You order your favorite nibs, and one fine day, they arrive in your mailbox. You open the package, and there they are- all nice and shiny! Excited to try them out, you open your ink bottle, dip the ink, take a deep breath and put your nib to paper.
Then… nothing happens.
The ink just won’t flow. Oopsie!
“What should I do?!”
Despair not, good friend. Nibs are shipped with the manufacturer’s oils still on them. This is to ensure that they do not rust in storage and that they arrive in the pristine condition that you expect them to.
It is fairly easy to remove these oils, although simply washing them with water isn’t gonna be of much help. There are many methods you could try, but I’ve found these three to be the most effective:
1. Anyone got a spud at home?
That potato sitting at the very back of your pantry has found its purpose. Grab it and stick your nibs in it. Go slow and be careful not to separate the tines as you insert it. If I were you, I wouldn’t stick them all the way in for obvious reasons- just enough so that you can pull them out easily.
Keep them in your potato for 20 – 30 minutes. Pull them out, clean them with a soft cloth or paper towel, dip them in ink, and voila! You should be good to go!
2. Isn’t dish soap for dishes?
Yes, and no. If you’re the impatient kind (hello there, soulmate!), you probably don’t wanna stare at your potato while it does its magic. This is where the dish soap comes handy. Use a tiny bit on a Q-tip and then gently scrub both sides of the nib. Rinse them with water, dry them with a soft cloth and you’re on your way!
3. Toothpaste? You gotta be kidding me!
I kid you not. This method is my favorite. Use an old, soft toothbrush and your toothpaste. Make sure you wet your toothbrush. Apply just a tiny amount of toothpaste onto your brush, and gently scrub both sides. After 1-2 minutes, rinse the nib with water. Dry it using a soft cloth (I use paper towels and they work great!). Your nib is now ready for magic!
I’ve heard of people using flame to burn the oils off. I don’t trust myself with fire thanks to my clumsy Sagittarian personality, and when there are better ways around- why risk yourself and others around you?
So, there you go! I’d love to hear which method worked best for you (and if you found another super-cool way to clean them oils). Keep in touch!
PS: Can you guess the nibs in this post? 😉