\nKeeping your fountain pen clean helps you get the most joy out of handwriting, ensuring your pen moves gracefully over the page and leaves a smooth, consistent line in its wake. If your pen isn't writing like it used to, our guide to cleaning and refilling your fountain pen will help make sure that precious ink keeps flowing like it should.\n \n\nLess than ideal form from this well-loved pen\n \nHow do I know when my pen needs a clean?\nSometimes even the best-loved pens will get a bit blocked up, leaving faded or inconsistent marks on the page when you try to use it. If your pen's been living in a drawer for a while, and you can see dried ink around the nib or grip section, it's absolutely time to give it a clean.\n \n\n \nBut you don't need to wait for things to fully dry up – a regular cleaning is a great way to keep your pen in tip-top condition.\n \nWhat you'll need\n– two glasses of water– a bulb syringe or your pen's ink converter– a piece of paper towel – fresh ink for refilling– a notebook or notepad for testing\n \nStep 1 – Take the ink cartridge out\nUnscrew the barrel of your pen by twisting it in the middle, and remove the ink cartridge or converter.\n \n \n \nStep 2 – Prepare your water glasses and bulb syringe\nPlace the two glasses side by side, and decide which one will be for clean water, and which will catch the inky stuff flowing out of your pen. \n \n\n \nIf you don't have a bulb syringe like this one, you can also use the converter from your pen to flush the dried ink out.\n \nStep 3 – Flush the pen\n \n\n \nFill the syringe with water from the first glass, and insert where the ink would usually go into your pen. Hold the pen over the second glass, and flush gently but firmly. Go slowly, especially if your pen has lots of dried ink in there, so water doesn't go shooting through – you're looking for a steady trickle.\n \n\n \nIf you're using your converter to flush your pen, you can leave it in place and dip the nib of your pen in the clean water. Draw the water up in the same way you'd fill it with ink, then flush over the second glass.\n \n\n \nRepeat the process until the water coming out of your pen flows clear.\n \nStep 4 – Dry the nib\nPat gently around the nib and grip area to remove any excess water before refilling, and your lovely clean pen is now ready for fresh ink. \n \n\n \nStep 5 – Just add ink\nIf you're using ink cartridges, simply pop one in and give the ink a few seconds to reach the nib, then you're right to go.\nTo fill it with bottled ink, grab your converter and pop it back into the pen. Dip the nib into the ink bottle and draw the ink up into the converter. You'll likely get a big bubble of air on the first fill, so empty and refill the converter three times, keeping the nib submerged the whole time. That'll help cut down on the amount of air trapped in the converter, and make sure you've got as much ink in your pen as you can get. \n \n\n \nExperimenting with ink is one of the special things about owning a fountain pen, so make sure you check out our range of inks (and the converters you need to make the most of it).\n \nStep 6 – Give it a test\nGrab your favourite fountain pen-friendly notebook or notepad, and take your freshly-cleaned pen for a spin. You should find that the ink flows more smoothly now, leaving a clearer, more consistent line on the paper.\n \n\n \nIf you're still seeing issues, you can repeat the flushing process until everything's flowing smoothly again.\n \nNow your fountain pen is back in peak condition, ready to help you the next time inspiration strikes. Make sure you've got all the wonderful ink and paper you need to enjoy it fully, and happy writing!