Why Does My Ink Dry Out?
Does it seem like every time you go to print, it's streaky or blotchy? You run a few clean cycles and finally the clogs seem to get better, but then your ink is running low... didn't you just refill your cartridges?!! So, why do your ink cartridges dry out so quickly? And, more importantly, what you can do about it.
WHY INK CARTRIDGES DRY OUT
- Climate: Especially here in Alberta, we live in a dry climate. The air contributes to cartridges drying out simply because it's dry here most of the time.
- Printhead: To print, ink cartridges force liquid ink through microscopic holes in the printhead onto the page. You can imagine how that can clog up pretty quickly.
- Dormant printers: If you're printer's been sitting a while, even a couple weeks, the ink will begin to dry out and clog the printhead. Not using your cartridges enough won't help your cause.
- Heating/cooling vents: As we've mentioned above, dry air means dry and clogged cartridges. If you printer is sitting next to a heating/cooling vent in your home, that can definitely make your ink cartridges dry out faster.
- Ink chemistry: Ink is water based, so by nature it will dry out, evaporate etc when not handled properly
WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT
- Print regularly: Keep the ink moving and flowing through the printhead. We recommend printing something once per week minimum, even a draft of something on recycled paper. This may seem counter intuitive since you're trying to save ink and only use it when needed, but clearing out dry, clogged cartridges so they work properly when you need them will use even more ink.
- Refill promptly: Ink cartridges refill best when they're freshly empty. Keep the ink flowing and bring them in within a week or two!
- Thoughtful printer placement: Think about where you put your printer, keeping in mind to stay away from heating/cooling vents.
- Tell us if you'll be storing cartridges: When we refill your cartridges, let us know if you'll be storing them for a longer time frame. We have ways to package them so they'll stay hydrated for a while. Talk to us about your specific situation because there are differences between printers and cartridges.
- New printer with self cycle function: If you're in the market for a new printer, do some research and choose wisely. Some new printers (ie: most Brother printers) have a built in function to run through a weekly cycle that helps keep your ink fresh. That way, you don't have to think about it.
- Switch to laser: If you're in the market for a new printer and you print very irregularly or travel frequently, consider switching to a laser printer. They don't use water based liquid ink and will never dry out.
Find out more about ink cartridges & refills here or get in touch with questions or specific concerns about your printer. We're here to help!
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