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Inkjet printers: any way to stop the ink cartridges from drying up?

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magellan

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
I've noticed an annoying problem w/the consumer garbage inkjets I've had to deal with (for my family), it seems like the ink cartridges dry up even when not used, even with ink cartridges that have only printed out a couple of pages tops. Is there anyway to stop this from happening?

Personally, I've moved on to a monochrome laserjet and couldn't be happier.
 

don256us

Uber Folding Senior
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
The trick is to actually use them. If they just print something once in a while, the ink on the printhead will not have a chance to dry out.

For printers that have the printhead built in to the ink tub, I have placed the ink tub on a wet paper towel to allow the water to soften the ink on the printhead. I have limited success depending on how bad the ink is. I've also tried placing the ink tub in a near boiling juice glass of water to see if that softens the ink. Again, limited results.
 
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EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Yep.. use them. Its NOT using them that allows them to dry out from what I understand (and googled a while ago). Seems like a smart answer, but, really, its the truth.
 

don256us

Uber Folding Senior
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
Yep.. use them. Its NOT using them that allows them to dry out from what I understand (and googled a while ago). Seems like a smart answer, but, really, its the truth.

Yeah. Sorry. I did not anticipate that this could have been seen as a smart alec response. It really is the only way that I know to preserve liquid ink. I use HP branded printers because the print heads are built in to the ink tub. That way, if the head gets clogged, a new ink will resolve the issue.
 
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magellan

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Thanks ED and don, I won't be recommending anyone buy consumer inkjets in the future. Another annoying fact, is that if these printers run out of say, cyan ink [or more likely the cartridge dries up] it won't print -- even though 99.99999% of the time black and white printing is all that's required.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
There are ways around that with some printers. Have it only print in black and white. If color is enabled, it will 'think' about all colors. If only B/W, then it will only use the black.
 
OP
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magellan

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
There are ways around that with some printers. Have it only print in black and white. If color is enabled, it will 'think' about all colors. If only B/W, then it will only use the black.

What do you think of color laserjets ED? What about the other non-inkjet printers that use some sort of solid material that they then melt?
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
step 1) boil water.

step 2) pour water in a dinner plate

step 3) place the ink cartridge in the water (the print head or whatever it is called...where the ink comes out :) )

step 4) take a clean piece of paper and run the print head down the paper like a marker. it should leave a line of fresh ink down the page. reinstall and all should be well.

Keep in mind that I have never tried this with inkjet (but I have one and will when my cartidges dry up) but it worked with an old Dell a few years back
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
I create a document with a short line of text where each word is assigned either black, yellow, blue or red font color. I print it out every so often to make the various colored cartridges put out a little ink. This keeps the nozzles clear but doesn't use much ink. Once or twice a week is sufficient. You can put it on your google calendar to remind you. And you can even reuse the same sheet of paper.
 

Robert17

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Most printers have a "Print Test Page" function; tap that one on occasion and you'll have a very colorful moment of loosening up the ink jets and letting the rest of the gears, belts and such flex thier flexibles. No different than for an old truck.
 
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magellan

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
I think I'm done w/inkjet printers now and forever.

There are color printers that don't use ink, but I'm never that desperate for color print-outs anyway.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
I create a document with a short line of text where each word is assigned either black, yellow, blue or red font color. I print it out every so often to make the various colored cartridges put out a little ink. This keeps the nozzles clear but doesn't use much ink. Once or twice a week is sufficient. You can put it on your google calendar to remind you. And you can even reuse the same sheet of paper.
Or, KISS and do what Robert said. ;)

Once or twice a week seems quite frequent and unnecessary to me.
 

don256us

Uber Folding Senior
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
step 1) boil water.

step 2) pour water in a dinner plate

step 3) place the ink cartridge in the water (the print head or whatever it is called...where the ink comes out :) )

step 4) take a clean piece of paper and run the print head down the paper like a marker. it should leave a line of fresh ink down the page. reinstall and all should be well.

Keep in mind that I have never tried this with inkjet (but I have one and will when my cartidges dry up) but it worked with an old Dell a few years back

Brands like HP have the printhead built in. Brands like Epson and Canon, don't. This procedure only works for those with the printhead built in. Even with that said, I have had limited success.

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I create a document with a short line of text where each word is assigned either black, yellow, blue or red font color. I print it out every so often to make the various colored cartridges put out a little ink. This keeps the nozzles clear but doesn't use much ink. Once or twice a week is sufficient. You can put it on your google calendar to remind you. And you can even reuse the same sheet of paper.

That's a lot more often than what I do. I seem to be OK with printing about once a month. YMMV.