How to maintain a cross fountain pen

Updated February 21, 2017

Cross brand fountain pens are pens you keep for a lifetime, even passing them down to the next generation. They are cherished items, and attention to their upkeep is important. Not carefully handling and maintaining a Cross fountain pen could mean a relatively expensive bill from Cross, should you send it in for repair when it is not under warranty. While its upkeep is not too difficult, attention to certain basic details is a must.

Use only fountain pen ink. Do not use India ink, which contains damaging shellac, and do not use drafting ink or technical ink. Some Cross fountain pens use a converter that allows the use of bottled ink rather than regular fountain pen ink. Follow the instructions provided with the pen or visit the Cross website to learn how to handle the converter.

Cap the pen with its fitted cap, or another protective covering if it does not have its own cap, when not in use. Do not unnecessarily cap and recap the pen, since it is subject to wear and an eventual loose fit.

Do not store the fountain pen in any position but upright, that is, nib or point up. Do not subject the exterior finish of the pen to anything that would tarnish it.

Do not bend the clip beyond how it is designed to function: a tightly sprang clip. Do not subject the nib to any force beyond the force exerted on it for use in writing on paper.

Soak the nib and front section of your Cross fountain pen overnight in a glass container, large enough to hold the parts, in lukewarm water that has a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid mixed into it to remove ink clogs in the feeder system. Clean the parts thoroughly the next day.

Empty the fountain pen of ink if you are not going to use it for more than a few days. Thoroughly clean the fountain pen with room temperature plain water before storing the pen for an extended length of time.

Use rough paper to remove wear marks and small scratches on solid brass and aluminium pen caps and barrels. Use grit paper that has a grade between 600 and 2500 for nib polishing.

Use a fine polishing paste to polish most pen exteriors except plated finishes. Use a jeweller's rough polishing cloth to polish a metal finish, or most any finish for that matter.

Use a plain polishing cloth for polishing pen exteriors, as the first step in a two-step polish. Use a soft polishing cloth for polishing pen exteriors, as the second step.

Things You'll Need

  • Fountain pen ink
  • Glass container
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Grit paper
  • Jeweller's rough polishing cloth
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About the Author

Educated at the University of New Orleans, Troy Pankey started writing many years ago. His written material is quite varied, and includes, advertising copy, product reviews, restaurant menus, musician and business owner profiles and interviews, among many other writing forms. He currently lives near New York City, where he pursues freelance writing opportunities both in traditional print and on the Web.