How To Clean A Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen

PILOT fountain pens can last a long time with proper maintenance and care. This is why you should know how to correctly clean a PILOT Metropolitan fountain pen, including the nib, body, and feed. 

The most thorough way to clean a Metro pen is to disassemble its parts and clean them individually. You can flush them with water to remove all of the old ink as you prepare to refill a new cartridge. 

In this guide, you’ll learn how to properly disassemble and clean each section of a PILOT Metropolitan fountain pen.

We’ll share tips on the safest cleaning products to use and which techniques make the pen last longer. Keep reading to get the rundown!

By M Dreibelbis from Cleveland Ohio – Pilot Metropolitan, CC BY 2.0,

How to Clean a PILOT Metropolitan Fountain Pen – Frequency

Cleaning your fountain pen will extend its lifespan significantly. And in the long run, it will save you money since you won’t have to replace the body or nibs as often. But you need to know how often to clean your pen so that you are keeping up with regular maintenance guidelines. 

According to the official Metropolitan Use and Care Guide, the ideal frequency to clean your pen is every two months. 

Some fountain pen users will only clean their pens when it comes time to change the ink. However, if you are an infrequent pen user, it could take you far longer than two months to run out of ink. 

Furthermore, the longer that ink sits unused in a fountain pen, the more it will dry up and become difficult to clean. So, you should stick to a time-based schedule rather than just waiting. 

Step 1 – Disassembling the Pen

There are a few key components that make up a fountain pen. You have the neck, nib, body (pen barrel), and the ink cartridge.

The neck sits just below the nib, which is at the top of the pen. And the body is the bottom of the pen; this component houses the ink cartridge. 

Each fountain pen gets disassembled in a different way. But for the PILOT Metropolitan model, you can easily unscrew the pen barrel from the neck. 

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Once you’ve done this, you now need to take apart the nib and the ink cartridge. In a metro fountain pen, they will be attached, so you need to hold the nib pointing up in one hand while pulling down on the cartridge with another.

However, if you aren’t using an ink cartridge, but rather, a converter, you will need to separate the converter. Once you’ve disassembled your Metro fountain pen, you’re ready to begin cleaning it from the inside out. 

Step 2 – Water Cleaning and Flushing

When it comes to cleaning out a fountain pen, your best bet is to stick with the basics. Water is very effective at cleaning out ink from the different parts of the pen. You just need to know the right techniques that will clean out all of the ink, to the last drop. The most common techniques include:

  • Using a slow stream of cold water 
  • Sucking up and letting out water (for piston fillers)
  • Flushing the pen with a bulb syringe full of water

Stream of Water

This is by far the simplest method to clean a Metro fountain pen. After you’ve removed either the ink cartridge or the converter from the pen, let a stream of cold water run through the barrel and nib. 

Once you’re done with a cleaning, you should get a paper towel out. Run water through the nib several times, rubbing it against the paper towel after each water rinse. You’ll be able to tell when the nib is completely clean because it will no longer leave ink on the paper towel. It should run clear several times in a row. 

Finally, you need to make sure you let the pen completely dry by shaking out excess water. You also want to dry the nib with a gentle cloth. Depending on what kind of metal your nib is made from, you don’t want to risk any oxidation (rust) occurring. 

Suck and Spew Water

This method applies only to pens that use piston fillers. In this case, your ink holder works by sucking up ink like a vacuum. So, you can use this same function to suck up and let out water as a way of rinsing the piece. 

If you want it to be really effective, you can use lukewarm water and let it soak for a bit before releasing the water. You may want to also use distilled water, which will be cleaner than tap water. Again, make sure to completely dry the pen part once you’re done. 

Flushing Water with a Syringe

Finally, you might try and use a syringe method to get water exactly where you need it when cleaning. A bulb syringe is a rubber object that can suck up water when squeezed. 

You can then squeeze it again to squirt water out and through the feed, cap, and fountain pen. It will add more direct water pressure when cleaning. 

By Dllu – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Step 3 – Cleaning the Outside

And of course, you can’t neglect to clean the outside components of your Metro fountain pen. With frequent use, the natural oils from your hand will build up on the outside of your pen. 

In order to clean it up and make it shiny again, you could try using a damp cloth or microfiber cloth. If you use any moisture, though, make sure to thoroughly dry the pen afterward. 

You might also consider buying a pen polishing or waxing kit. These kits are designed for fountain pen aficionados to keep their fountain pens in the best possible condition. 

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Final Thoughts

If you want to know how to clean a PILOT Metropolitan fountain pen, then try out our tips and methods listed above. You first need to disassemble your pen’s parts and then clean them with water (preferably distilled).  You can either flush the pen with water, rinse it, or let it soak. However you choose to clean your pen, make sure that you do it every two months for optimal maintenance.

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