How To Store Ink Cartridges When Not In Use


Inks are expensive, so storing them correctly is important if you wish to get longest life possible out of your ink cartridges.

Following these few easy to follow instructions will help you ensure you’ll get the most out of your cartridges.

Helpful Tips for Storing your Ink

Getting the most out of your ink cartridges when not in use, will help prolong the life and get you even more value for your money.

Here’s some quick tips which we’ve put together to ensure you get the most out of your inks. With just a few tips on how to store your ink cartridges, you can make sure that your ink lasts until when you actually need to use it.

Store Ink Cartridges Upright

One of the most important things you can do when storing inks is the keep them upright.

This won’t prolong the inks life before drying out, but if you leave inks laying down or even worse, upside down, there is a chance the ink could leak out of the cartridge.

Not only is that a waste of ink , it’s a waste of money and could create a mess!

As well as avoiding leaks, if you have a printer that uses tri-colour cartridges (two slot ink-jet printers, one for black and one for a tri-colour cartridge).

Some manufacturers recommend keeping cartridges with the print head facing up, especially cartridges that contain more than one colour.

Leaving these cartridges upside down or laying on its side can cause the colours the leak out of their ink chambers, mixing together and rendering the cartridge useless with contaminated ink.

Store Ink Cartridges in Cool, Dark Places Store-Ink-Cartridges.png

When it comes to increasing the storage life of inks the "physical" storage is important, ideally you want to keep your inks or toner in a cool, dry place .

Keeping the cartridges in a dark room stops the ink quality being degraded by direct sunlight. Ink cartridges that have already been opened can be stored for up to 6 months if kept in the right conditions, whilst new and sealed cartridges can last up to 2 years sometimes longer depending on the brand.

Store your ink cartridges in a cool ventilated place, keeping your inks in a room that stays at an average room temperature and below is perfect!

Keeping your inks somewhere too warm, can cause the inks to dry out prematurely or cause the ink to bubble which can cause problems and leaks when it comes to printing.

We suggest storing inks draw or cabinet somewhere you don’t need to open unless necessary.

Keep the Cartridges Sealed

Another key point is don’t open cartridges until you need to use them! The best packaging for an ink cartridge is the plastic sleeve they come in, this prevents air exposure, which can be the quickest way to drying out inks.

This keeps the ink in its original state and keeps the print head moist. No air escapes or gets caught in the cartridge, helping to ensure no parts are affected.

Moisture is important when storing ink cartridges, so seal the bag with the cartridge inside. If you have removed the ink cartridge from its plastic sleeve and don’t have access to the tools to seal them back up in an air tight package.

The next best thing is to place them in a carrier bag and seal it by wrapping an elastic band around a few times.

Can Ink Cartridges Dry Out?

Worst case scenario, your inks have dried up, can you fix a dried out ink cartridge?

To resolve this issue and fix an ink cartridge that has dried out, try these simple methods.

Printhead Cleaning

The first and simplest solution. If your inks have dried up in the printer from infrequent,use, you can try running a few printhead cleaning cycles. Leave at least 5-6 hours between each cleaning cycle, to allow for the ink to soak into and clean the printhead.

This feature is available for all inkjet printers, you’ll find the option for this either on your computer or in the printer’s settings. If you are unsure please refer to your printer manual. A printhead cleaning cycle will take a few runs to clear any blockages of dried out ink. You should see improvements after each head clean. Printhead Nozzle Check

Soaking Ink Cartridges

This requires a bowl of warm water, with enough water so the ink is completely submerged, leave for a couple of minutes then dry with soft lint free cloth, or if you don’t have one of these you can use kitchen roll.

If this hasn’t fixed the issue you can try gently rubbing cotton swab soaked in warm water across the ink cartridges nozzle, being careful not to damage the chip or contacts.

Dissolving Dried Ink with Rubbing Alcohol

Similar to warm water and the cotton swab. Rubbing alcohol can be used in the same way to clear a blocked nozzle.

You’ll be able to tell if a nozzle is blocked because the quality of print outs will be effected by white lines appearing on the document. You can test for a blocked nozzle check by printing this from the printer maintenance setting on the printer.

There’s nothing worse than coming to print and finding that the ink cartridges you purchased a while ago no longer work. Storing ink cartridges properly can lengthen their life span dramatically.

How to Use Ink Cartridges That Have Been Stored For a Long Time

If cartridges have been stored for a while and you wish to print, do not just insert the cartridge into the printer and begin printing. Doing this could damage your printer and waste your ink. Just follow these quick steps:

Firstly, unseal the cartridge, check for any ink spills and wipe any dust and spills off.

Check the print head is moist by wiping tissue paper across the print head.

Make sure the cartridge contact terminals appear as they should be.

Insert into printer and print a test page.

Storing ink cartridges correctly can increase how long the inks last, but it is also worth taking care of your printer too. Printers can be affected by dust and ink spills if unused for long periods. A printer that’s not functioning correctly could end up costing unnecessary money.

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