An ink is as important for an inkjet printer as the water is for human beings; a printer without ink is no more in use; therefore, it is essential to gather every little information about the printer and its ink.

It’s been said, cartridges don’t last forever because the ink is liquid-based; with time, cartridges dry up quickly and can become clogged in the printer.

Oh, but the question is how long do cartridges last? So, prior knowledge can save you from issues. Are you wondering about the answer?

To find the answer to your question (Can Ink Cartridges Dry Out?), read the article from the beginning to the end; we have onboarded a lot of information for you.

So, here you go!

Which Printers Use In Cartridges And How?

Almost every inkjet printer uses ink cartridges to print on paper but laser printers use a toner (toner is a dry powder).

Many times, when you fill your printer’s ink more than required, it dries out when you return to the office, schools, or universities, after a break.

Actually, ink may go bad, anytime!

Want to know more about can ink cartridges dry out? Keep scrolling!

Can Ink Cartridges Dry Out?

Yes, they can, but how, this is a valid point to ask. There are some factors that affect the life of cartridges including shelf life and cartridge expiration date. Ink cartridges can dry out over time if your machine sits idle for a longer period of time, the ink eventually dries up, and causing a clog which is never a piece of good news for your printer because all your investment gets ruined.

In order to keep your ink cartridges operating smoothly, we suggest using them once a week. Printhead cleaning is the most commonly used way to get dried cartridges in a running position.

1.) Using Expired Cartridges:

Like all other machine accessories, cartridges have expiration dates, and trying to use them after this date can lead to problems e.g. printer damage, nozzle clogged, and other severe issues.

It is clearly mentioned in the user manual to never store cartridges for more than 12 months, and always store them in cool and dry areas. It will be excellent if you keep them away from direct sunlight too.

2.) Manually Refilling Cartridge:

Never try to refill used-up ink cartridges, if you do this air may get into the mix. And the consequences are that it might be clogging nozzle heads, and drying up the ink.

3.) Storing in Hot Places:

Heat can affect the performance of your ink cartridges badly, so we recommend keeping refill cartridges under a stable temperature, along with the printing machine.

4.) Using Old Ink:

This is a known fact that cartridges can dry out with time.  If ink cartridges are sitting in your machine idle or if you keep them for an extended period of time unused they will eventually dry up. And what happened afterward? Simple cartridges may become unusable.

How Can We Prevent Ink Cartridges Drying?

To keep your cartridges operating smoothly, follow a printhead cleaning which is a very common way used by people across the globe. You can also prevent drying by printing more frequently, running regular cleans, and also running ink tests. All these ways help nozzles to remain clean.

The best way is to print once every couple of weeks even if you don’t need any printing. Use rough papers just to keep the cartridge running for long.

Are There Any Ways To Keep The Ink Fresh For Longer?

The printer cartridge’s shelf life is simply the time when it remains sealed. The shelf life of an original printer cartridge is  24 months and for a compatible cartridge – usually 36 months.

Try to use the cartridges before the expiry date as expiration dates are mentioned on cartridges, and using them after the mentioned date will be susceptible to clogs, causing any print quality issues. You may face the eventual deterioration of the ink cartridge via some other factors, for instance, where is it stored, what was the temperature, is it a sealed package or not?

The cartridges will last longer when properly stored, in the correct environment. Mostly they last for two years, always keep in mind don’t try to use the expired ones as expired cartridges can clog the printhead and cost you more because they are expensive to fix.

Cartridges when aren’t used properly they will no longer be able to be used. To use it for an extended period of time keep it sealed, stored upright,  in a cool and dark space e.g your cupboard or a big drawer.

Use it once a week to keep the cartridge primed after installation. We have an excellent way to manage your toner and ink, use the Just-in-Time strategy, which uses an algorithm to factor in both printers, and cartridges to deliver fantastic supplies, By using this strategy you do not stock toner by yourself, consult the local distribution service center and buy only when needed to use.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

 What Is A Cartridge’s Shelf Life?

The shelf life of a cartridge is the time it spends in a sealed package. The lifespan of a compatible printer cartridge is three years, and the original printer cartridge will stay with you for about 2 years almost.

Does Every Cartridge Have An Expiration Date?

To stay away from clogs, or printer quality issues, brands mention expiry dates on the sealed pack, to let users use them before that date. The printer cartridge can be damaged by not only expired ink but due to an unfavorable environment also.

Can We Use Cartridges After Expiration Date?

If you store cartridges in proper environmental conditions, it might be possible they will last longer to use. If they remain in sealed packaging, they will be used for more than 2 years.

If stored in a dark, cool place, remain sealed, yes you can use them after the expiry date, but to keep your printer safe from clogging issues better to use them before the expiration date. At least use the printer twice a week to keep the cartridge in running position.

How Can I Fix A Dry Ink Cartridge?

Dried ink cartridges are not used for printing purposes, and in some situations, you have to replace the cartridge with a new one. There are some tips to fix them to some extent.

Run printhead cleaning:

You can get this option on your computer or this is a function of the printer itself. Try reading the user manual to know the process fully, at least repeat it 2-5 times to let it work.

Soak the cartridge:

For this step, you have to remove the cartridge from the printer. Soak it into a bowl of warm water, remember to use the bowl, not a tub. If you are facing serious blockage issues, better to soak cotton in warm water and rub it in a place from where ink flows out. Remove the cotton when the ink starts flowing. Now clean the nozzle with a dry paper towel, but if there is still a need to repeat the steps, then better to buy a new cartridge, as it may not be able to fix it if you try to clean it again and again.

Why Does My Printer’s Ink Dry Too Fast?

Infrequent use of the printer is the main cause of drying ink quickly. People who use printers once a week, mostly noticed that cartridges dry up quickly and become clogged eventually.

If you want to keep your printers from drying up use them to print frequently or do regular cleaning to make sure the nozzle remains clean.

Our Take:

Unfortunately, there is no dual opinion on whether an ink cartridge dries out; yes, it dries out with time as it has an expiration date over it. When this date passes, your ink is no longer usable.

Many times it happens, you have filled a lot of ink in your printer but you are not using your printer for a couple of weeks, this way, it clogs inside your printer and you fall into a massive problem.

To avoid such issues, we have mentioned everything in this article, just get into this article and save yourself from an anticipated problem.

This article will reduce the effort and cost that is expected from a fry ink!


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