How to (cleanly) fill a fountain pen

One thing that really bugs me about filling my pens is an inky nib section. This is especially true when a pen is an expensive one.

After purchasing a gorgeous new fountain pen, you rip open the packaging, carefully open the box and behold the amazing craftsmanship that went into making your new pen. 

… and then you submerge it into a bottle of ink… 

Paper towel comes out, cleaning ensues and yet your new pen feels somewhat dirty. 

Go on, admit you feel it too!

There just happens to be another way of filling a fountain pen that uses a piston converter that will save you that icky inky feeling. 

… here are the steps… 

1) Remove the converter from the nib section. 

2) Open your bottle of ink on a flat surface and then start filling the converter. 

3) Screw the plunger up and down a few times to expel air while keeping the end of the converter submerged in the ink. 

Filling a fountain pen converter cleanly

4) Once the converter is full, clean off with some paper towel and insert the converter into the nib section. 

Nib section with converter inserted

5) Carefully squeeze just a little ink out of the converter so the nib and feed will fill with ink. 

6) Clean the nib off with some paper towel and start writing! 

Drawing ink through the fountain pen nib and feed

If you have a handy blunt syringe lying around you can also use the syringe filling method. Rather than putting the converter into the bottle, simply inject some ink into it before continuing with step 4. 

Whichever method of filling the pen you use, remember that there are alternatives to getting that gorgeous nib section inky.

Of course if can be a challenge for those pens that use sacs or have a piston mechanism that can’t be removed from the pen… but that’s for another article.