Tricks for Maximizing the Life of Your Printer Ink

by Rich on September 18, 2009

Printer ink can be costly. It may leave small business owners and home printer users wondering what they can do to reduce their cost of their printing needs. If you have already utilized remanufactured options, or you are unable to do so based on your specific printer, and you still have a desire to cut costs, consider a few of these options for lengthening the life of your printer ink cartridge.

The first thing you can do to stretch your printer ink budget is to change the settings on your computer before printing. For the majority of your printing needs, use draft mode. This means that images will print in black and white, or even gray, reducing the amount of ink you are using. You will use no color ink unless necessary, which is the most expensive of the two replacement cartridges. If you are able to print drafts in gray, that uses less black ink as well. Be sure you change your draft setting when the time comes. Those that forget will find they waste a page worth of black or gray ink by printing an unnecessary draft page.

Ink Cartridge

After installing a printer, or after correcting a problem, your printer and computer will prompt you to print a test page. Only do so if absolutely necessary. This is a trick used by ink manufacturers to use up extra ink. All it means is that you will be one page closer to paying for an expensive replacement.

Another tip is to shake your cartridge occasionally. The ink has a tendency to settle in the cartridge, and may not reach its destination. By shaking it, you are loosening the clogs that may exist within the cartridge. Obviously use care when doing this and be sure to replace the cartridge properly.

Ink Cartridge

Remember that higher print resolutions require extra ink. Just like printing in draft can lessen the amount of ink you are using, lowering your quality settings may help as well. If you can, print the majority of your documents in a lower resolution, saving the best quality printings for when it is absolutely necessary to have a perfect print.

When your computer indicates that your printer cartridge is low, there may still be as many as 100 pages of printing left in the cartridge. Some users recommend changing the cartridge as soon as possible after the notification occurs. They believe it may damage the cartridge if you use it until the very end. However, others believe that it is most economically sound to use all of the ink available. If you plan to replace the cartridge, it may not matter if it is damaged.

If you purchase cartridges before you need them, be sure to store them in an environment that is room temperature and out of light. Keep extra cartridges and cartridges that are in use dust free. Store the extra cartridges right side up so the ink will not drain or leak.

Inkjet cartridges

Cartridge replacement can be expensive, but a few simple tips will help extend the life of your printer ink. In the long run, you will still find yourself replacing ink cartridges, but over time, you may require just a bit less replacing.

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