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Why Storing Unused Printer Ink In An Inkjet Printer Is A Bad Idea

2010-05-14

We often think that, on account of the miraculous pace at which technology makes advances, we are afforded the liberty as consumers to let our expensive gadgets take care of themselves. Unfortunately, like the common cold, there are certain glitches that can be expected to hamper our productivity regularly, even at the most elementary level. In the case of one of our most practical and essential pieces of home office equipment - our basic inkjet printer - we will often find that it is a concerted effort to keep it functioning smoothly. Printer ink cartridges seem to contribute to the most obvious problems; even when they are premium brands, they do not come with any guarantee that they will provide consistent results once installed. Keep in mind the following problems that can arise with long term printer ink storage; a little vigilance will pay off in dividends so that you get the most value out of your printer.

One thing to remember is that unless you print documents or images on a regular schedule, your print nozzles are almost guaranteed to dry up and become clogged. It is important to run off a sheet of text through your printer if it's been more than a week since your last usage. Remember that printer ink cartridges function like any other open containers of liquid and are privy to evaporation and "hardening"; don't allow your printer to sit for months at a time with no activity. Be mindful too, of cartridges that are past their expiration date. Most consumers are not vigilant about checking the freshness factor of their purchases and end up putting a stale ink tank into their printer - the equivalent of ingesting vitamins that have lost their potency.

Remember also that although a stuck nozzle can be coaxed back to health with the head cleaning function in your printer, or with a special irrigation kit to flush everything out, both remedies actually waste ink in the process of cleaning. You might lose more ink in trying to reverse the effects of long term printer ink storage than you would have if you had been mindful just to run off a document or two at the end of the week. What you have in the end is more ink wasted than intended, or in the worst case scenario, a cartridge that seems incapable of regaining its flow for good.

In sum, a responsible printer user who cares about functionality, as well as economy, will not allow their peripheral to sit inactive for long stretches of time and will avoid ever buying more ink than they need.

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