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How to Clean Fountain Pen Cartridge Properly? (6 Steps)

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

How to Clean Fountain Pen Cartridge

Maintaining a clean fountain pen cartridge is essential to ensure the optimal performance and longevity of your cherished writing instrument. Leaving ink stagnant within a fountain pen for an extended period can lead to various issues.

But how to clean fountain pen cartridge? The process involves disassembling the pen, flushing the cartridge with clean water, and carefully drying it before reassembly.

In our comprehensive guide, we will delve deeper into each step, providing expert tips and techniques to keep your fountain pen cartridge in pristine condition.

So, keep reading to learn the essential art of cleaning your ink cartridges and preserve the joy of effortless writing.

Ways to Clean Fountain Pen Cartridge

Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide on how to clean a fountain pen cartridge/converter:

Step 1: Prepare Tools


First, you need to gather the necessary materials. You may also consider using a fountain pen cleaning kit. This kit typically includes tools and solutions specifically designed for fountain pen maintenance and cleaning.

It may include items such as:

  • Pen flush solution
  • Bulb syringe or cleaning bulb

Aside from these, prepare 1-2 cups of clean water and a soft dry cloth.

Step 2: Remove the Fountain Pen Cartridge/Converter  


To begin, unscrew the pen barrel or remove any cap that covers the cartridge/converter. Gently pull out the cartridge/converter from the pen’s grip section. Make sure to keep it upright to prevent any ink leakage.

Take care to handle it delicately to avoid any damage to the component or grip section.

Step 3: Empty the Ink Chamber


Once removed, you can proceed to empty the cartridge/converter over a sink or a cup of clean water that can catch the ink.

  • Submerge the empty cartridge in the water and gently swirl it around. This will help dislodge any remaining ink inside the cartridge. Take your time to ensure the cartridge is completely empty.
  • With a fountain pen converter, use its built-in filling system (such as twisting or pushing) to cycle water in and out of the pen.

Repeat the process until no more ink is visible when pushing water out of the pen, replacing the water if it becomes saturated with color. Ensure the converter is empty of both ink and liquid before proceeding.

For deeper cleaning, you can add a few drops of a mild cleaning solution formulated for fountain pens. Follow the instructions on the cleaning solution bottle for the appropriate amount to use.

It is also essential to flush the chemical out with water afterward.

Step 4: Cleaning the Nib


Once you have emptied the ink cartridge or converter, the next step is to flush fountain pen’s nib and feed to ensure thorough cleaning.

Hold the pen with the nib facing downwards over a sink or a cup of water.

Draw water into the bulb syringe and insert the tip of it into the open end of the nib section (where the cartridge or converter attaches).

Gently squeeze the bulb syringe, allowing a steady stream of water to flow into the nib and feed. The water will flow through these components, pushing out any remaining ink or debris.

Note: Clean a fountain pen with dried ink

If the pen has been sitting unused for a while and the ink has dried inside the nib, cartridge, or converter, you may need to take additional steps to unclog fountain pen effectively.

In this case, try soaking the pen components to help dissolve and loosen the dried ink.

Let them soak for a period of time, maybe for a few hours. Remember, the length of soaking time may vary depending on how stubborn the ink is, so be patient and adjust the duration accordingly.

Step 5: Dry the Cartridge


Blot the cartridge carefully with a microfiber cloth or paper towel to remove additional moisture. Allow everything to air dry completely before reassembling your fountain pen. This typically takes a few hours.

Don’t rub too hard to prevent damaging the cartridge.

Step 6: Reassemble the Pen


Once the cartridge is fully dry, carefully insert it back into the pen’s grip section. Make sure it fits securely. Screw the pen barrel back in place or replace the cap, ensuring it is securely fastened. Your fountain pen is now ready to be used again with a clean cartridge.

Fountain Pen Care

Proper care and maintenance are essential for the longevity and optimal performance of your fountain pen. Here are some key points to consider when it comes to fountain pen maintenance:

1. Store Your Fountain Pen Properly


  • When not in use, always cap your fountain pen to prevent the nib from drying out and to protect it from damage.
  • Avoid storing your pen in extreme temperatures or direct sunlight, as this can affect the ink and pen components.

2. Nib Maintenance


  • Keep an eye on the nib for any signs of damage or misalignment.
  • Avoid applying excessive pressure or pressing down too hard when writing, as this can damage the nib.
  • Do not use hot water to clean the pen’s exterior and nib.


By following the steps outlined in this guide on how to clean fountain pen cartridge, you can effectively remove old ink and debris, ensuring a smooth and reliable ink flow.

Remember to handle the cartridge with care, keeping it upright to prevent leaks, and use cool water or a mild cleaning solution for thorough cleaning. Allow the cartridge to dry completely before reassembling it for optimal ink flow and performance.

Regular maintenance and care of your fountain pen, including proper storage and nib maintenance, further contribute to an enjoyable writing experience.

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