All Dried Up! Remedies to Make Ink Printer Cartridges Usable AgainPosted by John C Arkin on September 22nd, 2008
One of the most common problems faced by inkjet printer users is the drying up of the liquid ink in the printer cartridge ink tanks. Not only would this cause printer nozzle to clog up, but would allow you to print lesser amount of pages. This is because when a printer tries to clean a clogged up nozzle, it would require a substantial amount of ink to unclog this.
Why Do Ink Printer Cartridges Dry Up?
There are many causes for ink printer cartridges to dry up prematurely. Some of these reasons include:
- Long shelf life. If you carefully examine your printer cartridge box carefully, there is an expiration date that is printed by the manufacturer. If the printer cartridge is used after this expiration date, even if it is still unopened, the ink inside the ink tank would begin to dry up.
- Infrequent usage of printers. Once a printer cartridge is installed in a printer, it is now susceptible to outside air to seep in. Just like any liquid that is exposed to air for an extended period of time, the ink would eventually dry up. This is particularly true for the printer nozzles found in the print heads.
- Ink Refills. When a printer cartridge is refilled with ink, openings are made on the cartridge. This, plus the fact that the ink tank is already open as a result of previous use allows more air to enter the cartridge itself.
Using Your Printer to Clear Up Clogging
When a printer unit is installed, it comes with a maintenance program which you can use to remove clogging. This is the most common and most costly method to remove dried up ink because you may be using more ink to clean up the printer, depending on how much clogging in the printer cartridge.
Making Your Dried Up Ink Cartridge Work
More often than not, there is still some usable ink inside the printer cartridge for you to use to print out text documents and images. Here are some ways for you to revive your seemingly dried up ink cartridges.
- Print Cartridge Kits. There are a number of print cartridge cleaning kits that would allow you to remove the dried ink clogging your ink printer cartridge so that you can use them again. Just like ink refill kits, make sure that you read and follow the instructions listed carefully.
- Warm water baths. If your printer cartridge has not yet been used, but has already passed the expiration date, you can loosen up the ink by soaking the bottom portion for a minute or two in warm water. This can only be done on printer cartridges that have a copper portion on the bottom part of the printer cartridge.
In the Future…
To prevent future printer cartridge problems from happening, here are a few simple tips:
- Do not overstock on printer cartridges
- Always check the expiration date of the printer cartridge before buying
- Have ink refills done by companies that specialize in this service
- Regularly clean your printer