Fountain pens are one of the most reliable writing tools that can last for a long time. However, their longevity greatly depends on maintenance and proper storage. This guide will give you some tips and tricks on just that.
There are a few things to remember when storing a fountain pen but a good rule of thumb is to keep it away from direct sunlight and humid environments. These are important reminders, but for reference, I will present three scenarios and how to store a fountain pen properly.
On the Desk
For those of you who use fountain pens as your everyday pens, they will most likely be on your desks. The first thing to remember when putting away your pen is to cap it properly. While desks are one of the safest options to store them, accidents could still happen, and your caps are the first line of defense.
The two most common caps are the ones that click into place or twist to secure. Always make sure to cap your pens after each use.
Storing the nib of your pen up is the safest way. It reduces pooling on the nib and the chances of drying out and ruining the pen. But some users have noted that as time passes, pens with finer-point nibs tend to take longer to fill with ink. If you find yourself in a similar predicament, try storing your pen horizontally and in a case.
Storing it like this stops the nibs from drying and lessens the possibility of rolling the desk and breaking. If you use your pens frequently, there is no need to drain the ink reservoir. This time your battle is with the elements. Humidity can make your pens leak ink, possibly ruining your work or damaging the inner mechanism. Then there’s direct sunlight, which can dry the ink in the reservoir and nib. This can be difficult for new users to clean and can easily be preventable.
Fountain pens can be a bit more sensitive to change than other pens. On long travels placing it in a travel case can keep the ink contained and your other items safe. If you use it while traveling, attach the metal clip to your shirt horizontally or in your pockets to avoid dropping it.
Traveling with fountain pens should be pretty straightforward as long as you don’t go to places with extreme temperatures or use a plane. Storing a pen while flying requires more preparation beforehand.
The fountain pen can leak during take-off or landing. The change in altitude alters the pressure in the ink reservoir and pushes ink into the nib. The ink can pool on the cap and eventually leak outside.
If you don’t need to use it while traveling, empty out the ink reservoir and clean the nib. If this is not possible, do the exact opposite, fill it up with ink completely.
Filling it up will leave no space for the build-up of air pressure. Still, at this point, it’s better to be safe than sorry, place the pen in its travel case and vertically in a sealed separate plastic bag.
Not in use for long periods of time
Many people collect fountain pens for display or have been given one as a gift. If you don’t intend to use it for more than a month, here are a few things to remember when storing them. The first thing to do is to ensure they are empty and clean. There should be no ink in the reservoir to avoid it drying up.
Make sure to let it fully air dry before storing it away. Despite being free of ink, it’s better to store unused pens with the nib up. Last is to put them on a case away from harsh sunlight or where it is susceptible to extreme temperature changes. As long as you follow these tips and use them at least once or twice a year, fountain pens can last a long time.
Recommended time for storing
Everything has a recommended time for storage, and fountain pens are no different. Those with ink can be stored horizontally for up to two weeks and can last for a month if stored vertically. Pens that will not be in use for more than a month should be emptied out and will last for up until a year without ink.
While we are on the subject, why is it important to regularly clean or empty out the ink if not in use? The ink used in fountain pens is water-based and can evaporate, leaving the pigment in the converter and ruining the internal parts of the pen.
While it won’t permanently damage your pen, it may ultimately shorten the lifespan of the nib and the delicate components.
Fountain pen cases
These cases have at least one glass or clear panel where people can see the pens on display. They are a great way to share your collection, but remember the reminders about direct sunlight, as glass can trap heat and act as a microwave.
These cases are usually in a rectangle shape. If you are thinking of purchasing one, stick to storage cases lined with suede or cotton and avoid velvets or plastic dividers.
Leather cases and pouches are popular with many collectors for their visually appealing form and practicality. Most are on the expensive side but made with sturdy materials. Linings protect the pen finish and are plush enough to take a bit of tussling in bags and pockets.
Travel cases are the best choice if you take your pens out with you. You can also purchase one to place on your desk. Leather, wood, and plastic are the top choices and can hold more than just one pen.
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Many people who own fountain pens continue to use them for their versatility and unique writing experience. They are sturdier than other types of pens, and their storage just requires a bit more care and attention. I’m hoping that today’s post has helped you figure out how to store a fountain pen correctly so that they will last you long.