Author Topic: How do you clean your inky rags? Can I put them in the washing machine?  (Read 101 times)

Offline LynOprinka

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Hi everyone,
I'm new to calligraphy and fountain pens, (and I'm loving this forum btw)and getting a cleanup routine going.  I've got down how to clean the nibs, but how do you clean up your inky rags?  Do you just throw them away, or do you wash and reuse them?  If so, how do you wash them?  Can I put them in the washing machine?  I like old t-shirts cut up for rags, for wiping down nibs.  They seem better than a paper towel, but I don't have an endless supply of old t-shirts so I eventually need to wash them once I can't find a clean corner anymore.


Offline AAAndrew

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Re: How do you clean your inky rags? Can I put them in the washing machine?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2018, 01:55:04 PM »
My thought would be to wash the rags all together, and by themselves. You may also want to run a cleaning cycle through your washer after washing them before you do any whites or light colors.

Fountain pen ink, in particular, can be quite water-soluble so will partially wash off and spread to the other cloths.

It's very environmentally responsible of you to re-use your rags. I have some old flannel sheets which would probably make very nice pen wipes. (what they used to be called) In the old days, pen wipes made from scrapes of thick fabric like wool or cotton flannel or even chamois or other thin leather, were a standard project that girls learning to sew and embroider would make for their parents and relatives. Some were quite fancy. I always wondered if they washed them or just threw them away once they were quite saturated.

Let us know how it works out!
Check out my steel pen history blog
https://thesteelpen.com/

Offline InkyFingers

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Re: How do you clean your inky rags? Can I put them in the washing machine?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2018, 03:42:14 AM »
In the manuscript Payson Dunton and Scribner mentioned about a pen wipe made of multiple layers.  where you only use the inner most layers to keep your pen clean.  the outer layer are not used.  makes sense to keep things from getting inked.

i presummed that these rages would be soaked in ammonia to remove all ink then rinsed and left sun dried.  in modern day, i would soak with ammonia and wash with other rags as Andrew have pointed.

Offline Intelsana

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Re: How do you clean your inky rags? Can I put them in the washing machine?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2018, 11:28:31 PM »
I have been hand washing my rags. They seem to be fine with that.