Caring for your printer cartridges

We all know that dreaded feeling you get when the printer starts flashing ‘low ink’. Keeping the printer fed and happy is a costly affair, cartridges can be expensive. The less you have to replace the ink the better. Buying remanufactured cartridges can help cut down costs, but proper care and handling your printer cartridges can also go a long way to helping your ink cartridges last longer.

Handling your cartridges               

It may seem like magic, you insert the ink cartridge and your printer reproduces what’s on your computer screen. The magic comes from all the electronic elements working together to perform the task of putting ink to paper. Your ink cartridge has contact points that connect to the printer for communication. It’s important not to touch these connection points when handling your cartridges to avoid causing damage as they scratch easily. Your printer won’t work well if these connection points are dusty, so it’s best to remove any dust gently with a lint-free cloth or Q-tip.

handling your printer cartridges

Installing your cartridges

Always install your cartridges according to the printer’s manual. If your cartridges are new, allow them to stand upright for a few hours before installing for the ink to settle in the right position and reach room temperature. Shipment can cause the ink to settle incorrectly, which may lead to problems.

Storing your cartridges

Correct storage can go a long way to maintaining your cartridges. Always place cartridges upright when storing and keep sealed in the original packaging to avoid drying out. Refilled cartridges should be stored in a ziplock bag or airtight container (if you’ve opened the packaging of a new cartridge store them like this as well). Keeping them in their packaging or a container will also help prevent a buildup of dust, which can affect how well your printer works. Cartridges should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark area away from sunlight.

handling your printer cartridges

Prolong the life of your cartridges

If your cartridge is in use, there are some steps you can take to keep it in good working order for maximum use. As strange as it sounds, printing regularly will lengthen the life of your cartridges. This keeps them from drying up or getting clogged. You can also save ink by printing unimportant documents in draft mode, as this uses less ink and limiting the use of the cleaning function, while helpful, it uses a lot of ink.

Refilling your cartridges

If you are using refillable ink cartridges it is important not to let them run completely dry before taking them in for refilling. This can damage the cartridge by causing the print head nozzle to burn out. Refill your cartridge as soon as the low ink light comes on (or if you start seeing signs in the quality of the prints).

Correct care of your printer cartridges is the best way to keep them working efficiently for longer. Well maintained cartridges don’t need to be replaced or refilled as often, cutting down on unnecessary costs.  The Inky Shop boasts a wide range of original and Inky Shop alternative cartridges, as well as a professional refilling service. Contact a store near you for all your printer accessory needs.

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