Ink Cartridge FAQ
In this article:
Printing tips on saving ink.
Printing problems such as 'does not print', 'does not recognize the cartridge', blocked printhead, white streaks.
Shelf life and preventing drying out of print heads.
Refill: how often, ink quality, not working.
Printing tips, saving you money
- If you need to print for your own use or prints that don't have to be super prints, then print in 'Draft mode'. If you have a laser printer then lower the dpi resolution to 300. That way your printer uses less ink.
- Skip text and/or images you don't really need on paper.
- Use the print button on webpages, if you want to print a page. If there's no button you can do a screenshot - press Alt + PrintScreen key - and print that. Or select/highlight text you want to print, copy it and paste it in a Wordpad file.
- If there's no need to have colors on paper then print in black.
- Need to print lots of text frequently, then consider a laser printer to decrease ink cost per page.
New ink cartridge doesn't print?
Sometimes ink cartridges with internal printheads - HP, Lexmark and some Canon cartridges are equipped with printheads - do not print rightaway.
If this happens, put the cartridge upright for a few minutes, then place the cartridge wit hthe printhead down on a slightly wet paper tissue for a few mninutes. When you see ink on the printhead, it is ready to print.
Proper way to handle cartridges.
Cartridges should always be handled with care. Do not touch the nozzles. You should keep your cartridges in the protective wrapping until you place them in the printer. If you keep empty cartridges to refill later, they should be stored in an air tight container until you refill them.
What to do when cartridge's printhead nozzles are blocked with dried ink?
Place the clogged cartridge in a shallow dish filled with warm water and soak them until dried ink begins to flow freely from the nozzles. After some minutes of letting the dried ink flow, remove the nozzles from the water and gently dry it with a soft tissue or cotton swab. Reinstall the cartridge in your printer and run the print head cleaning mechanism/utility in the print software (it's also described in your printer's operating manual). If this does not work, repeat the procedure. If your cartridge still does not print after repeating, you will need to purchase a new cartridge because the print head of your existing cartridge is probably damaged.
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Do unused ink cartridges go bad after a certain amount of time?
You know the situation, it may be often inviting to pick up printer cartridges on sale in an out-of-the-way store or super-discount outlet, but be cautious.
Discount cartridges from a company specializing in printer ink and toner are fine -- they go through enough products, whether generic or genuine name brand, that you won't have any trouble with expired ink.
Printer cartridges do have a shelf life -- after a year or 18 months, even sealed in their packages, they lose some of their effectiveness. Similar is, if you haven't used your printer in two, three months or longer, you may need to put in a new ink cartridge for best results.
To prevent dry print heads - if don't print regularly - you might make it a habit to print some (colored) text every 14 days.
Store your new cartridges you haven't used yet, at room temperature and in upright position.
What should be done if there are white streaks in the printouts?
Check if the the cartridge is empty. If it is not, place the cartridge on a soft tissue, allowing some ink to leak out. After a few minutes gently wipe the nozzles in one direction with a soft tissue or cotton swab. You'll find the nozzles at the bottomside of the cartridge.
What also may help is to take the cartridge and shake it for a while.
Reinstall the cartridge, run the print head cleaning utility (described in your printer's operating manual) and attempt to print again.
Error message: "Print Cartridge Problem"Possible solution:
If you get this error you might try the following: try using the black cartridge, set the printer to gray scale and see if that works. Or you might try a new cartridge.
Sometimes the cartridge is empty or not properly installed. So re-install it, so you know it's properly seated.
If a printer does not recognise the ink cartridge.
Buying a new cartridge but your printer does not recognise / notice it. Sounds familiar? Best thing you can do is remove all cartridges - see your manual about it. Turn the printer off. Then carefully check right type-numbers of the cartridge. Also check the printhead and nozzles, they look clean? If not clean it with a lint-free cloth. Then turn the printer on again, and re-install the cartridges - see printer manual. Then try a new print.
What is a remanufactured inkjet cartridge?
It is an original cartridge of a printer brand. The cartridge has been cleaned, inspected, filled and tested.
Click image below for a nice discount on remanufactured or brand new ink & toner cartridges.
How often can I refill my ink cartridge and what's the best time?
The amount of times you can refill an ink cartridge depends on the care taken between refilling and the inkjet print head. Until this wears out you can keep refilling/recycling your empty cartridges. As a rule of thumb you can usually refill your ink cartridge 4 - 8 times.
Best is that you refill your ink cartridges before they run out of ink. Because that will prevent the ink from drying in the printhead between refills. Here's a tip for buying a refill kit.
How is the ink quality of refill kits?
The quality of the ink is the most important part of refilling your ink cartridges. The printhead on your cartridge may get clogged or damaged by the inks that can not match the OEM's criteria. The refill inks of InkTec are formulated and tested under strict laboratory conditions to ensure the highest output quality at all times as compared with other OEM products. Here's more...
Why don't my ink cartridges work after refill?
You may see a printer message like: "Place ...cartridge..." after you put in a new or refilled cartridge. This message may indicate that the tape covering the printhead hasn't been removed. So check the cartridge and remove the tape if it is still there.
Or the printheads might be clogged by dry ink or a chip blocks printing, preventing to use a cartridge after it is empty (or refilled again). Best advice, if you insist on refilling ink cartridges, have professionals refill your cartridges. On the other hand compatible ink cartridges are reasonable priced these days, so to avoid problems you might consider buying them instead of having your empty cartridges refilled.