How to Clean a Parker Fountain Pen

Updated February 21, 2017

A Parker fountain pen can give a lifetime of writing pleasure if the instrument is cleaned from time to time. The piston mechanism for drawing up ink into the barrel, as well as the tube and reservoir for holding the ink can become clogged, especially if the pen is not used every day. Even a newer Parker pen using an ink cartridge needs to be cleaned at the nib. Cleaning a Parker fountain pen takes a few minutes with warm water and household cleaners.

Expel all ink from the Parker pen reservoir onto wadded paper towels by unscrewing the back cap and slowly depressing the piston on the back of the pen. For cartridge fountain pens, remove and discard the plastic cartridge.

Add a cup of warm tap water to a metal bowl and stir in a tablespoon of ammonia.

Dip the nib in the warm water-ammonia solution and hold for five minutes.

Pull back the piston to draw cleaning solution into the tube at the base of the nib and up into the ink reservoir. On some Parker pens, the piston will be spring-loaded so that the top must be twisted half a turn counter-clockwise for the piston to pop out and draw liquid into the reservoir.

Hold the pen over an empty bowl and press the piston slowly to discharge the water and ammonia through the nib into the bowl. Repeat this process two to three times until the liquid runs clear.

Use an eyedropper to fill a cartridge-type pen with water-ammonia solution, letting the liquid set for five minutes before pouring it into an empty metal bowl. Repeat until the liquid flows clear.

Let the pen air dry before refilling with ink or installing an ink cartridge.

Wipe down the exterior of the pen with a clean cloth, slightly dampened in warm water if necessary to remove any spilt ink.

Things You'll Need

  • Parker fountain pen
  • Warm water
  • Metal bowl
  • Ammonia
  • Eyedropper
  • Paper towels
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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.