Pen Pelikan

How-To: Clean a Pelikan Fountain Pen

October 10, 2018

How-To: Clean a Pelikan Fountain PenI’ve been requested on the couple of occasions in the last several days by what is the easiest method to clean a Pelikan fountain pen. While I am not sure whether my way is the greatest way, it will work, is simple and comparatively quick to complete, and doesn’t lead to any harm to the pen. A primary reason which i enjoy Pelikan’s piston fillers is due to the convenience that they may be cleaned in comparison with cartridge/ripper tools models. Pelikans will also be forgiving and could be left to visit much more time between routine maintenance sessions than another brands pens. While cleaning is simple, there are several pitfalls and special factors to bear in mind, particularly whenever using vintage pens. As a result, I’ve two cleaning methods one which I reserve for contemporary pens (1970-present) and something which i use for either modern or vintage pens (pre-1970). I’ll do my favorite to explain both procedures below in addition to offer you a number of my thoughts about the intricacies of Pelikan pen maintenance. Like a bonus, I’ll also review a procedure for the cleaning of the cartridge/ripper tools pen.

What You’ll Need:

  1. 70 degrees plain tap water or sterilized water (optional)
  2. 2-3 Small (6-large) cups
  3. Sponges, cloth, or similar
  4. A dilute (

1:10) ammonia solution (optional)

  • Cotton swabs (preferably safety swabs)
  • Bulb syringe (optional to clean cartridge/ripper tools pens)
  • Procedure:

    METHOD #1 – Modern Pens (1970-Present)

    1. Empty the pen associated with a remaining ink by turning the piston knob counter-clockwise to succeed the piston forward.
    2. Switch on a sink and adjust the tap to roughly 70 degrees. Fill just one cup 1/4 full and hang aside.
    3. Run the nib underneath the faucet before the water seems to obvious. Once obvious, unscrew the nib and put it within the cup water prepared in step two.
    4. Now put the section underneath the faucet to get rid of the rest of the ink in the barrel. Work the piston 2-3 occasions permanently measure.
    5. Dry the outdoors from the pen having a towel after which switch the nib that’s been soaking. Empty the cup water and refill until 1/2 full. Sterilized water may be used at this time should there be concerns concerning the hardness from the plain tap water.
    6. Put the nib within the water and cycle the piston 2-3 occasions to make sure that water remains obvious. If ink persist, still flush until it clears.
    7. Utilizing a towel, dry the nib by drawing out any excess moisture and permit to air dry.
    8. If significant staining remains or maybe there’s an especially persistent ink, get a dilute ammonia solution as outlined below. Also consider washing the cap as described below.

    METHOD #2 – Vintage Pens (Pre-1970) and/or Modern Pens (1970-Present)

    1. Empty the pen associated with a remaining ink by turning the piston knob counter-clockwise to succeed the piston forward.
    2. Switch on a sink and adjust the tap to roughly 70 degrees. Fill two cups 1/2 full. If you’re worried about report from the water inside your tap, think about using sterilized water.
    3. Submerge the nib in to the first cup and frequently cycle the piston. When the water is heavily colored, change to the 2nd cup.
    4. Continue cycling the piston before the water flushes obvious in the pen. You might want to empty and refill just one cup a couple of times.
    5. Utilizing a towel, dry the nib by drawing out any excess moisture and permit to air dry.
    6. If significant staining remains or maybe there’s an especially persistent ink, get a dilute ammonia solution as outlined below. Also consider washing the cap as described below.

    METHOD #3 – Cartridge/Ripper tools Pens

    1. If your ripper tools is attached, empty the pen associated with a remaining ink by turning the knob around the ripper tools counter-clockwise to succeed the piston forward. If your cartridge was utilized, discard the cartridge.
    2. Switch on a sink and adjust the tap to roughly 70 degrees. Fill two cups 1/2 full. If you’re worried about report from the water inside your tap, think about using sterilized water.
    3. If utilizing a cartridge, skip to step four. If utilizing a ripper tools, submerge the mouth area in a mug of water and cycle the piston 2-3 occasions. The ripper tools should obvious fairly rapidly. Fill the ripper tools and invert it a couple of occasions to free any ink trapped at the amount of the piston seal and empty. The ripper tools ought to be clean with this point.
    4. Have a bulb syringe and grow it with water in the first cup. Put the mouth from the syringe at the rear of the section and depress, allowing water to circulate with the nib and feed (this could obtain a little untidy). Repeat 2-3 occasions after which change to the new cup. While using syringe once again to purge the feed/nib, water ought to be fairly clean with this point. Alternatively you can easily use a steady flow water from the sink instead of the bulb syringe to offer the same effect if that’s easier for you personally.
    5. Utilizing a towel, dry the nib by drawing out any excess moisture and permit to air dry.
    6. If significant staining remains or maybe there’s an especially persistent ink, get a dilute ammonia solution as outlined below. Also consider washing the cap as described below.

