34 thoughts on “What I Learned: Lamy Vibrant Pink Ink Is a Higher-Maintenance Ink

  1. That is an awe-inspiring amount of work to clean it. Pretty scary! I don’t even have an ultrasonic cleaner – do you use it a lot? I use a pen flush (made by Herbin) for the tough jobs but Im thinking they’re probably not all that tough compared to this.

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    1. Yeah, I would have tried Rapido-Eze for this one, I think. When you’ve got dried ink, that’s a really good cleaner. The Herbin stuff is good, too — I like it better than the normal pen flush.

      No, I never use the ultrasonic cleaner for normal pen-cleaning. It’s for vintage pens found in the wild, or for emergencies. 🙂

      I have been using the Al-Star with Lamy Blue since I wrote this, with one interim cleaning, where some more Vibrant Pink (probably the dried stuff) came out — after which I reinked with Lamy Blue. So it’s October, and I think the Vibrant Pink ink is mostly gone, but the main thing is, the pen works fine. No harm done. 🙂

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      1. I use Herbin because it’s been the easiest to get, so far, but it looks like Diamine have one too now and I could get that fairly easily. I’ll see about the Rapido-Eze too! It’s the first I’ve heard of it. I have a handful of pens of my dad’s with like, decades old ink in there. Might do it?

        Which one is the normal pen flush? Is it like the DIY recipe floating around, with the ammonia? ‘Cause I had a hard time with that. The odor is A LOT. Even at a much lower dilution, which, you have to start with the full concentration since it’s a DIY recipe 😛 If that’s not a problem though, the savings really is amazing. More for ink! And paper!

        Glad to hear the Lamy is mostly recovered!

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        1. Yeah the “normal pen flush” I meant is basically ammonia and a drop of detergent, though here in the US we can buy it readymade. The J. Herbin I like better but I don’t really use either; as you say, I’d rather save the money. 😊 Rapido-Eze is sold at art supply stores here, and that’s what I’d try on your dad’s old pens if you need something. 😊

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          1. oooh! RAPIDO-eze + art supply = for Rapidographs!! Lightbulb! Right? Those things are evil to clean so it should make fast work of just FP ink. Okay, I get it now. If I can’t find the actual brand name I can try some other radiograph cleaner. Thanks for the tip!

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          2. edit: I looked it up and it’s Koh-i-Noor so I bet I can find the exact same thing. Whee! Ahem, carry on

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  2. My question is, will you tell us after you have tried it whether one week really is safe? Otherwise my bottlr of vibrant pink will remain on the shelf. I had an issue with J Herbin lavender scented ink. It stained my Nakaya converter and the (lovely), scent took many months to dissapate.

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    1. I ended up cleaning it out of my Safari after three days, not seven. It cleaned out normally — not lightning fast, like Lamy Blue, but with repeated flushing with water and no special intervention beyond that. Now, after flushing, as a precaution I soaked the section in a glass of water for a full day, and I did see some pink dye coming out in that water after I thought flushing had gotten it all. That probably was from the Vibrant Pink, though it could have been from the ink I’d had in that Safari before, which was a red, or really from any other ink I’d previously used. While I’m a very careful pen-cleaner, you just never know. The Vibrant Pink Al-Star that had the Vibrant Pink problem is still inked with Lamy Blue, and is still writing perfectly, so I’m happy to see no long-term damage to that pen.

      I’m happy there’s at least one reader who took the time to log in and post about the same experience, so I don’t feel like I’m on an island with this. 😊 I am going to move on to other inks, myself, but I hope others will still try Vibrant Pink and report back.

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  3. Interesting story. I don’t know whether it points to a ‘problem’ with pink inks, but I had a nightmare cleaning Krishna Sumukhi out of a TWSBI Eco. I don’t have an ultrasonic bath, so had to rely on soaking and flushing the pen. It took several days to clean the pen up. ☹️

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    1. There may be something. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I use a lot of pinks and hadn’t had huge issues like this before, although some do take longer to clean than normal. But Vibrant Pink was extreme. And now you mention this Krishna…. I have a new-to-me pink to try, and I’ll be more cautious than usual.

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  4. “what’s important is how an ink behaves, not what it is.”

