Around some years ago, my father bought a printer for printing some office documents at home. But, it was not being used regularly, and after some time, the printer stopped working well. My father could hardly read those printed documents as they were not clear enough.
Eventually, we discovered that the ink was dried up. We got some new cartridges, but the same things happened again after several uses.
Why does the ink dry out so easily? How to keep printer ink from drying out? Yeah, I know that you are probably looking for these answers. Here in this article, you will get to know everything about these questions and much more.
Often, ink can be dried up despite being used frequently. But you obviously wouldn’t want to throw away an ink cartridge with plenty of ink inside, which can’t be used, because an ink cartridge is pretty expensive to change repeatedly every few days.
Table of Contents
Why Do Printer Ink Dry Out?
There can be several reasons for a printer’s ink to dry up. Some usual reasons are stated below.
- If you think of a dried ink cartridge, a common reason will definitely pop up in your mind, which is the irregular usage of the printer. A printer in the office or commercial space is used daily. But, this is not the case if you use one in your home.
- Another reason why printer ink might dry up quickly is if you put the printer in direct sunlight or an extreme cool/warm place.
- There can be air clots and sometimes ink clots in the cartridge during ink refill. It can cause the ink of a printer to dry up.
- You will notice that expired ink cartridges tend to dry up quickly in a few days.
- Sometimes, the head of the ink cartridge can get dirty, and ink can get stuck inside. If you don’t clean the ink cartridge properly, the ink will dry up sooner.
Preventing the Printer Ink from Drying Out
Due to dry printer ink, you might notice barely readable output from a printer. To get the most extended life of printer ink, you can follow these tips and instructions stated below. These will help you get most of the ink of a printer.
Using Printer Actively
The easiest way to prevent printer ink from drying out is by using your printer frequently. It keeps the ink active and reduces its chances of getting dry. It is better to print some pages every week, whether necessary or not. You can indeed discard them if they are not essential.
If your ink cartridge contains multiple colors, make sure to use all the colors while printing those test pages. Some colors are rarely used while printing. If you leave them unused for several days, they can dry out faster than the more frequently used colors.
Printers having the option of test printing can be helpful regarding this. This option enables the printer to use all the colors while printing apace.
Adjusting the Temperature and Moisture
High temperature and direct sunlight can make the printer ink dry sooner. Besides, moisture also creates a noticeable effect regarding this since an extremely dry or moist environment can also cause dried printer ink. So, temperature and moisture adjusting is a must to prevent the ink cartridge from being dried up.
Do not keep the printer in an excessively hot or cold environment. If possible, try to keep the room temperature around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintaining a perfect temperature might play a huge role in keeping the printer inking good condition for long-term use.
In case of extremely high or low moisture in the air, use a humidifier to balance the moisture of the environment around you.
Turning The Printer On/Off
A few days back, I found one of my colleagues kept the printer turned on though he did not use it for several hours. I was a bit angry because we were having trouble for couple of days because of the barely readable documents from the printer.
Keeping the printer turned on without using it can make the ink cartridges dry quickly. Make sure you turn off the printer when you are not using it.
Sometimes, we unplug the printer to turn it off. But, it acts as a power cut instead of turning it off. So, the heads remain in the same place as before. Such unplugging doesn’t make any difference. Always turn off the printer by pressing the device’s power button.
Maintaining the Cartridge
It is essential to maintain the ink cartridge properly to prevent the printer ink from drying out. An ink cartridge can last for one day and remain usable for months. It depends on how you use and maintain a cartridge while printing your essentials.
Clean the top of the cartridge once a week with a clean and damp cloth. Remove the residual ink off the top part with a slight rub. But make sure that excess water should not be there while cleaning. It will prevent clogged holes of the cartridge and ensure smooth ink flow while printing.
It is better to use gloves to replace and change cartridges instead of bare hands to prevent your hands from staining.
If you are not using printer ink for a long time, it is natural that the ink might be dried up and not works properly.
So, a proper storage process is essential to keep the ink in good condition and usable even after several days and months.
If you plan not to use your printer for some time, you should keep the ink cartridge out of the printer and store it in a polybag sealing the air out. Store the bag in a cool and dry place, keeping it upright. While reinstalling them, put gloves on and place them inside the printer.
You can also check the manual for proper instructions about storing them. Often brands might provide different instructions regarding storage issues.
Running Print head Cleaning
Print head cleaning is a function of your printer, or you might also have this option on your computer. You can check the printer’s user manual for instructions about how to perform this cleaning.
Generally, you can find this option in the printer settings and need to run it 4/5 times. If you run the print head cleaning regularly, there will be less chance of getting the printer ink dried out.
You should also realize this fact as soon as possible and apply these instructions to prevent the printer ink from drying up. I hope from now on, you will not have to face such an issue as you know how to keep printer ink from drying out.
Save your precious time, effort, and of course, expenses by following them, and I am sure you might thank me later.