    Cleaning with Ammonia

    1. Once first cleaning with tap or sterilized water as described above and never achieving a acceptable effect, get a dilute ammonia How-To: Clean a Pelikan Fountain Pensolution.
    2. You can buy one of the numerous pre-made solutions for example J.B.’s Perfect Pen Flush (no affiliation) or help make your own dilute 1:10 solution (1 part household ammonia to 10 parts water).
    3. Fill single serving 1/2 full using the dilute ammonia solution and yet another cup 1/2 full with tap or sterilized water. Cycle the piston several occasions within the ammonia solution while you had formerly when utilizing water to purge as described above.
    4. When satisfied, expel all the ammonia in to the cup and change to the cup with water, again cycling the piston several occasions to purge out any remaining ammonia (this really is essential for proper functioning because the flush has surfactants that will modify the ink’s qualities).
    5. It can save you the used ammonia for re-use later (until it might be nearly opaque and ought to be discarded).

    *NEVER mix ammonia with bleach, use ammonia on aluminum parts, or soak older pens within an ammonia solution. ALWAYS use within a properly ventilated area.

    Washing the Cap

    1. As the pen is drying, make use of a cotton safety swab that’s been moistened with water and swab within the cap.
    2. Repeat before the swab tip arrives clean.
    3. Operate a dry cotton wool ball or tissue along within the cap to dry. Compressed air may also be used. Let it air dry just before reassembling.


    The procedures described above is useful for a lot of of Pelikan’s piston fill and cartridge/ripper tools fountain pens. This could include basically all the pens of both modern Classic and Souverän lines in addition to many vintage models. When working more than a sink, care should automatically get to avoid shedding the nib and/or barrel in to the drain. Pelikan pen’s are designed for a rather infrequent maintenance schedule so even though you only flush every couple of several weeks, that needs to be sufficient but still you need to only need water when flushing. Pens which are bought used and have been neglected for a while might take advantage of a flushing by having an ammonia solution but that needs to be made the decision on the situation by situation basis. Normally, pens will require a reapplication of silicone grease from time to time (roughly

    three years in my opinion) to help keep the piston moving easily. If you are using the tap approach to cleaning described above (Method #1), the regularity of re-lubing may increase.

    Special Factors:

    • I advocate not while using sink faucet cleaning way of vintage pens since the older ebonite feeds are fragile and that i avoid taking out the nib from individuals pens whenever you can as each attempt to do this can risk damaging the feed . Also, warm water ought to be prevented because this can harm certain components and doesn’t provide any benefit over 70 degrees water.
    • My very own plain tap water supplied by the town is extremely hard and therefore there’s a higher mineral content within the water. Once the water evaporates, these nutrients remain behind and may clog feeds. Because of this, I like using sterilized water (specifically ready to remove chemicals and minerals) over tap. Sterilized water is affordable and easily available at any supermarket in 1 gallon jugs. After I use the tap cleaning method, I’ll always finish with several flushes of sterilized water to try and remove the remaining calcium in the water left out from my faucet.
    • Lots of people favor adding a small amount of dish detergent (e.g. Beginning) towards the water that they’re using to purge the pen with. It has been reported to assist with ink flow problems and may remove a few of the releasing agents left on recently minted feeds. This really is generally considered like a safe practice though one which I don’t personally employ when i feel ammonia achieves exactly the same effect. Should you choose make use of a drop and just a small amount of Beginning detergent inside your flushing process, make certain you follow by using just water to get rid of all residue and stop problems lower the street.
    • It’s frequently requested whether a brand new pen must be flushed before an initial fill and there’s debate on sides of the issue. I don’t flush first within my personal practice and also have not had any problem which i would attribute for this practice however, many people report otherwise. Because oils, grit, and releasing agents invisible towards the human eye alone could be retained in the manufacturing process, ink flow may become impaired. To combat this, flushing with a small amount of detergent or dilute ammonia can obvious these remaining agents in the event you find this to matter.
    • The amount of people who don’t clean their pen’s cap has always amazed me. After I obtain a used pen, especially vintage ones, this is among the first a few things i do and that i frequently seem like I’m pulling a decades’ price of ink out. I love my caps neat and to ensure that belongs to my routine maintenance. When done regularly, it always takes only a couple of cotton swabs to complete the job. Why clean the barrel and nib so effectively simply to leave the cap filthy? Just make certain to dry the cap just before reassembling. I personally use cotton swabs for infants, also known as safety swabs, since these convey more cotton material and are ideal for the task for cleaning pen caps. “Be kind, clean your pen’s cap.”
    • Other implements may be used within the cleaning process. Included in this are syringes, ultrasound cleaners, brass shims, polishes, etc. None of these are typically essential for day-to-day pen maintenance and therefore are usually for additional advanced purposes. I’ll be addressing a few of these individually later on postings so stay tuned in.
    Cleaning Method #1 (also showing using ammonia)
    Cleaning Method #2 (also showing the cleaning of the cap)
    Cleaning a Cartridge/Ripper tools Fountain Pen

