One reason a lot of people hold off from buying a fountain pen is that they hear horror story after horror story about them leaking. There’s nothing worse than a fountain pen “popping” in your pocket and bleeding ink all over the place.
Luckily, though, you can quickly stop your fountain pen from leaking with just a few quick tips. Keeping the cap on tight, keeping your pen upright, keeping your pen cool, and making sure the nib always faces upwards are just a few of them.
Below we dig even deeper into (almost) everything you need to know about stopping your fountain pen from leaking once and for all.
Let’s get to it!
How Do I Stop My Fountain Pen from Leaking?
Cap Your Fountain Pen!
The first (and easiest) thing you can do to stop your fountain pen from leaking is to simply snap your pen cap in place – and then make sure that it stays locked into place!
Every single modern fountain had (and almost every vintage one, too) is going to come complete with a cap specifically made for that pen. The cap should fit tightly and securely, giving you a tight – but not impossible to remove – fit that guarantees your pen isn’t going to bleed all over the place.
Without this cap in place, or if you’re using the wrong cap and the fit is loose, you run the risk of your ink rushing out of the capillary system and all over your pocket (and anything else it comes in contact with, for that matter).
Keep the cap on and you have nothing to worry about!
Store Your Pen Upright
Secondly, it’s important that you make sure that your fountain pen is kept upright as often as possible – especially when it’s not in use.
Inverted fountain pens are going to leak ink like a sieve, allowing that ink to pour right out of the capillary system and all over everything in the immediate area.
A pen that is in the correct position, though, keeps the ink in the capillary system (and keeps your fountain pen nib dry and clear, too). The ink has nowhere to run in those situations!
Too many people have discovered that they stored their fountain pen the wrong way the moment they opened it up and found it overflowing with ink.
You can avoid that permanently just by making sure that the pen is stored in the upright position.
Be Careful During Transport
You always run the risk of something going a little sideways with your fountain pen when you have to carry it out of the office (or where you do the bulk of your writing).
It’s a good idea to keep the pen isolated from other objects (including your phone or your keys) if you absolutely have to store it in your pocket. The last thing you want to have to happen is for your phone, keys, or “pocket litter” to pop the top on your pen and cause the ink to go rushing out.
It happens all the time, though!
You also want to make sure that your pen doesn’t end up in your back pocket. Sometimes we get absent-minded, stick our pen in our back pocket, and then go sit down somewhere (like the front seat of our car, for example).
That’s a surefire recipe for disaster!
If you absolutely, positively must move your fountain pen it’s a good idea to make sure that it stays in the upright position in some sort of protector or is stowed away inside of its carrying case.
Temperature Matters, Believe It or Not
Fountain pens perform their best when they are kept at nice and cool temperatures.
Warm and humid temperatures can cause the ink in the capillary system to expand, sometimes even causing the capillary system to burst completely – and then you have a real mess on your hands.
Obviously, you don’t want your pens to be kept in freezing or below freezing temperatures, though. Between 55°F and 85°F shouldn’t cause you any trouble.
We are not suggesting that you set the climate controls in your home to certain temperatures just to keep your fountain pens happy. But as long as you are comfortable your fountain pens should be as well!
Make Sure the Nib is Facing the Right Way
The nib on your fountain pen should always face upwards – whether you’re writing or storing the pen – to make sure that gravity itself doesn’t pull ink from the capillary system out of the nib itself.
Fountain pens take advantage of tiny steel pens that have been fitted through a hole in the capillary tank, guaranteeing that the capillary “lever” responsible for controlling the flow of ink is always in place and always active.
If the nib faces in the wrong direction for too long this lever can become dislodged. And then you’ll have a river of ink to deal with!
Has Your Ink System Been Installed Correctly?
Of course, it’s always a good idea to make sure that the ink system in your pen has been installed correctly.
Ink cartilage systems are generally pretty easy to snap into place, even if you don’t have a whole lot of experience working with these kinds of pens in the past.
All the same, it’s not a bad idea to brush up on the basics and make sure that you have snapped your ink correctly into position to avoid spills or leaks.
Check – and Clean! – Your Fountain Pen Often
Finally, you want to be sure that you are giving your fountain pen a good once over every now and again (at least every month) to make sure that it is in good working order and doesn’t require any special maintenance.
Take the time to look your pen over, disassemble it completely and clean it thoroughly, and then carefully reassemble everything back again.
You’ll learn a ton about your pen but you’ll also avoid minor issues that could grow into major emergencies if left unchecked.
There you have it – just about everything you need to know about how to stop your fountain pen from leaking!
Armed with the inside information above you’ll be able to use your fountain pen all the time without having to worry about its bringing a leak, spraying ink all over the place, and ruining your clothes, your documents, or your desk.