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How to Fix a Dry Fountain in 5 Easy Steps

My Fountain Pen Dried Up – What Should I Do?

One of the joys of fountain pens is the pleasure of writing with them. Therefore, a dry fountain pen is every writer’s worst nightmare. Over time, fountain pens can dry out if they are old or not used. When you’re expecting your nib to smoothly glide over the page only to find your fountain pen dried out, you might be wondering if your pen can be salvaged. Thankfully, there are a few easy steps to follow that can fix your dry fountain pen. You may not require all of the steps to fix your dry fountain pen, as the fix depends on the cause of the dryness. Additionally, if you are new to fountain pens, you may wish to explore our selection of the best budget fountain pens for beginners.

Fixing Your Dry Fountain Pen

Step 1 – Prepare 

Before you begin trying to fix your pen, prepare your space by laying down some newspaper or paper towels. You might also wish to protect your clothes and wear some latex gloves to protect your skin from spilt ink.

dry fountain pen

Step 2 – Flush the dry fountain pen

Regardless of the pen’s age, a clogged fountain pen can lead to the nib drying out. Therefore, it’s is essential to clean the pen if it isn’t being used. If you think your fountain pen has dried out because of clogging, the first step is to try flushing it with warm water. The best way to do this is by unscrewing the pen, removing the cartridge and pouring warm water into the feed and through the nib to flush out any hardened ink or sediment. If you’re trying to salvage an old fountain pen, read on for our tips on how to clean an old fountain pen.

dry fountain pen

Step 3 – Check the cartridge

If you are using a cartridge converter style fountain pen, you can try to resume the flow of ink by unscrewing the body of the pen and gently squeezing the ink cartridge to see if you can force ink through the nib and solve any blockage issues.

Step 4 – Clean the nib of the dry fountain pen

Sometimes, ink can harden in the nib reservoir, making it difficult for wet ink to flow through the feed. To remedy this, give the nib of the dried fountain pen a thorough clean. Dip a stiff paintbrush into warm water mixed with washing up liquid and use the bristles to scrub residue off the nib. Be careful not to bend or distort the nib, as this can cause irreparable damage. When the nib is clean, rinse with warm water and dry it with a lint-free cloth. Next, try inserting a new ink cartridge and check if the ink is flowing. If this doesn’t work, remove the nib and soak it in soapy water overnight.

dry fountain pen

Step 5 – Have the pen repaired

If none of the above steps is enough to solve the issue of your dry fountain pen, we have a repair service at The Pen Shop that can be of assistance for pens crafted by the brands we stock. Please visit our repairs page for more information.

How to Clean an Old Fountain Pen?

Perhaps you’re in the processing of restoring a vintage fountain pen you’ve found at an antique fair, or you’ve found a long-lost pen at the back of your drawer. Either way, cleaning an old fountain pen doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some easy steps for how to clean an old fountain pen:

  1. Disassemble the old fountain pen, removing any old ink cartridges, the nib, and the feed if possible.
  2. Soak the nib and feed in warm water for up to 2 days, depending on the age of the fountain pen.
  3. Remove and rinse under warm water as a final flush.
  4. Dry with a micro-fibre towel to reduce the possibility of scratching your lovely pen.
  5. Re-assemble and get writing!

We hope this handy guide has helped you restore a fountain pen that needed a bit of love. For more helpful tips regarding caring for your fountain pen or finding a fountain pen for left-handed writers, check out our blog. If you’d like to learn more about fountain pens or the range of pens we offer, please contact us, or pop into one of our stores to chat with our friendly team.

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