6.08.2010

Summer Pen Care

It's getting hot out there for most of us (and somewhat warm in Alaska). Funny things can happen when "the mercury rises" to the innocuous items that you own. Take your pens, for example: Extreme temperatures and prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause water-based ink to dry up and lead to poor flow, clogging or combustion (just kidding on the last one).

"Why do pens need care?"
You want them to work for you when you're in a pinch, right? You want to have that serendipitous idea for your next blog post written down before it escapes your brain and out into the ether. When you realize that you're out of sunscreen and need to jot it on your shopping list, you want to be able to pull out a working pen, or you may otherwise be burned.

Keep your pens in a dark, cool place.
Although your Waterman looks really awesome resting on the shoulders of the pewter Atlas on your desk, consider the amount of direct sunlight that is pouring in through the nearby window, beating down on your workstation. Sure, it's a beautiful view for you as you plot your early escape from the office on Friday afternoon, but your pen is probably getting more of a tan than you can shake a fist-pumper at. Not that you needed a better reason than the klepto co-worker to stash your pens in the desk drawer, but it would especially be a good idea to do so in the summertime.

Put them in a case while commuting.
OK, so you may not have a problem with being at your office or place of work since Bernice is always having hot-flashes and cranks the AC low enough to hang icicles off the copier, but you may want to travel with your pens, which poses more of a threat to their well-being. I habitually remove my pens clipped to my shirt pocket and put them back in my briefcase at the end of the day to go home. This prevents the pens from being directly exposed to the sun while I get behind the wheel of my sauna on wheels.

Would you on a plane or a train?
Lots of folks are traveling on summer vacation and my want to bring the trusty fountain pen along for the journey. On a plane, it is recommended to either fly empty or fly full. Most likely, you're not going to get past TSA with a few bottles of Noodler's in your carry-on, so be sure to fill before packing the toiletries at home. In the past, I've opted to travel with a ballpoint. Although, as an avid fountain pen user, it kills me to do so.

Wipe off the Perspiration.
One of our most popular pen brands, Sensa, is designed with a gel grip that sometimes "perspires" the plasmium gel that is inside the grip, which is sticky, but wipes off well with a paper towel and some Windex. We find that this happens mostly in the warmer weather of the summer months.

Keeping refills Fresh.
Bottled ink and refills should also be given the same cool, dark environment that the pens are hanging out in. If you have refills, you can ziplock them in baggies to "seal in" the freshness. Most refills we sell have caps or arrive in blister packaging that help add to the shelf-life of the cartridge.

If anyone has any personal experiences that they would like to share regarding their pens and heat-related effects, please drop us a comment below. Please feel free to ask for advice if you are stuck in a "hot mess."

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the advice! Since I live in Phoenix, AZ, even a pen in a case in my backpack gets baked. Sigh. I'm forced to leave them all at home. Besides, there is NO fountain pen friendly paper in the office. Another sigh.

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