How to Keep Ink Cartridges from Drying Out? 5 Useful Tips
Printer ink cartridges are expensive, so you want to make sure that you’re using each tank down to the last drop. Often, a lot of the ink inside the cartridge goes to waste without you even noticing it. There are numerous reasons why your ink tank suddenly runs out faster than expected from clogged nozzles to improper cartridge storage.
Below are five tips you can use to prevent a printer ink dry out and lower your printing expenses as a result.
Tip 1: Use your Printer Once a Week
Clogged nozzles are one of the main culprits of ink waste. The best way to prevent this from happening is by using your printer at least once a week. It helps keep everything open and flowing, reducing ink build up as a result. So keep it a point to print something now and then, as a form of ink cartridge maintenance.
Tip 2: Store your Ink Cartridges Properly
It’s always best to store a few extra cartridges, especially if you print frequently. When you’re low or out of ink, you can grab a new tank and resume printing right away. Improper cartridge storage, however, can lead to ink waste. Here are some important points to bear in mind:
How to store ink cartridges?
It would help if you ALWAYS stored your ink cartridges in an upright position. If you store them in a different position (sideways or upside down), the ink will move towards one side. It will lead to potential print quality problems the moment you install the cartridge to your printer.
Where to store ink cartridges?
For best results, you need to store your ink cartridges somewhere safe, dark, and dry. And whether it’s inside a shelf or a box, make sure that it’s stored at room temperature. Once ink cartridges are subjected to too much heat or cold, it will result in poor print quality. There are even instances when the cartridges become completely useless.
Remember that ink is essentially a liquid mixture. The heat will make it evaporate and leak out while cold can cause it to form clots.
Tip 3: Configure the Room Temperature
You should also consider adjusting the room temperature during printing and not just in storage. It’s important to maintain a normal room temperature inside your office to stop cartridges from drying out. A pleasant 68 degrees office temperature should do the trick. It will help preserve your ink cartridges and give everyone inside the room a more pleasant working environment as well.
Tip 4: Keep your Cartridges Sealed at All Times
When you leave a cartridge open, the ink inside will eventually dry out, just like water in a vase. Ideally, it would be best if you only popped its seal open during use. In case you have a cartridge without a seal, you can use some precautionary measures to maintain its condition.
- Put the cartridge nozzle side up inside a sealed plastic tub. Use its protective taping or clip before placing it.
- Put a clean, damp cloth or paper towel inside the tub beside the ink cartridge.
- Store the cartridge somewhere cool and dark. Try checking the damp cloth or paper towel from time to time to make sure that it’s still wet.
Tip 5: Moisten Your Ink Cartridges
You can also prevent a printer ink dry out from happening by moistening the cartridges now and then. The beauty with this measure is that you don’t have to do weekly test prints, helping you save on ink. Follow these simple steps to moisten your cartridges and stop them from clogging and drying out:
- Take out the ink cartridges from your printer. Try wearing disposable gloves during the process.
- Carefully clean every cartridge’s top surface from ink remains with a clean, damp cloth or paper towel to prevent clogging.
- Wipe off any excess moisture using a dry lint-free cloth before placing them back on the printer.
How to Reactivate / Fix dried Cartridges
Sometimes, a printer ink dry out is simply inevitable.
Perhaps you took a prolonged vacation that left your printer idle for weeks. Or perhaps you weren’t able to take care of your printer because of an ailment. Maybe you forgot to safely store your ink cartridges or close its seal after using it. And when you’re constantly busy at home and work, you tend to forget about many things like keeping your ink cartridges from drying out.
Fortunately, there are effective ways you can reactivate/fix dried cartridges before shopping for new cartridge replacements.
- In most cases, the ink inside the cartridges is still there and hasn’t vanished into thin air yet.
- It may be blocked or clogged due to dried ink in the print nozzles.
- Once you remove this obstruction, the ink may be able to flow back freely again.
- You can follow through with our blog on fixing clogged nozzles.