How to Clean Calligraphy Dip Pen Nibs


One of the most important parts of writing calligraphy is cleaning your pen, and continuing to keep the nib clean. Dip pens are cleaned similarly to fountain pens, but the designs are much less complicated. However, dip pen nibs are changed often, and new nibs require an initial cleaning to remove the protective manufacturer's oils.

Part 1
Removing Manufacturer's Oil with Dish Soap

Removing Manufacturer's Oil with Dish Soap on How to Clean Calligraphy Dip Pen Nibs

1
Most dish detergent soaps are made to scrub off grease and are excellent at removing the oils from pen nibs. This can also be done with a soft toothbrush instead of a sponge.

Removing Manufacturer's Oil with Dish Soap on How to Clean Calligraphy Dip Pen Nibs

2
If the nib has a removable reservoir, remove it and clean it as well. If the nib has a non-removable reservoir, be sure to get soap under it and scrub it as best you can without bending the reservoir away, damaging the nib.

Removing Manufacturer's Oil with Dish Soap on How to Clean Calligraphy Dip Pen Nibs

3

Removing Manufacturer's Oil with Dish Soap on How to Clean Calligraphy Dip Pen Nibs

4
When you dry it, drawing the nib across the cloth as if you were writing helps to draw out any water left in the reservoir.

Part 2
Removing Manufacturer's Oil with Toothpaste

Removing Manufacturer's Oil with Toothpaste on How to Clean Calligraphy Dip Pen Nibs

1
Toothpaste, oddly enough, can do an even better job at removing the oils than dish soap.

Removing Manufacturer's Oil with Toothpaste on How to Clean Calligraphy Dip Pen Nibs

2
If the nib has a removable reservoir, remove it and clean it as well. If the nib has a non-removable reservoir, be sure to get under it and scrub it as best you can without bending the reservoir away, damaging the nib.

Removing Manufacturer's Oil with Toothpaste on How to Clean Calligraphy Dip Pen Nibs

3

Removing Manufacturer's Oil with Toothpaste on How to Clean Calligraphy Dip Pen Nibs

4
When you dry it, drawing the nib across the cloth as if you were writing helps to draw out any water left in the reservoir.

Part 3
Cleaning Off the Ink After Use

Cleaning Off the Ink After Use on How to Clean Calligraphy Dip Pen Nibs

1
Tip: It may be helpful to remove the nib from the nib holder before cleaning.

Cleaning Off the Ink After Use on How to Clean Calligraphy Dip Pen Nibs

2

Cleaning Off the Ink After Use on How to Clean Calligraphy Dip Pen Nibs

3
Then remove the soap or toothpaste.

Cleaning Off the Ink After Use on How to Clean Calligraphy Dip Pen Nibs

4
Tip: You may find it easier to leave the dirty nib on the nib holder when soaking it in the pen cleaner; this way you don't have to fish it out. After letting it soak, remove the nib from the cleaner and rinse it with clean water for several seconds to remove the ink and cleaner. You may need to use soap again.

Cleaning Off the Ink After Use on How to Clean Calligraphy Dip Pen Nibs

5
When you dry it, drawing the nib across the cloth as if you were writing helps to draw out any water left in the reservoir.