dry.


And there you have it, easy peasy lemon squeezy! You’d have clean nibs and converters, as if you’ve bought an entirely new fountain pen!


Illustrations by @its.weimo (IG)