How to Store Partly Used Printer Ink Cartridges

By Contributor

Updated December 13, 2019

There are times when it is necessary to remove an ink cartridge from your computer and store it for reuse. It is frustrating to reinstall an expensive cartridge that you know has plenty of ink left inside only to find that the printhead where the ink comes out has dried up. You're left with a frozen cartridge with ink left inside that you can't use. Prevent this frustration and expense by storing the cartridge correctly.

Place the used printer ink cartridge into a sandwich-sized zip-sealed bag. If you have more than one ink cartridge to store, use a separate bag for each cartridge.

Wet a sponge or small towel and wring out the excess water so the sponge or towel is left damp but not dripping.

Add the sponge or towel to the plastic bag holding the printer ink cartridge.

Seal the bag with the sponge or towel and the ink cartridge inside.

Store the sealed bag in a dark, cool place until you are ready to reinstall the printer ink cartridge and continue using it.


Some professionals advise taping the printhead prior to storage of an open, used printer ink cartridge. If you try this, be careful when removing the tape so you do not damage the printhead. The ink cartridge printhead is fragile and once damaged it does not matter how easily the ink flows, the cartridge hardware itself may be ruined and the cartridge will have to be replaced.

Items you will need

  • Zip-sealed bag

  • Sponge or small towel such as a wash cloth

  • Water