    *I’m not a specialist in pen maintenance making no states be one. I’m a fanatic and hobbyist. For those who have any concerns or doubts, you need to look for further assistance elsewhere. Anybody following a above procedures achieve this in their own risk and i’m not responsible for any damage which may be incurred towards the pen, nib, or cap.

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    My m200 coffee shop creme is my first Pelikan, and my most costly pen. I thank you for detailed article on cleaning. While cleaning my cheap pens isn’t any problem, I must admin I had been just a little reluctant to complete almost anything to that one.

    You’ve made a fantastic choice for the first Pelikan. Hopefully you’re enjoying it. It’s difficult to kill a Pelikan but I’m glad that my publish helped to allay a number of your fears.

    Is that this approach to cleaning pens alright to use with Mont Blancs that have a reservoir? Parker Duofolds? S.T. Dupont’s? I do not understand why it wouldn’t consider you appear to become particularly discussing Pelikan pens and that i have no idea about anything in regards to a Pelican pen I’m just curious. I just read your disclaimer in the finish but we do hope you can provide your very best guess. Thanks.

    Interesting comment Philip. I talk about Pelikan since it is things i know and love but I’ll do my favorite to reply to your question. I’ve effectively used method #2 on the majority of other brands, both piston and cartridge fillers. That list would come with Montblanc, TWSBI, Parker, Sheaffer, Pilot, and Lamy. I’ve had no difficulties with individuals within my personal expertise. The sink method would only affect a piston filler having a removable nib to ensure that far less relevant generally. Hopefully is useful for you.

    Thanks Joshua. Things i guess really surprised was that a minimum of “some nibs” unscreww. Irrrve never understood might i do not think that’s the situation for just about any of my pens which i presently own. Even though the concept comes with some merit without a doubt. i figured your videos were very useful and thorough. many thanks.

    The consumer interchangeable nib is among the advantages of Pelikans. Creates easy cleaning and repair and introduces some good personalization options. Just kind words. I’m glad that you simply enjoyed the videos.

    Joshua, Maybe you have had ink get caught within the parts of your demonstrators? If that’s the case, had you been capable of getting it? Did make use of an american cleaner?

    “One from the reasons which i enjoy Pelikan’s piston fillers is due to the convenience that they may be cleaned in comparison with cartridge/ripper tools models.”

    I generally agree, but there are several c/c pens which are easy to wash. The Platinum 3776 Century is possibly my personal favorite c/c pen and it has a ripper tools which comes apart easily. The nib and feed will also be simple to remove.

    Hello and interesting comment. I’ve had this happen on my small M200 Cognac demonstrator. It’s frustrating with no, I weren’t required to make use of an ultrasound cleaner. Using the nib set up removed, there’s a little lip within the section. I have a 10cc syringe full of water having a blunt needle attached and put the end of this syringe in the lip. Then i inject the entire syringe water quickly. This results in a jet water that gets rid of that part of the section. I actually do this maybe 2-3 occasions which has led to complete ink clearing. Next its only a matter of letting water evaporate before reinserting the nib. I suppose that any device that may do similarly works too but that’s been my approach to it. Hopefully helps you determine your issues. One of the numerous challenges of owning and having a demonstrator.

    Thanks, Joshua. That’s a good tip.

    Thanks Joshua! I have not thought I will discover a publish about cleaning pens! It may be helpful to understand that! Sometimes within the sphere of business cleaning services and that i spend lots of time searching to clean methods and concepts. Thank you for discussing! 🙂

    Glad to become and services information.

    Thanks. My first Pelikan showed up a few days ago which is the Coffee shop Creme. Sadly, it’s not writing correctly whatsoever and one thing I’ve been told to test is altering a lot of it so that your video is really useful! I do not have other piston pens, great to locate this publish.

