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How To Maintain Your Printer Ink Cartridges

2011-10-15

The worst thing that can happen while printing a document is to discover that the printer is out of ink. If only there was some sort of printer that never needed ink refills. Until that discovery is made, people will have to continue purchasing new printer ink cartridges.

The cost of printer ink cartridges adds up quickly for those who use printers a lot. Fortunately, there are techniques one can use to extend the life of cartridges. The longer a printer cartridge lasts, the less money is spent on ink in the long run. The best way to maintain cartridges is to clean them at least once every three months. Here's how:

Let the Printer do the Work

It is not always necessary to clean printer cartridges by hand. If the printer is not getting new ink refills, it can effectively clean itself. There should be a 'clean' option in the printer menu on the computer. When this option is selected, the printer will prompt the user with steps necessary to properly clean the cartridge.

Prepare the Area to Clean by Hand

Although selecting the 'clean' option on the computer is an easy solution, it does not always work. It is necessary to clean printer cartridges by hand. Cleaning printer cartridges manually is not difficult, but it requires a certain degree of preparation. Find a hard surface on which to place the printer cartridge when it comes out. The surface should be covered with old newspapers or magazines. Otherwise, the printer's ink will leak out and cause damage. Some people also choose to protect their hands from leaked ink by wearing latex gloves.

Remove the Cartridge from the Printer

The process of removing the cartridge differs greatly from one printer to the next. It may be helpful to check the printer's manual in order to learn the proper method of removing the cartridge. Once the cartridge is out of the printer; set it on a hard surface.

Use Proper Cloth and Water

It is important to use a lint-free cloth when cleaning printer cartridges. Other types of material may contain loose fibers, which can get stuck in the ink nozzles and damage the printer. The water for cleaning printer cartridges must also be specially selected. Tap water contains trace amounts of minerals that will build up in the ink nozzles over time. It is best to use vapor-distilled water for cleaning cartridges.

Wipe off the Cartridges

The cloth should be just a little bit damp, not soaking wet. If the cloth is too wet, the water will seep into printer and cause damage. Use the damp cloth to gently wipe off accumulated dust and ink.

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