How to Revive Old Ink Cartridges

by Susan Raphael
Ink dries up in the cartridge if it is not used for a long time.

Ink dries up in the cartridge if it is not used for a long time.

It can be frustrating to print multiple documents, only to find out that your ink cartridge has dried up. Replacing Ink cartridges can be costly and you'd like to maximize the use of your cartridges as long as possible. You can revive dried-up ink cartridges with a few maintenance steps. This will help you save money and minimize waste.

Open the cover of the printer that houses the cartridges and wait for the cartridge to move to the center of the opening. Gently pull down the cartridges and it will pop out. Remove the cartridges from the printer

Turn off the printer and unplug it from the electrical outlet.

Shake the cartridge vigorously up and down for about 30 seconds.

Dip cotton swabs in alcohol and use it to clean the tips of the nozzle where ink comes out of the cartridge. This will remove dried ink on the nozzles, which causes printing to be marred.

Clean the bottom and the side of the cartridges as well to remove any dried ink that may keep the cartridge from printing. Leave the alcohol to dry on the cartridges for about 15 minutes.

Place the cartridge with the copper strip facing down into a bowl with warm water. Do not soak the cartridge, just hold it gently over the water with just the copper strip touching the liquid.

Wipe the cartridges dry with a microfiber cloth.

Tips

  • check Clean the heads of the cartridges weekly if you use the printer a lot, or monthly if you don't use it regularly.
  • check Use your printer once a week to keep the cartridges and gears from drying out.

Items you will need

About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Susan Raphael has been writing technology-related articles since 1991. Her work has appeared in “Wired” magazine, and “Mac Addict” magazine. Raphael received the Janet B. Smith Literary Award in 2002. She holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from New York University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Used ink cartridges for recycling image by itsallgood from Fotolia.com