    I’m glad you have found my publish useful. Being unsure of the more knowledge about what you’re experiencing, I’d also suggest that you will get a 10x loupe (easily acquired from the 3 sources) and check out the tines from the nib. If they’re not aligned, the pen could write poorly

    Hello, I’m a brand new Pelikan owner as well as a new comer to your informative blog. Appreciate supplying such an abundance of information. My first Pelikan is definitely an M805 Demonstrator. I’m enjoying it hugely and aspire to write by using it for any very lengthy time.
    After I change ink colors I flush the pen per your instructions and achieve this before the water runs obvious in the pen and that i see nothing of color inside. Carrying this out I’ve discovered there’s still some ink inside just beneath in which the feed connects towards the section. Around the Demonstrator el born area is silver colored and also the remaining ink has a tendency to stay on top area, roughly in which the feed connects.
    Can you really remove this ink? I believe if left to remain a lengthy time it might be hard to remove.

    Hello Andy. Congratulations around the M805 Demonstrator. Hopefully it will likely be the very first of numerous great Pelikan pens. Unscrew the nib to higher cleanse the region that you simply describe. Next be capable of getting at this persistent ink that will get trapped between your nib and section.

    Thanks to you Joshua.

    Thank you for this video, I’ve got a Coffee shop Creme as well as an M205 Amethyst, and knowing will be able to go ahead and take nib out can make cleaning much simpler. What is the method to take away the piston mechanism in order that it could be lubricated? Or perhaps is this difficult using these two pens?

    The piston mechanism shouldn’t be routinely taken off the Coffee shop Creme or even the Amethyst. They are friction fitted and then any attempts at removal can harmOrruin the pens. The piston doesn’t have to become removed to become lubricated. Simply unscrewing the nib and applying a little drop of silicone grease towards the wall near the piston seal is much more than sufficient and is effective. That needs to be all of the maintenance that the piston needs. Enjoy your pens.

    Thanks! I figured that might have been the situation, as I didn’t see anyway to get rid of the piston. While you stated taking out the nib should have the desired effect.

    Joshua Nice articles. I’m a fountain pen enthusiast and that i was using cartridge/ripper tools pens only up until the time I purchased Pelikan Souverän M400 fountain pen. I had been always scared of Piston filler due to cleaning issues. I’ve read somewhere that if you work with Pelikan pen daily you have to wash the pen annually only if you work with 4001 Royal blue ink or Edelstein Azure blue ink. Could it be true?

    Glad that you want the posts. It is a fact that if you work with a comparatively low maintenance ink and just that one sort of ink you don’t need to purge regularly. Flush otherwise using for any prolonged period or when altering inks. Whether it were me, I’d most likely flush it when a quarter to help keep all running smooth but that’s likely overkill. Guess this will depend in your usage patterns really. I doubt you’ll locate one consensus answer around the subject.

    unsure should you pointed out it, but merely watering a pen could work miracles.

    Lately, I received an M400 white-colored/turtle with ink dried within the feeder, tank, and behind the piston. Because the ink was dried, I removed the nib (water for many hrs/days if it doesn’t emerge freely), beaten up around I possibly could underneath the faucet, then submerged pen and nib inside a bowl water for many hrs. A lot of it dissolved and ran from the pen collecting round the pen at the end from the bowl. I replaced water and repeated. this time around no further ink arrived on the scene and searching in to the pen, I saw it had been completely clean. This will focus on demonstrators too.

    The issue was there is also dried ink behind the piston. As I didn’t wish to take away the piston, I submerged the pen, the labored the piston a few occasions. This pushes the air from behind the piston after which fills el born area with water. By doing this, I could remove all the ink from behind the piston. The tricky part was obtaining the moisture out again. We have spent the piston within the aoir a few occasions, you are able to eject the majority of the water, however, many small drops will stay. Should you then refill the pen, you seal the compartment behind the piston – the pen won’t dry by doing this.

    Solution: to dry up completely, the piston needs to be completely in advance there’s a crevice between knob and pen. Then i placed the pen in to the sunlight for a few days. Important: the pen should be inside a verticle position using the knob pointed upwards. By doing this, the evaporated moisture escapes and doesn’t recondense while still inside.

    All the best,

    Appreciate making the effort to comment and share your experience Carsten. I do not mean to become contrary but submerging a Pelikan pen in water may cause some undesired issues. One of these simple is it may cause older bindes to swell. It may also allow water to seep between layers. Submerging a pen and dealing the piston will definitely get water behind the piston seal though, while you explain, this could usually be remedied. I certainly don’t want to create a regular practice of the. Putting a pen in sunlight can lead to discoloration. You may be better offered using something similar to a bag of grain to wick out moisture. How we describe is most dangerous with vintage models, particularly individuals with hard rubber components that will rapidly and permanently discolor using the techniques that you simply describe. Not searching to criticize you however i did want to indicate for other people a few of the dangers/pitfalls of the items you describe.

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