How to fix a dry ink cartridge Jul 06, 2011 15:54 by Matt Bird
Why do ink cartridges dry up and what can I do to prevent this?
There are a number of reasons why people find that, despite their being plenty of ink in their cartridges, the nozzles have dried up and fail to print properly.
- The most common cause for this is infrequent usage. People who use their printers only rarely will find that cartridges dry up quickly and can easily become clogged as a result. This can be reduced by printing more frequently or running regular cleans and ink tests to ensure the nozzles remain clean.
- A second common cause of the nozzle heads becoming dry and clogged is expiration dates. Many people are unaware that printer cartridges have expiration dates and using them after this date can lead to problems with printing. To minimise this risk always check expiration dates and only buy what you need to ensure your cartridges don’t expire.
- Some people choose to use refilled cartridges. If this is done incorrectly it can lead to air getting into the cartridge, drying up the ink and clogging nozzle heads. Be careful when refilling cartridges or ensure this is professionally done.
- Always ensure that your printer is kept in a room with a stable temperature as temperature can affect the performance of your ink cartridges.
What can I do to fix a dry ink cartridge?
There are a few methods to try if you find that your printer cartridge heads have become clogged.
- Run your print-head cleaning function on your printer. This option may be available through your computer or as a function on the printer itself. Your user manual will give you guidance if you are unsure how to do this. If you have to continually repeat this then follow the steps below.
- If your cartridge continues to be blocked then you will need to remove the cartridge from the printer. Place the cartridge in a bowl of warm water (Stinkyink recommends this is done in a bowl and not the bath or a sink to reduce the risk of staining) so that the printer head is immersed. For serious blockages you might want to soak a cotton bud in the warm water and rub it across the area of the cartridge where the ink comes out. Remove when ink begins the flow into the water. Clean the nozzles dry with a paper towel or lint free cloth and replace into the printer. Repeat step 1. If you do need to repeat this more than twice we recommend that you buy a new cartridge as it is likely to be unfixable.
- If you find yourself repeating these instructions on a regular basis printer cartridge cleaning kits are available to suit different models and makes.