20 Refills Without Cleaning My Pen!


It’s true. My Delike New Moon fine fude has been filled twenty times without cleaning. How is that possible? First of all, the ink is Iroshizuku syo-ro so much of the credit goes to its quality. The pen has been used in my journal almost every day for nearly six months filling 200 pages. The nib allows the ink to flow well though I hold it upright keeping the line at its most narrow width. Most often it has been refilled as the ink fades rather than when it is totally empty. If I write it dry, I immediately refill it and it has never complained.

In the days when people owned only one fountain pen, that pen was used regularly, ink was not heavily saturated, and pens were not cleaned before each fill. Think about it. One pen. One bottle of ink. Just like my New Moon and syo-ro. Interesting, eh?

There are other pens and inks that might work as well, but I am not inclined to tinker with what is working so well.

This surprising number of trouble-free refills resulted from using an ink that isn’t highly saturated, writing regularly, and never letting the nib dry out. It’s like having the largest filler ever made. More time writing, less time cleaning.


  1. Thank you for this post. I love the simplicity of this message. It is so appealing, when so much in life grows ever more complex. If you have managed 20 fills without needing to flush the pen, it will probably continue indefinitely. When I fill a fountain pen I like to fill and eject the ink a few times to give the nib and feed a good flush through.
    It is nice to see your pen and ink combo and your neat handwriting too.
    I am trying to follow your example, swapping inks less, keeping to one ink per pen and counting my repeat fills. Am currently enjoying a Cleo Skribent Classic, used daily for three months on Serenity Blue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Yes, it is more simple as were the times when this was the standard way to use a fountain pen. Serenity Blue is the perfect ink for continuous use. Though the name has changed over the years, a version of it would have been available back then and it is still considered to be one of the safest inks to use, especially in vintage pens. Waterman Blue Black is also very reliable and my first choice for testing a new pen.

      Flushing a pen is a good idea. In my quest for an absolute minimum maintenance routine, I decided to forego even that step. So far, so good!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I routinely have pens I use for daily journaling, and I rarely do a proper cleaning of them more than once every few months. Same as you, though, it’s always the same ink in the pen, I don’t let it run dry, and I write with it daily.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Favorite inks for the purpose?


      • Herbin Lie de The and Noodlers Lex Gray are my two go-to journalling inks, so they are the ones that see the most refills without full cleanings.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Those are very reliable inks. Easy on the eyes which is another characteristic I look for in an ink for journaling.


          • Yes, that makes a difference too. I love crazy colored ink, but that’s more of an accent color and not what I want to be doing my daily journal with.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. […] 20 Refills Without Cleaning My Pen! | An Inkophile’s Blog // I’m not too surprised. If the ink is uncomplicated, not changed, and the pen is used daily, our nearly daily, I would expect this. There was a time that the same pen was used daily and it rarely got cleaned. I once went 18 months without cleaning out a pen. (F-C Model 66 eyedropper w/ R&K Blau-Schwarz LE ink). Of course, it’s not luck cleaning isn’t needed these days, so… […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello again. After much scroll-searching on Amazon, I found and ordered a Delike New Moon in the same marbled green acrylic resin as yours, with silver colour trim and an EF fude nib. It arrived from China yesterday about a month sooner than expected! I don’t have Syo-ro but inked it with Pilot Iroshizuku tsuki-yo, the closest equivalent that I have. Now we are pen twins! I am delighted with the pen. The nib wrote perfectly with no adjustment required.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cool! tsuki-yo is very similar to syo-ro but darker and is a good mate for the green marble New Moon. From my research, the fude nibs are hand ground and thus superior to the round nibs. That certainly matches my experiences with them. One replacement nib, an extra-fine, is good, but it was an effort to deal with the company though they eventually came around to sending a replacement.

      We were almost twins with another pen, a MaJohn S5, but I can’t get the original nib to release its hold so that I can insert one of the extra nibs. My overall take on Delike, Majohn and Moonman is that quality control is lacking. The hand ground nibs bypass that with individual attention as the two that I have are very good. I would easily recommend them. The other nibs? Not so much.

      I also like the size and build of the Delike pens. They fit my handle perfectly. Is yours working well in that regard?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thankyou. Yes, the size and build of the Delike New Moon is comfortable for me too. I am delighted with it, especially the nib as I had not used an EF fude nib before. It is smooth and juicy and provides easy line width variation. I like that it gives narrow down strokes and broad cross strokes- the opposite of a stub nib.
        As for your Moonman S5, it sounds like yours was fitted with a nib unit that was over-tightened. The nib units of mine have all unscrewed fairly easily…just grip the nib and fit tightly in some tissue and give it a hard twist anti-clockwise to loosen it: it should then unscrew normally.
        Having bought three of the S5 pens now, each coming with three nib units, the nib quality was variable. Some probably just needed the tine gap opening slightly but I did not have any that were not usable. The Oblique broads suited my writing the best.
        I have not had any experience of their customer service. It might depend which company you buy from, I guess.


        • Agreed that the EF fude is a pleasure to use and is very smooth indeed. That wide cross stroke underlines words well without slowing the pace to grab a highlighter. My other pens are languishing in the pen tray on my desk. I use them enough to keep the ink flowing but that is all the attention they receive. Sad for a pen, but they have simply been upstaged at least for now.

          My daughter and I both tried to loosen the S5 nib with no success. I agree that it was over-tightened, something QC did not catch. If I decide to upload my Chinese pens review, it will not receive a favorable mention. The medium nib that is stuck in it is the one I have the least interest in. I was looking forward to using either the bent nib or the broad nib. Perhaps one day, someone will loosen it for me, but I cannot recommend it to others.

          I would say my foray into Chinese pens has been enlightening and with mixed results. The Delike New Moon 2 with a bent nib is excellent. The other pens were disappointing. If anyone is keeping score, that’s two great pens, two bad pens, and one that is fine after receiving a replacement nib from China. So I wasted money on two pens. It could have been a whole lot worse.

          I am so glad that didn’t happen to you and that you wound up with a pen that works well for you. It is a pretty thing, isn’t it?


Join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: