Fountain pens do require special care and maintenance in order to maintain their value and the service level you expect.
TIPS TO PROLONG THE LIFE OF YOUR PEN
Don’t Leave Filled and Unused: It is best not to leave pens filled with ink, and not being used. If you are not going to use the pen, then empty it of ink, and give the pen a flush with water.
Converters and Cartridges Must be Seated Properly: Leaking inside the barrel may result if not done properly. Push cartridge or converter firmly until you feel it seat. Change on a regular basis.
Stand Pens Vertically: If you are going to store a fountain pen for a period of time, then flush the ink out of the pen, and pens are better if they are stored standing vertical with the nib and cap upwards. What ink/moisture there is will flow down out of the tiny channels.
Testing the Nib: If you have not used the pen for a while, and you go to write with it and no ink flows, don’t just press harder and harder on the paper to get the flow going. You may damage the nib. Make short strokes diagonally across the paper using regular pressure. If nothing happens, then dip the nib in some water.
Travel With a Fountain Pen: It is always best to be safe and evacuate the ink from your pen before you get on a plane. Cartridges are great for travel, when you get to your destination, just pop one in. Air pressure can decrease and increase during a flight and this can cause any pen to allow ink to drip into the cap.
CLEANING YOUR FOUNTAIN PEN
Flush on a Regular Basis: It is a good idea to give a fountain pen a good flush every month or so. This means, pulling in and pushing out the existing ink with good straight tap water until no more ink shows in the water.
Lukewarm Water Rather than Hot Water: Use lukewarm water, never hot. Hot water could impact seals in the pen. If the pen is clogged, and after a flush of water there is still an ink flow problem, let the nib section stand in a glass of water overnight.
Cleaning: Sterling Silver
Fountain pens come in many finishes and are constructed of a wide variety of materials, so their care varies from material to material. Silver, sterling and plated: use a store bought polishing cloth or glove infused with silver cleaner. For hard to clean patterns and finishes such as “barley etched”, use a liquid silver polish with a soft brush to get the polish and tarnish out of the crevices.. Remember silver is a soft metal and will take on a patina and will show scratches and even small dents, it’s part of its “charm” but this material requires extra TLC.
Cleaning: Hard Metals
Platinum, palladium, rhodium, stainless steel and chrome: These finishes generally do not tarnish and remain “mirror like”. While they can show scratches and wear, they are much more durable than Sterling and/or silverplate. A soft cloth will remove fingerprints and dirt.
Cleaning: Fine Resins
This material gives many pens like Mont Blanc’s precious resin pens their light weight, which some people prefer. However this also makes them quite vulnerable to cracks and breakage if dropped or abused. They will also show slight scratches in the barrel over time, especially with dark colors. Care must be taken. A soft cloth can be used to clean and polish resin pens. A good rule of thumb is to invest in a leather pen case to help protect them.