The past decade alone has seen phenomenal leaps and advances in printing technology. The speed, accuracy, and vibrancy of color and definition of printers has never been greater. Furthermore, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology enable remote printing: cables that connect computers with printers are slowly being resigned to the history books. One thing that remains relatively unchanged are the ink cartridges, and no matter how advanced your printer may be, it simply won’t work if your cartridge is empty or unkempt. The following tips will help you make the most out of your cartridges by extending their lifespan.
By far the easiest way of making your cartridge use more economical is by changing your print settings. Almost all printers have several print quality settings, as does word and image processing software. If a document does not need to be printed in color, change it to black and white. This will print a legible document while saving your colored ink.
Most of us have all been guilty of wasteful printing at some time or another. We print something out only to find out that, for example, the formatting does not look right on the page; and it’s straight into the waste paper bin. By taking advantage of the print preview option you can visually check your work before sending it to print.
Low Ink Warning
It is a common mistake to change cartridges as soon as the “low ink” warning pops up. You should, of course, have a new cartridge at the ready; just don’t rush. Like the low fuel indicator in your car, your old cartridges still have a ways to go until they run out. Wait until the quality of printing drops, and only then go ahead and change cartridges.
Clean the Nozzle
It is not uncommon for nozzles on your cartridge to get clogged. This will result in a lower quality of print, usually in the form of faint or broken lines in your document. Soaking the cartridge nozzles in warm water will remove dried ink and get the cartridge running smoothly again. After a five minute soak, dry with a paper towel or soft cloth. After reinstallation, run the printers calibration and print head cleaning option, and you are good to go.
Protect Your Cartridges
The ink in your cartridge will dry up if not used for a lengthy period of time, just like a biro would if left open. If you know that you will not be using your printer in the near future, remove the cartridges and store them in a sealable plastic bag. Another way to keep ink from clogging up the printer head is by unplugging your printer when it is not in use.
Third Party Cartridges
Cartridges from large printer manufacturers can be quite pricey. Luckily, there are companies, like Printzone, that offer a wide range of third party printer cartridges that provide a high level of quality and reliability at a fraction of the price. Third party cartridges are available for almost all popular models of inkjet, mono laser or toner printers; so be sure to do your research before you buy.