How to Clean Dried Ink From Nibs – Step By Step Guide

Whoever uses a fountain pen or calligraphy pen often faces the problem of getting dried ink in the nib. When ink gets dry, it causes a problem for the user to write with a specific pen.

From the invention of the fountain pen and calligraphy pen, the demand for those pens is still high. So it is a matter of great concern for the user that how to clean dried ink from nibs because they can’t throw away a pen after investing lots of dollars.

how to clean dried ink from nibs

We found that most people are hugely interested in knowing the various cleaning processes of these pens and want to make their favorite pens work-worthy for the longest possible time.

In this article, we are firmly dedicated to bringing you some easiest and straightforward ideas so that you can use your favorite pens for a long time cleaning dried inks. For the convenience of yours, we’ll place the easier ways first. Also, we’ll focus on the advantages and disadvantages.

We’ll separately discuss two types of pen cleaning systems; although there are not many differences, our effort is to make things more accessible to you. At first, let’s talk about the calligraphy pen’s nib cleaning system.

How to Clean Dried Ink from Calligraphy Pen’s Nibs

How to Clean Dried Ink from Calligraphy Pen

Calligraphy pens are used mainly by calligraphers. Whoever is a calligrapher require regular writing session, and if the ink gets dry, they really face a problem.

Most of the time, the problem of ink drying happens when you don’t use the pen for a long time. Also, the environment is responsible for that problem sometimes.

Whatever the reason behind this problem, you’re about to get a remedy here. Let’s start without any further ado.

Note: Inks are moisture type.

1. Dish soap and a soft sponge

Dish soap or detergent is so effective in removing extra oil or grease from anything, and when it is about any metal like the nib, these are undoubtedly super fruitful.

  • To clean your nib from dried ink, first, soak the sponge with normal water. Then you can add either detergent or dish soap to this soaked sponge.
  • Now take your dirty nib and gently start cleaning this nib with this sponge. Take your time to do this task. If the ink is much dried, you’ll have to give more effort. But never be harsh with this; your nib can be damaged.
  • If your nib has a removable or non-removable reservoir, you’ll have to follow different ways.
  • For a removable reservoir, you should remove this and clean it carefully.
  • And if there has a non-removable reservoir, then stay more cautious while cleaning.
  • When you are sure that all the dried ink is cleaned, wash the nib with normal clean water until the soap or detergent is washed off completely. Later, use a dry and soft cloth, towel, or tissue to dry the nib.

2. Toothbrush and paste

Like detergent and dish soap, toothpaste is also very effective in cleaning your dirty nibs. I’ll say this way is more straightforward.

  • Toothbrushes are generally hard, so better you pick a soft brush and then soften it more before rinsing it with water.
  • Then add toothpaste and start the cleaning process. Be gentle while you’ll clean.
  • The process is the same as before in the removable and non-removable reservoir turn.
  • When you remove dry inks, wash the nib with normal water.
  • After washing, dry the nib with a soft cloth, towel, or tissue.

Till now, we were explaining the processes that are the homely method that doesn’t cost any extra money. These are not tough actually, but still if you find those messy, then you can go for a ready-made option.

3. Pen cleaner/Flush solution

There are many pen cleaners available in the market. They are super easy to clean dried nib, and they just cost extra money.

  • After any writing session, when the nib gets dry, put the nib simply in the bottle of the pen cleaner.
  • Let the nib soak here until the dried ink is clean. In this process, the time has no limitations. If much ink is dried, it’ll take much time to clean off thoroughly.
  • When the ink is fully clean, make the nib out of the bottle and then wash with water. If you find any moisture existing, use soap to make this moisture away.

Tips: It is not always possible to wash away nib with water after every writing session, but this is really better for you if you can do this. A little attempt can save your hard effort.

How to Clean Dried Ink from Fountain Pen’s Nibs

How to Clean Dried Ink from Fountain Pen

Fountain pens are used for regular writing and other purposes, like calligraphy. Although fountain pens are not perfect for calligraphy, users cherish these pens so much. Even no other pen is so admired as a fountain pen.

