A Simple 2013 Fountain Pen Resolution


This certainly explains a lot. A light went on for me this morning when I realized the word “resolve” had something to do with “resolution” as in starting off the new year. Until today I thought you just made up something, tossed it out into the ether, and magically it would come true – or not as mine rarely have. Time for a change.

Dictionary.com defines resolve as “to come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine (to do something).” As a verb, “resolve” is used with an object and what better object to be the target of my latest resolution? Why, the mighty fountain pen, of course!

Putting substance to that thought, my 2013 pen resolution is to keep the kids clean. Now that may not sound like a big deal but cleaning and flushing them before they get dried out takes some organization when a rotation can number over a dozen. Flushing a nib while there is a tiny bit of wet ink in the feed makes quick work of cleaning. Waiting until the ink has dried in the nib can take days of rinsing and draining. Frankly, I’d rather be writing.

Here’s the plan. Check every pen once a week on a consistent day. Sunday works best for me. Any pen that has ink in the feed but not the filler will get a cleaning or a refill or both. If the same ink will go back in the pen, I may refill it without cleaning up to three fills total but only once if the ink is highly saturated.

The other part of this is to immediately rinse or refill a pen if I write with it until no more ink flows. Some of my pens give a hint that the end is near but most don’t. Too often I have been guilty of setting aside an empty pen in favor of one still able to work and then forgetting the empty pen needs attention. In a pinch, filling the pen with enough clear water to keep the nib and feed moist until I have time for a proper cleaning will do. This is one of the areas in which resolve should come in handy.

There you have my simple 2013 pen resolution: keep the kids clean. Is there a pen or ink resolution on your list?

Pilot Custom 742 FA Nib

Pilot Custom 742 FA Nib


  1. Oh I needed this. Great resolution. I have far too many fountain pens that I love and I have resolved to do a better job of rotating; your advice on flushing and cleaning is very helpful, thank you and happy new year.


  2. Having said that do you have a good check list for cleaning and flushing. I mean in other words what do I clean with other that a smooth cloth and flush with tap water?


    • There are products you can use to clean a pen. Both Platinum and J. Herbin made them but there are others though names escape me at the moment. Clean water is always safe. Just fill and expel the water repeatedly until it flows clean from the nib. Place the pen with the nib down in a cup with a paper towel at the bottom. Fold the paper towel over several times to create a cushion for the nib and absorb any remaining water. If the spot left behind has color to it, you can continue to flush for long term pen storage. If there isn’t much color, you can refill with the same ink. The goal is to not mix inks that might react badly together. However, a faint hint of color should not cause an issue.

      I use a soft flannel cloth for pen barrels and sometimes cotton pen wipes for nibs. Pendemonium has some supplies.


  3. Good luck. I have only a handful of pens and can seldom ever clean those…


  4. My pen resolution is the same as your pen resolution!


  5. hahaha! You crack me up. I was thinking along the same lines except more like: ink only one pen at a time. I am famous for inking a ton of pens, and then using only one. (What’s up with that???) So, I’m really going to try to use ONE AT A TIME. And see what happens. (For the first week, at least. lol.) Happy New Year to you, Inkophile! I’ve enjoyed your blog through the last couple of years, and you definitely are part of the inspiration that hooked me on to fountain pens. Thanks for your continued dedication to the fountain pen community. I enjoy keeping up with you. Be blessed. =) – kp


    • Providing something laugh-worthy is the best thing ever!


  6. Glad to know I’m not alone. I generally have 5 inked at my writing station, another 5 at the desk in my room where I journal and (blush) about 10 lined up on a tray in the bathroom waiting to be rinsed and stored until my current crop tires and I rotate again.

    I write enough that it’s not unusual for me to write multiple pens dry in a day and I lose my train of thought if I have to get up and refill them when I’m in the throes of creation.


    • Ten inked at one time is manageable. It’s when the number approaches twenty that an intervention is in order. Granted some are filled just to test inks and that accounts for half of my current batch or seven of fourteen at the moment. I find that acceptable. It’s the time and effort it takes to clean dried ink that needs to be reduced. The last group I cleaned reminded me how easy it is to flush a recently used pen versus one that has been unused for weeks. Such a difference!


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