    Replace “ink” with “person” or almost anything else, and you’ve got a much more general life lesson! 🙂

    I hadn’t thought to try an ultrasonic cleaner on my pen parts. It makes sense now that you’ve brought it up, but what a great idea. Cleaning any fiddly little thing is tougher for my arthritic fingers these days, so I’ll take any assistance I can get.

    Come to think of it, why did it never occur to me that I could clean stuff with an old electric toothbrush head just as I once would have with an old manual brush? Completely obvious, yet I’m oblivious…

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      1. I think just like a manual, except you probably don’t need as much of a back-and-forth motion – just place the head where you want, turn on, and move it around the area you want to clean. In most of these the motor simply makes the brush head spin in circles. Kinda like some elaborate ‘sonic’ cleaning brushes you see on Amazon, for scrubbing your tub or the tracks on your windows, but much smaller.

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          1. Mm, good question. In theory, yes, at least it’s meant to with teeth. In practice, AFAIK there’s no consensus among dentists. I guess, maaaaybe, since more than half the job of brushing is supposed to be the mechanical (scrubbing/floss) not the chemical (paste/mouthwash).

            What bowled me over about what willo said was more the possibility of repurpurposing the toothbrush refills for cleaning jobs once they’re no longer fit for teeth, since I already use an electric brush. Bc so far I’ve been tossing those, and going elsewhere for manual toothbrushes to clean stuff with. Which is thinking so far inside the box, you don’t even know you’re *in* the box 🙂

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          2. When you have arthritis in your hands like I do, your teeth definitely get cleaner with an electric toothbrush. Holding the fatter (battery filled) handle is easier, too.

            Our dentist also recommended one for our younger child who has more tendency to tooth decay (and is perhaps also less diligent in his manual brushing.) The built in timer helps (encourages user to do full two minutes of brushing), but there is also more motion because the electric brush doesn’t slow down when the user gets distracted by life.

            It’s not impossible to brush as well with a manual brush, but the electric is more idiot proof.

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    1. I could clean stuff with an old electric toothbrush head just as I once would have with an old manual brush

      wow. this blows my mind.

      I can’t believe it never occurred to me! I’ve been *buying* toothbrushes for scrubbing, because mine is electric. I mean, with?!

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  5. I managed to snag a bottle of Lamy Vibrant Pink ink, but am pleased that I haven’t inked up any pens with it yet. Thanks to your comments, I will be sure to be careful which pens I use it in. 🙂

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  6. I’m glad I’m not the only one that had problems with Lamy Vibrant Pink! I only left it in for one or two months and the feed was bright pink. There’s still some pink stuck in the ring near the nib on mine. It’s not as noticeable on my Lamy Safari Petrol as it would be on an Al-Star. I’ve never had such a bad experience cleaning out a non-shimmer ink before. I’ll be careful to use my remaining cartridges within a week.

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    1. Yeah, our experiences are scarily the same: you saw the same dried ink and have the same staining, and in your case after only one or two months.

      The good news is that cleaning out within a week sounds like a safe limit, at least with these Lamy pens. I ended up removing the second Vibrant Pink cartridge from my Safari with broad nib on the third day, and, as expected, it flushed clean very easily with just water. And, it bears repeating that the dried ink didn’t hurt my Al-Star, which is working perfectly so far with a different ink.

      Everyone knows that you can re-seal and re-use cartridges, right? If you have a cartridge that still contains a lot of ink, you can re-close it with a bead of glue from a hot glue gun, then just pull off that seal when you want to use the cartridge again.

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    1. Except there’s nothing here that one can generalize to Lamy. 😊 Their inks have generally been very mild. (I’m not sure about the Dark Lilac, but it was a highly saturated purple, so one would know to be cautious. )

      I love Lamy. It’s one of my favorites.

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  7. Well that was a lesson learned! It could have happened to any of us. Luckily as cool headed expedition leader you knew what to do.I (uncharacteristically) passed up this pen and ink set, even at just £19.99 in London recently. I went for another, black and yellow Stabilo Easybuddy instead.

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  8. I am shocked that it did not completely come out, after all that you did. Thanks for the heads up! I don’t even have an ultrasonic cleaner, so I would be up a creek for sure.

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