Five Months: an Extended Test of Platinum Carbon Black Pigment Ink

I kept Platinum Carbon Black inked up for more than five months, to see how it would clean out of a pen, and the answer is, nice and easy. This is a pigment ink that is a fairly low-maintenance ink. I’m chuffed.

I had it in a Platinum Plaisir. Here’s the pen’s feed after flushing out Carbon Black with water only. Perfectly clean.

Platinum Plaisir section after cleaning

This was one of my extended “torture tests” of an ink. I occasionally do these for the blog to check the limits of certain inks, because I like inks that I’m not afraid to keep in a pen for a while.

I have done extended tests on modern iron gall inks here, here and here — just to prove that modern iron galls from reputable makers are safe for extended time periods in pens with stainless steel nibs. Which they are.

But sometimes, you find yourself inadvertently giving a torture test to an ink that can’t handle it. Whoops.

In this case, I purposely chose to torture-test Platinum Carbon Black. It’s my favorite pigment ink and waterproof ink, and I’d noticed that it seemed to clean out pretty easily. I’m always happy to find low-maintenance inks that are waterproof — like the newer Sailor Souboku. I wanted to be sure about Carbon Black, too.

I decided to keep a cartridge of Carbon Black in a Platinum Plaisir I’d bought in mid-April. I used the Plaisir like normal — writing with it every once in a while, and then putting it back in the pen cup, where it might sit unused for days until the next time. The pen always started up and wrote perfectly: that may owe something to Platinum’s “slip and seal” cap design, but Carbon Black is nicely lubricated, too.

I finished Carbon Black on October 7. After more than five months in the pen, Carbon Black cleaned out perfectly, just flushing with water. It didn’t take much longer than cleaning out Waterman Serenity Blue would have — my standard for a low-maintenance ink.

Another photo, this time of the other side of the feed. The feed is clear of ink and unstained.

Platinum Plaisir section after cleaning

I ran the section through a cycle in my ultrasonic cleaner to verify: all the Carbon Black was gone.

Now, I can’t pull this particular nib to check if any ink may be trapped under the nib, but I did the next best thing I could think of. I attached a converter, and filled it with Montblanc Golden Yellow ink, which is the lightest ink I have. And then I wrote with that for a few days. The ink flowed normally, the nib wrote normally and the ink writes in its normal light yellow color, with no smears of leftover black ink.

Platinum Plaisir section filled with ink

My conclusion is a happy one. Platinum Carbon Black is a waterproof pigment ink that is low-maintenance. I won’t worry about using it in any cartridge-converter pen.

Pelikan M605 White Transparent: Easy Clean?

Pelikan M605 White Transparent detail

Yes. It cleaned up just fine. That was a question we all had, looking at Pelikan M605 White Transparent. The pen is totally white, except where it’s actually transparent. Incredible looking, but a little concerning, too.

I filled the pen on November 13 with Papier Plume Bayou Nightfall, a lovely ink that’s a grayish blue with a green tint. Bayou Nightfall is not a bright pink or purple, but I did keep it inked for more than two weeks before cleaning it out.

Cleanup was easy and fast, and, as you can see above, there was no staining. The white piston still looks perfect, even up close.

Pelikan M605 White Transparent detail

I can’t say I was seriously worried. It’s a Pelikan, and I have confidence in the brand. I also have confidence in Papier Plume inks, and I know Bayou Nightfall is easy-to-clean. But this pen’s white piston was new to me, and it’s still good to see.

Now that the White Transparent passed its first test, I have a test of my own: figuring out what ink to use next. I’ve been thinking about Pelikan Edelstein Ruby — a favorite red ink and a nice holiday color. My hesitation? Will Edelstein Ruby make the pen look like a candy cane? And if it does, will that be a bad thing?

Decisions, decisions.

 

Why I Like an Ink That Is Easy to Clean

fountain pens needing to be cleaned

I had this on my counter the other day: nine pens, all needing to be cleaned out.

You know how there are people who love cleaning things? Who find it meditative or restful or enjoyable?

Yeah, I’m not one of those people. So I love inks that are easy to clean.

Most of these were, actually. Montblanc William Shakespeare was the only exception. Not a total surprise. And I survived. “Come what come may, time and the hour runs through the roughest day.”