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Preventing Printer Ink From Drying: A Practical Guide

Knowing that the cost of ink cartridge refills is close to the cost of your printer, you should try to print conservatively. Concert tickets here, a page to proofread there, maybe an article to send to grandpa who still doesn’t use email. So one day, when you sit down to print a ticket, you get a page with streaks, faded lines, or worse, you get a notification that your printer is out of ink.

How did the cartridge dry so fast? you may ask yourself. After all, you probably only bought your last refill a year ago.

Unfortunately, inkjet cartridges dry out over time, and if you’re not careful, your cartridge could dry out long before it’s printed the number of pages the manufacturer estimated. If you’ve ever wondered how to keep printer ink from drying out, this guide is for you.

Printer ink

 

How Inkjet Printers Work

You never have to worry about the ink cartridges drying out in your laser printer. Laser printers use dry ink made from powdered polyester, so as long as your printer is working properly, they will work just fine.

But if you use an inkjet printer, it’s a different story entirely: Most inkjet cartridges expire two years after their manufacture date.

The way inkjet cartridges work can cause them to dry out over time. Inkjet Cartridges:

  • Contains liquid ink
  • Uses heat or vibration to eject ink from nozzles and onto the page
  • Prints extremely small dots, allowing high-resolution images
  • Leave your page slightly damp after printing so it may smudge

Inkjet printers are great for a number of reasons. It has long been the first choice for families because printer cartridges are less expensive than toner for laser printers. Plus, their print quality is unparalleled.

However, like any other liquid, the ink in the cartridge will evaporate over time.

How long should your ink cartridges last?

Although inkjet cartridges expire two years after their manufacture date, that doesn’t mean they’ll always last the full two years. Ink cartridge life depends on:

  • how often do you print
  • what do you print
  • Ambient Conditions Affecting Evaporation

Most print cartridges are marked with an expected page count. Let’s say you have this Canon ink cartridge with an estimated yield of 4425 pages. This estimate assumes that most pages you print are only 5% to 20% covered with ink.

4425 might sound like a lot of pages, especially if most of your print jobs are small with low ink coverage, like the estimated page count. So if you print less than 2000 pages per year, your ink cartridges could last for two years. To accurately predict the shelf life of your ink cartridges, you need to see how your printer is actually used.

Beyond Page Yield

Regardless of your cartridge’s estimated page yield, it may stop sooner than you expect. Any of the following conditions can affect the health of the ink cartridges:

  • You print more – if you print a batch of family photos with 100% ink coverage, your ink cartridges could run out in a year.
  • You print infrequently — if you only print a few times a year, your ink cartridges may clog and stop working properly.
  • You live in a dry climate – your ink cartridges may dry out sooner than expected.

No matter your printing habits, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent printer ink from drying out.

Ink reservoir 101

If you stock up on ink ahead of time, you’ll always have ink when you need it—unless, that is, your ink cartridges run dry while in storage!

When purchasing new ink, be sure to store it in its original packaging. If for any reason you have opened the package, store the cartridge upright in an airtight container with a damp cloth.

Store ink in a cool, dry place and do not expose it to extreme heat or cold.

Your New Printer Agreement

How you print can have a huge impact on your ink cartridges. When the printer is used correctly, the ink cartridge is always sealed to prevent air exposure and evaporation. For best results:

  • Print at least once a week. It might seem counterintuitive to print more, but this prevents nozzle clogging.
  • Run the printer’s maintenance cycle. Sometimes you can trigger this cycle simply by turning the printer off and on. Otherwise, you can manually select it from your computer.
  • Turn off the printer. Doing this not only saves power when you’re not using the printer: it also prevents the printer’s heat from evaporating liquid ink.
  • Make sure it’s turned off! It bears repeating: before you unplug your computer, make sure you’ve pressed the power button and wait until all the lights go out. This ensures that the cartridge is capped.

Solutions for Thirsty Printers

Never keep an important print job waiting again: Supplies Outlet offers lightning-fast shipping on all of its products. Supplies Outlet stocks a large selection of inkjet cartridges, as well as inkjet refill kits at great prices.

Please pay attention to hehuaoffice.com for information updating.

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