J Herbin released cleaning cartridges this year, so we have decided to put them to test.
Why use cleaning solution you may ask?
There are some pens which are more stubborn than others. Same goes for ink…. If cleaning with water does not work then I usually reach for J Herbin cleaning solution. The liquid is made from Limonene which is derived from citrus fruit rind. The colour may vary – it can go from clear, yellow to pink. This is perfectly normal and does not affect the quality of the product. Natural ingredients have a pleasant orange zesty smell too :) Apart from cleaning properties it also lubricates the feed and restores the ink flow.
Bottled version of the cleaning solution has a permanent place in my pen hospital repository.
J Herbin Cleaning solution cartridges are standard international short cartridges and look just like ink cartridges.
Having a cleaning solution in the cartridge sounds like an interesting idea. Cartridge is a handy little container - convenient, no mess, portable. You can always have one in your pen case (even in the pen if the barrel is long enough to have 2). It's less messy because you don't need to use middle-man to transfer the liquid. It will fit many pens. Some of the brands which take this version of cartridges are Faber-Castell, J Herbin, Kaweco, Montblanc, Monteverde, Pelikan, Rotring, Schneider, Waterman, etc... Solution in the cartridge will 'travel' exactly the same way as the ink and it it will also lubricate the right channels.
How to use J Herbin cleaning solution.
Bottled version is perfect for soaking. Simply put a little bit of solution in a vial or a cup (hint: tilt the cup - that way you will need less solution) and then dip in your nib. You can also try to draw some solution into the pen if using a converter or go all the way and disassemble the pen. Soak the front part/feed/nib for a few minutes. Rinse with cold water and dry.
Use cleaning cartridges the same way as ink cartridges. Rinse the pen under cold water to flush most of the ink out. Push the cartridge into the pen as normal and squeeze the cartridge to push the liquid through. Empty the entire cartridge at once and let it sit in the pen for a little bit - we have tried this method for J Herbin Fountain pen and it worked wonders. Unplug the empty cartridge, rinse the pen.
Use the same procedure for J Herbin rollerball pens, but do let them soak longer. Shake the excess liquid out and let dry before you ink them up. We find this works the best for us. Let us know your experience....
Click here to read our 6 top tips about how to look after your fountain pens :)