How Do You Keep Printer Ink from Drying Out?

When left unused, printer ink can dry out, making it difficult for you to print clearly in the future. Even if you could print, the output will likely be blurred and unreadable. So, how do you keep printer ink from drying out?

You can take several steps to keep the ink in your cartridge from drying out and ready for printing. Besides, you can prevent the losses of buying new ink cartridges when you still have old ones. Please read about the simple hacks to keep your ink cartridges working optimally.

How Do You Keep Printer Ink from Drying Out?

By taking the necessary steps, you can keep printer ink cartridges from drying out. Here are helpful tips you should never neglect:

How Do You Keep Printer Ink from Drying Out

1. Use Your Printer Regularly

An ink cartridge, if you use inkjet printer rarely, is likely to develop clogged nozzles. That makes it impossible to use the printer the next time you need it. You can prevent that by using your printer regularly (at least once a week).

inkjet printer

With that, you can keep the ink flowing through the nozzle. Besides, no ink would build-up, dry, and clog the nozzle. Even if you have no work, print something to keep the ink cartridge well-maintained.

2. Regulate the Room Temperature

It is also essential to regulate the temperature in the room where you store the printer. Ensure that your office has average room temperature to prevent your cartridges from drying. Ideally, the temperature in your office should never surpass 68°F.

Besides, you should keep your printer from direct heat sources. That includes a window allowing direct sunlight to shine on the printer. You can keep the ink cartridge in good condition for as long as possible.

3. Store Unused Ink Cartridges Properly

If you have a lot of printing work, it’s advisable to store several extra cartridges. When one cartridge runs dry, you can get hold of a new one and install it in the printer. You’ll never have to stop printing for lack of ink.

Store Unused Ink Cartridges

However, if you do not store the cartridge well, you can waste ink. Here are valuable tips to help you prevent unused HP ink cartridges from drying out:

  • Cartridge Storage Method: Ideally, you should keep unused ink cartridges upright. The ink gets destabilized if you store cartridges upside-down or sideways, moving to one side. When you install the cartridge in a printer, it will result in poor print quality.

  • The Place to Store Cartridges: The best place to store unused ink cartridges is in a dark, dry, and safe place like a box or shelf. Regardless of where it is, you should keep your printer from direct heat sources. Maintain room temperature and avoid subjecting ink cartridges to extreme cold or heat to avoid poor print quality.

4. Seal Unused Ink Cartridges

When an unused cartridge is left open, the ink is exposed to air and heat and is likely to dry. Ideally, you should only unseal a cartridge when ready to use it. If you have opened a cartridge for use and it has no seal, you can maintain it by taking the following measures:

Seal Unused Ink Cartridges

Step 1: Use tape to seal the cartridge nozzle before putting it in a sealed plastic tub.

Step 2: Take a damp paper towel or cloth beside the cartridge inside the tub.

Step 3: Store the tub with the cartridge in a cool, dark place. Check the damp paper towel or cloth periodically to ensure it’s still wet.

5. Keep Your Ink Cartridge Moistened

You can keep cartridges from drying out by moistening them from time to time. Once you start this measure, you can void weekly test prints. Thus, you can save ink when you have work to print.

Ink Cartridge Moistened

But how do you keep ink cartridges moistened? Here are easy steps you can take:

Step 1: With disposable gloves on your hands, remove the ink cartridge from the printer.

Step 2: Clean all the cartridges on the top surface with a clean damp paper towel or cloth. That should remove any dry ink waste and prevent clogging in the cartridge.

Step 3: Use a dry lint-free cloth to dry off the excess moisture. Return the cartridge to the printer.

How Can I Make My Printer Ink Last Longer?

These simple tricks might help your printer ink last longer. Take a look.

How Can I Make My Printer Ink Last Longer
  • If you use large fonts and bold them for all the documents you print, it might cost a lot of ink every time. Using slim fonts will deplete less ink. And regular or thin fonts are great for saving ink. This is applicable to any laser or inkjet printer.
  • You can tweak the setting of your printer to select the right option according to your needs. Options like draft mode or grayscale print will help you save a lot of ink.
  • Proofreading the document you want to print and having a print preview will keep you from reprinting the document and losing twice the ink. Check everything before you hit the print button.

Can You Fix Dried Out Printer Ink?

You can easily fix an ink cartridge that is dried out. Follow these two methods to get your job done.

Can You Fix Dried Out Printer Ink

Automatic Printhead Cleaning

You will find the printhead cleaning option in the printer settings. Follow the user manual of the printer for minimal use to run the command several times. It will ensure the printhead is free from clogs.

Manual Printhead Cleaning

If the previous method doesn’t work, you need to take the ink cartridge out of the printer. Take warm water in a bowl and submerge the cartridge in it. Leave it for some time until the clogs are open. If the clogs are stubborn, you can use a cotton bud to rub the nozzles.

After cleaning and drying the ink cartridge, put it in place and try printing a test document. If the cartridge still doesn’t work, you might need a replacement.

How do you clean dried-up ink cartridges?

Cleaning dried-up ink cartridges are essential in removing dry ink that could be clogging them. First, you should use a cotton swab or cloth to clean the print head. Before cleaning, you should dampen the cotton swab or cloth slightly. You can only clean the cartridge after removing it from the printer.

Wipe the lower parts of the cartridge to remove crusts of dried-up ink. Avoid using cleaning agents or harsh chemicals that could mess with the chemical composition of the ink. Make sure only to use lukewarm water.

How do you clean dried-up ink cartridges

After cleaning the cartridge, wipe it dry with a lint-free cloth. You can then reinstall it in the printer. Print a test page to see if it’s working. This method can restore ink cartridges and get them working after the installation.

Can You Store Ink Cartridges in The Fridge?

You can store ink cartridges in the fridge since storage conditions need to be dark, cool, and dry. Wrap the cartridge in a paper towel or dry cloth before storing it in the fridge.

Can You Store Ink Cartridges in The Fridge

However, the fridge tends to be less humid, creating conditions that could dry the ink out. So, you must check the cartridges from time to time. If you find out that the paper towel or cloth has been dampened, wrap the cartridge in a fresh paper towel or cloth.

Does Leaving Your Printer Dry Out the Ink?

Yes, the ink you use in your printer can dry if you leave the printer for too long. We suggest you at least use your printer once a week to keep the ink cartridge in working condition.

Does Leaving Your Printer Dry Out the Ink

It is important to use all the colors available on the cartridge to keep them from clogging or drying out. If you leave the printer for a long time, you might need to clean the printhead before printing anything again.


As you can see, keeping printer ink from drying out is a simple process with a few steps. It starts with frequent use of the printer. Ideally, using the printer once a week keeps the cartridge active and the ink fresh.

However, if you take prolonged periods before using the printer, find ways to store your cartridges correctly. You should keep the nozzle sealed with tape to prevent clogging. If your cartridges are already dried out, wipe with a slightly damp paper towel or cloth to remove dry in.

Inksaver Editor

We're a group of people who love printers and scanners. We want to share our knowledge with you, so you can spend less time researching and more time printing and scanning!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: