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Strange Question? I'm not sure....

Old pens that haven't been used in decades....

I have a nice pen, that I'd prefer to use, but it has this very pungent odor only when I uncap it. Is it the old ink making it so funky? Is it chemical breakdown of the pen body's resin? Is there a safe method to remedy this, so I can enjoy the pen?

Thank you in advance.
 
Need more information.

What is the material?
Celluloid
Was the pen cleaned before being stored?
Didn't appear so. I had to flush the small amount of old ink.
What does it smell like?
Gross.

20170504_085656.jpg

I'm thinking it's mold, as suggested above. Wish I had have asked before I filled the pen. I will give it a good soak for a day or two and see how things go. Do I use soapy water?
 
NOT SOAP.

Don't use soap, it will just make matters worse. Use plain water with just a job or two of detergent per 6 ounces of water initially. Do not soak the whole pen. Wipe outside and in particular the inside of the cap repeatedly. Allow it all to air dry then flush the pen using the water/detergent mix.

To flush, fill with the detergent/water mix and let that sit inside for several hours. Every once in awhile rotate the pen to get the mixture over all interior surfaces.

Empty and repeat twice with just plain water.

All should be good.

Nice Vac!
 
NOT SOAP.

Don't use soap, it will just make matters worse. Use plain water with just a job or two of detergent per 6 ounces of water initially. Do not soak the whole pen. Wipe outside and in particular the inside of the cap repeatedly. Allow it all to air dry then flush the pen using the water/detergent mix.

To flush, fill with the detergent/water mix and let that sit inside for several hours. Every once in awhile rotate the pen to get the mixture over all interior surfaces.

Empty and repeat twice with just plain water.

All should be good.

Nice Vac!

Thank you for your help! Just one more question. If not soap, is there a type or brand of detergent I should be using in particular? Or will a regular old dish detergent do?
 
Thank you for your help! Just one more question. If not soap, is there a type or brand of detergent I should be using in particular? Or will a regular old dish detergent do?
Yup, plain old dish detergent. Best if no perfumes but these days hard to find. You just want something that will break down any grease and dissolve any protein like stuff (mold).

Also, celluloid (what your pen was made from) will have some odor naturally; a hint of camphor or mothballs. That is normal and if left capped for extended periods may well be very obvious when first uncapped. Again, with regular use and exposure that quickly goes away until the pen is stored again.
 
Yup, plain old dish detergent. Best if no perfumes but these days hard to find. You just want something that will break down any grease and dissolve any protein like stuff (mold).

Also, celluloid (what your pen was made from) will have some odor naturally; a hint of camphor or mothballs. That is normal and if left capped for extended periods may well be very obvious when first uncapped. Again, with regular use and exposure that quickly goes away until the pen is stored again.
You've been a great help here. Many thanks.
 
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