September 20, 2021

How to Clean Wood Burning Pens | The Easy Method

Woodburning pens are delicate items that need proper cleaning before they stop working. Multiple items are used to clean the pen: brushes, tea strainers, and vinegar. Gather your cleaning tools so you will not get disturbed once you start cleaning. 

How to clean the tips

Avoid the accumulation of carbon on the tips. If you spend more time without cleaning the pen tip, that is when carbon accumulates. Use a small piece of wood that does not produce sap since it glues up your pyrography pen. It becomes more challenging to clean, and the chances are very high that you will smudge and damage your pen. 

A jeweler’s rouge is one of the methods used to clean your tip. It is less abrasive, making it safe on the pen tip. Wood burning tips are more delicate than other parts and need a tolerant cleaning tool. Any polishing compound is a suitable replacement for the jeweler’s rouge. The jeweler’s rouge is ideal for everyday use and gives your tip a better finishing polish. 

By increasing the temperature on your tip, you will be removing carbon accumulation. It is a good idea, but not when doing it every day. Too much of it wears off your tips faster than usual, and extremely high temperatures are not for your pen tips. 

You can use a knife to remove oxides building up on your tip. Scrap the residue over scrap paper or wood to eliminate the mess. Be careful with the knife as you use it gently to avoid breaking the tip. It ensures better performance in producing heat.

A 320grit sandpaper brushes off the residue on the tip. Rougher grades damage the tip. Do not touch the paper for long when cleaning the tip. The pen is still hot, and it will damage your wood item. Using sandpaper often does not bring harm. However, it causes the tip to wear down quickly. 

Using a leather bench strop to clean your tip is similar to using knives. Use a rough piece of leather to polish the pen tip as you remove oxides. 

How to clean the tube

When you want to clean the inside of a pen, use a pipe cleaner or a brush. Deep it inside some alcohol and run it through the pen. All the dirt melts away. Make sure you have a mask on to keep yourself safe from the clogging dirt. 

Clogging from the inside requires warm water to melt away the clogging dirt. Flush the dirt with arm water. Start by unscrewing the pen, pouring warm water into the feed, and flushing out hardened dirt and carbon through the nib. 

The Different Types of Wood Burning Pens

Get a pen that you know how to operate and execute to its full potential. There are two types of wood-burning pens: solid-point burners and wire-nib burners. Knowing the types of pens and their differences helps you choose the best pen. 

When choosing a wood-burning pen, consider what you want to use it for. Find out what you can do with the pen and what you cannot. What you will do more often with the tool determines the features you will be looking for. 

The solid-point burner is ideal for beginners, and the wire-nib pen is for advanced users who have invested more in wood burning for a long time. That upgrade to a more industrial burning tool requires skill and experience. 

The solid-point burner is a pen that requires a screw-in tip. However, some new models do not feature a non-screw pen tip and are kept in place by a sleeve and a nut. Extra tips differ in thread type, and you should be observant when buying one. 

The wooden pen tips are screwed tightly using your hand and finished off using a pair of pliers. Solid-point burners create heat by heating an element inside the pen, and the heat is transferred to the tip and starts operating at a fixed temperature. 

The wire-nib burner holds wire tips made from Nichrome wire of different gauges. Insert the pen wires into collets or hold them in place using screws tightening them. They create heat on the nibs by electric current going through them. The collets holder should not be short.  

How to clean the wood-burning pen barrel

Unscrew the nib, remove the heating element and rinse the barrel thoroughly. Put the nib under tap water as you rinse all the carbon and dirt. Run the whole unit and use a brush to take off the dirt. 

How to clean the wood-burning pen stand

Keep your pen in a vertical position to get access to the stand. Use water, soap, and a cloth to clean the metal stand. 

Use a toothbrush to clean your pyrography pen

The toothbrush should have brass bristles so that it takes away the dirt. The brush has to come with soft bristles, and the cleaning brush is not as strong as a stainless-steel brush. Bristles are too rough to clean the delicate tips. Work on solid-point tips. Rub the solid-point tips and brass bristles until the carbon is gone.

Make a solution of 2 cups of water and a cup of vinegar

Mix two cups of water and a cup of vinegar in a container. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe on the wood-burning pen. The mixture melts the dirt on your pen, making it easy to wipe off. 

Use a Q-tip to clean out the pen

Take a Q-tip and dip it into a glass of rubbing alcohol to soak the tip. Rubbing the Q-tip at the edge of the wooden pen removes sticky resin from the wood-burning pen. The pen has to be upside down, and the Q-tip along the threading tube. 

Take the other end of the Q-tip and swab it to dry the area. Allow the pen to dry naturally or a paper towel. When using the Q-tip, clean the threading of the top half of the pen. Unscrew the pen and work on the top half as you set the bottom half aside. 

Soak the Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and clean the threading. Hold the pen upside down as you scrub on the threading. And take the other half. Repeat the process and reassemble the pen when all the dirt is gone. Please look at our post on How to Use a Wood Burning Pen.

David D. Hughes

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