A quick overview of how to clean and ink up your Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen. A few steps may be overkill if you aren't changing ink colors, but if you have a stubborn ink in your Vanishing Point, it might be necessary.
We suggest using a pen flush (like Blackstone Pen Flush) that can be diluted and used in multipurpose squeeze bottles (readily found at craft stores or online), and then letting gravity and time work in your favor. Using additional tools like a bulb syringe or regular blunt tip syringe is optional, but by no means necessary to flush your Vanishing Point.
Best practice when doing a total cleaning of your Vanishing Point is to rinse the nib and converter with water, then use pen flush, then rinse with water. Finally, leave the nib and converter to dry overnight.
When filling using a converter, dip the nib unit pretty far into the bottle of ink. (The breather hole on Vanishing Points is set way back, where the feed meets the metal). Pro-tip, make sure the converter is pushed all the way into the nib unit, and hold onto the metal nib with one hand when filling - you don’t want the nib accidentally falling into a bottle of ink!
Using one of Pilot’s proprietary ink cartridges may sound like a cop out, but Pilot’s staple colors (blue, blue-black, and black) are absolutely fantastic inks, and using cartridges in the Vanishing Point makes it extraordinarily convenient when traveling, or in the office or classroom. Prime the cartridge by inserting it pretty hard into the back of the nib unit, then gently squeeze the cartridge, with the nib pointed down to get the ink flowing. Insert the included metal cap that came with your Vanishing Point over the cartridge (this ensures the click mechanism functions properly).
Speaking of traveling, it’s best to fly with either a completely full pen, or one that is empty. If you choose to go inked, point the nibs up during takeoff and landing. Best practice from our experience is to empty your Vanishing Point before boarding, and ink up when you’re back on solid ground. Carrying a few cartridges or ink sample vials is a great way to not have a messy Vanishing Point in your bag when you land.
We didn't address cleaning the inside of the barrel of the Vanishing Point, but the best tip we have is to insert the flushed and clean nib + converter unit through the body of the pen (as if you are going to reassemble it), and cycle the open/close mechanism a few times. Then remove the body of then pen, and wipe off the nib unit. If there is any residual ink, it should be picked up on the nib unit. Just know that if there is ink stuck in the body of the pen, it's better to leave it there than use harsh chemicals and over-clean, potentially damaging your Vanishing Point!
Let us know if you have any tips or tricks for cleaning a Pilot Vanishing Point!