How to Make an Ink Cartridge Last Longer

by Contributor

Printer cartridges are expensive to replace and their costs quickly add up over time. You can make the cartridges in your printer last longer by following a few steps. The following will show you how.

Click "Preferences" when your print tool box comes up after you click "print." Choose the "Draft" option instead of "Normal" or "Best" to make your printer use less ink when printing.

Click the "Advanced" tab while in the "Printing Preferences" window. Choose the "Print in Grayscale" option to print in only black and gray to save on your color ink.

Use fonts that aren't thick and avoid big bold letters in the text if you can. If you need to use a larger point size for your title's font, use a gray-colored font instead of using black or a color.

Remove a color cartridge that isn't printing all the colors and wipe the bottom of it where the ink comes out firmly with a damp paper towel or lint-free cloth to unclog the nozzle instead of replacing it with a new cartridge. This will help the colors of ink flow more freely from the cartridge.

Continue to print even when your printer light comes on or you get a warning saying that your ink is low instead of changing the cartridge immediately. You may get hundreds of extra pages out of a cartridge by doing this. Keep printing until the ink is almost completely gone.


  • check Recycle your old cartridges by returning them to recycle bins in stores or schools. Office Depot will give you $2.50 off your next cartridge purchase if you bring it in when buying your refill cartridge.