Like calligraphy pens, fountain pens also require extra care. And if there happens a dry ink issue, then this is a severe issue for the regular users.

Now we’ll guide you on how you can simply remove dried ink at minimal effort in the simplest ways. Usually, we fill fountain pens with ink in two ways-Using piston filler or ink cartridges.

For the convenience of our discussion, we will write cleaning dried ink methods adjusting with the ink refilling systems.

Firstly, we’ll discuss how to remove dried ink using piston filler.

Note: Cleaning fountain pen nibs is critical compared to dip pen nibs or calligraphy pens.

Piston filler

1. Flushing The Nibs

To clean dried ink from fountain pen nibs, flushing is the easiest way. Moreover, the best part is that the flushing kit is not expensive.

  • First, take a little amount of flush solution in a bottle or glass.
  • Then using your piston filler, take some flush liquid inside, and the same way, make it out.
  • Repeat this process as long as the dried ink is not cleaned. This process is effective when the nib has fewer dried inks.

Along with the nib, the ink feeder will be set free from dried ink in this process.

2. Soaking The Nibs

When you fail to clean dried ink with the first process, you’ll have to combine flushing with soaking. This process is only for when too much ink is in the nib.

  • Take a little amount of flash kit in a separate jar or bottle.
  • Soak your pen’s nib overnight in the flush solution.
  • Gradually, the dried ink will start to get break, and you’ll finally see the result in the morning.
  • When the dried ink is broken, simply use the piston filler to make sure the road is clear enough.
  • Then use a dry, soft cloth, towel, or tissue to dry the nib.

Note: Using a flush solution will make your job easier and save you time.

3. Cleaning with Water

You may wonder if fountain pen nibs dried ink can be washed by water, then why didn’t we put it in the first place. It is 100% sure that water works amazingly to clean dried ink from fountain pen nibs, but when the amount of dried ink is much, water can take longer.

No matter how much dried ink is there in the nib-more or less, cleaning with water is a lengthy process.

  • Take some water in a pot, then using the piston filler, make water inside-outside several times.
  • Keep doing this process until the dried ink is cleaned.
  • If there has much ink, use soap or detergent with water, and then put it overnight. This will be more effective to remove moisture of ink. You can use lemon drops too with soap and detergent.
  • If the dried ink doesn’t break, use more soap and then follow the inside-outside process several times.
  • Do not use hot water; use only warm or normal water.

Note: you’re also allowed to use soap with water for less dried ink. You can make a homemade flush solution using 1/10 ammonia. But we don’t recommend that much.

4. Use Vinegar to Clean Dried Ink

Like water, you can use white vinegar for dried ink cleaning purposes. This vinegar is not any special one; instead, it is the same thing that we use in our food, and most of the house has this item.

  • In a pot, take some vinegar.
  • Using the piston filler, take vinegar inside and then bring it outside.
  • Do this repetitive task for some time.
  • If there is much ink, follow the overnight step with vinegar and see the result in the morning.

Note: This vinegar process is not always practical. Or it’ll not bring you an excellent result.


Fountain pens that are cartridge-based limit you with various cleaning options. If you try to clean cartridge-based fountain pen nibs with water or vinegar, you’ll have to soak this minimum of 24 hours. Still, the result will not be satisfying at all. Later, you’ll have to input more effort.

So we recommend a flush solution here. Soak the nib overnight, and in the morning, the ink will get a break. Then you can simply dry it with a tissue or towel.

Even you may have to use a bulb syringe for this purpose for a quicker result. With this bulb syringe, you can get a little facility of piston filler.


My dear friends! We tried to make things comparatively easier for you about how to clean dried ink from nibs. We recommend using a toothbrush and paste, soap, or detergent with water for cleaning dip pen nibs.

And for the fountain pen, we suggest mostly flush solutions. Other processes will take a longer time that may break your patience. Moreover, the flush solution will bring a 100% fruitful result in the turn of fountain pens.

But we claim that our other methods will amaze you for sure, must give a try. These are 80-90% successful.

If our article earns your trust, that’s our gain. Thank you for staying with us.