Did you know that an unused printer cartridge can dry up and get unusable long before its expiration date? Even if you’re not using your printer for a long time, it is likely that the ink in the cartridge dries out. Dried-out ink will clog your printer and prevent your printer from printing anything at all. If this has happened to you, don’t panic! You see, many people assume that because their ink cartridges are sealed they won’t dry out. The truth is though that all types of printer inks become unusable when they get dried up. Here we will tell you what to do when your printer ink cartridge gets dried out and how to avoid it happening again.
How To Fix An Ink Cartridge That Is Dried Out?
Check your cartridge.
If you’re not sure if your cartridge is dried out, check it. Remove the cartridge and hold it up to a light. If the cartridge contains ink, it will be opaque, meaning it will block light from passing through. If there is no ink in the cartridge, you will be able to see right through it!
Replace or refill your empty cartridge
If your ink is dried out and you can’t see any ink in the cartridge, there are two options available to you: acquiring a new one or refilling the old one.
Refill your empty printer ink cartridge
If you don’t want to buy a new printer ink cartridge for your printer, there are other options available for you besides just throwing away an unusable one! You can refill an empty printer ink cartridge by yourself and save money. This will also save you a lot of time since you won’t have to go to the store to buy a new one.
Use your printer with a new cartridge
The other alternative is to just go ahead and buy a new cartridge for your printer. This option is great if you don’t want to do any work or if you don’t have the time for it. The only thing that might be inconvenient about this option is that you might not be able to find an empty cartridge for your printer at your local store, so you might have to order one online and wait for it.
Keep your ink cartridges in good shape
In order to avoid having problems with dry ink in the future, there are some steps that need to be taken in order to keep the ink from drying out:
– Avoid storing cartridges near heat sources such as radiators and heaters; extreme temperatures can cause cartridges containing liquid ink inside them (as opposed to those made of solid plastic) to dry out faster than usual;
– Keep them away from direct sunlight; UV light will also damage cartridges containing liquid ink;
– Keep them away from dust; dust particles can easily clog up the nozzles on the cartridge, rendering them useless;
– Make sure they are not stored in places where they could get knocked around or fall over easily as this will cause spills which could cause leaking and drying out of ink;
Clean your cartridges
Another way to keep your ink from drying out is to clean the cartridge before you use it. You can do this by blowing air into the cartridge through its nozzle with a blower, which will get rid of any dust and dirt that might have accumulated on it. This will also help you to avoid clogs in the nozzle. If you do not have a blower, you can use a damp cloth instead.
How To Dry Out A Cartridge
- Take the cartridge out of the printer.
- The next step is to remove the protective tape on the cartridge. This will allow you to fill it with new ink, or refill it if it has run out of ink.
- Place a paper towel inside the cartridge, and then set it in an area where there is plenty of ventilation and no direct sunlight. You can also place it in a box filled with dry rice or cornstarch to absorb any moisture that may be left inside the cartridge. You should do this for about a week, depending on how humid your area is, but you should not leave it for longer than that as this could cause mold or mildew to grow inside of the cartridge and ruin your printer ink further.
- After a week, take out the cartridge and give it a shake; if there is still liquid present in the cartridge then you will need to repeat steps one through four until all of the liquid has been absorbed into either your paper towel or your rice/cornstarch box. Once all moisture has been removed from your empty inkjet cartridge, you can use them again by filling them with new ink; just make sure that they are completely dry before you begin using them again so as to avoid damaging your printer (or yourself).
Tips To Prevent Your Ink From Drying Up In The Future
- You can avoid your ink from drying up by making sure that you use your printer regularly, especially if you have an inkjet printer. The more you use it, the more it will print, and the less likely it is that any ink will dry out.
- If you are going to be storing your printer for a long period of time then make sure that you store the ink cartridges in a cool, dark place where they will not be exposed to sunlight or high temperatures; this can cause them to dry out quickly.
- When using a new cartridge for the first time, make sure that you shake it before using it to get rid of any air bubbles that may have formed inside of it; these air bubbles can cause clogs in your nozzles which can prevent your printer from working properly.
- Make sure that you do not move around or shake your cartridge too much when installing or removing it from your printer as this could cause spills and leaks which will leave behind unwanted stains on whatever surface they come into contact with (such as clothing).
- Be careful when refilling old cartridges with new ink so as not to spill any on yourself or on any surfaces nearby; if there is too much leakage then you should throw away the cartridge and try another one instead because wet ink could ruin the entire thing if left untreated over time (and if all of the liquid has already leaked out then there is nothing left to refill anyway).
What You Can Do With A Dried-Up Cartridge
- You can always recycle the empty cartridge if you do not want to refill it with new ink; just make sure that you remove any plastic seals or tape that might be covering the holes before recycling it (otherwise they will become clogged with dirt, dust and other particles which can cause problems when they are being recycled).
- You can also use your dried-up cartridge as a container for storing small items such as coins or paper clips; just make sure that you place a piece of paper towel inside of it before filling it so as to prevent any leaks from damaging anything inside of your purse or bag.
- Some people have even been known to use empty inkjet cartridges such as drinking glasses, cups, or bowls for holding certain types of liquids (such as water or juice).
When You Should Not Refill Your Cartridge
- When your cartridge has been exposed to a high temperature or to direct sunlight for an extended period of time then it should be replaced instead of refilled because the ink inside of it could have dried out at this point and will not be able to be used anymore.
- If you have spilled ink onto your cartridge and it has come into contact with clothing, carpeting or furniture then you should not try to refill it because the stain left behind could get even worse over time and could leave a permanent mark on that surface (such as clothing) which would require professional cleaning in order to remove.
What Are Some Common Problems That Can Occur When Refilling An Ink Cartridge?
- One of the most common problems that can occur when trying to refill an inkjet cartridge is that the printer itself might not recognize that you have inserted a new one; this is usually due to a faulty chip located on the top of each cartridge which tells the printer how much ink is left inside so as to prevent overfilling (if this happens then you will need to reset your printer’s memory so that it recognizes the new cartridge).
- Another common problem with refilling cartridges is that too much air can get trapped within them which can cause clogs in your nozzles; if this happens then you will need to take apart your printer, clean out all of its parts, and reassemble them before trying again (this post will provide you with the necessary steps to take in order to do this).
- Another common problem that can occur when refilling an ink cartridge is that the new ink will not be able to flow all the way through the cartridge and into your printer because of air bubbles getting in the way; if this happens then you will need to take apart your printer, remove all of its parts, shake them out, and reassemble it before trying again (this post will provide you with the necessary steps to take in order to do this).
- Finally, if you are refilling a cartridge for an inkjet printer then another common problem that can occur is that some of your new ink can leak out onto clothing, skin, or other surfaces which could cause permanent staining; if this happens then you should try cleaning up as much of it as possible with cold water (which could fade most stains) and then launder your clothing immediately afterward.
The bottom line is that printer ink can dry out no matter if it is inside an unopened cartridge or inside an already used cartridge. Fortunately, it is easy to prevent your ink from drying out by keeping it in a cool and dry place. You should also make sure that you don’t leave your printer turned on when you’re not using it because it will use a lot of energy. Finally, keep in mind that an unused cartridge should be replaced after a certain amount of time to ensure that it remains in good condition.