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How Proper Maintenance Can Extend The Life Of Printer Ink

2010-07-22

Over the years, printer ink has continued to rise in price while household printers have become generally very inexpensive. Thankfully, there are a few tricks and techniques that printer owners can put into practice to make their printer ink last as long as possible. By doing proper maintenance on printers and printer ink cartridges, more documents can be printed and less money will be spent on printer ink and other printing costs.

There are a number of maintenance techniques that will help printer ink last longer. For example, one common printer cartridge problem is ink drying up or clogging. To solve this problem, all one needs to do is print regularly. Though printing less will naturally save printer ink, if a printer is hardly used, the ink risks becoming dried or clogged. It is a good idea to print at least one simple document a week to keep the ink flowing properly. Likewise, if you have a new ink cartridge that you don't plan on using right away, this should be stored right-side-up to keep the ink from clogging. Storing ink cartridges at room temperature will also prolong ink life expectancy. If a cartridge does become clogged, soaking the ink nozzles by placing the cartridge in warm water for a few minutes will unclog it. Storing cartridge in sealable plastic bags if not in use can also help keep printer ink from drying up.

When ink and toner run low, your computer alerts you that you need to refill or replace the ink cartridge. In fact, even when these alerts are sent, ink cartridges are often still anywhere between 10-45% full. As such, many recommend printing until all of the ink has been used. However, while this may mean that ink is used more economically, many also warn that printing until the cartridge runs completely dry is harmful for cartridges. In reality, this depends on the type of printer used. For example, systems with fixed printheads may be damaged if all the ink is used. Therefore, it is important to exercise caution and know how close your particular ink cartridge can get to being empty while functioning safely.

Lastly, ink can be saved by keeping the printer switched off when it is not being used. It is also important to manually turn off the printer using its on-off button, rather than simply disconnecting it from electricity. When this is done, the printer stores the ink cartridge in a way that will keep it from drying out.

With proper maintenance, an economical approach, and with the above techniques in mind, it is easy to get a long, extended life out of your printer ink.

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