Inks for printers can be costly, and it is essential to store them correctly if you want to use the ink cartridges for a long time.
Let’s start with some general tips to store the cartridges when not in use.
Helpful Tips For Storing Your Ink
We have brought you some quick tips to ensure that you get the most out of your Printer Ink cartridges and value for the money you paid.
These tips will ensure that ink cartridges are stored correctly for long-lasting use.
Store Ink Cartridges Upright
Always store the ink cartridges in a vertical direction. When you keep the cartridges in a laying down or upside-down position, there can be leakage.
It can create a mess and waste a lot of money. Keeping the cartridges with the print head facing up is also recommended, specifically for those with more than one colour.
Store the Ink Cartridges in Cool & Dry Places
While determining the life of the Ink cartridges, it is essential to make sure that the physical place of storage is right.
Ideally, the ink cartridges should be stored in a cool and dry place.
Keeping the Ink cartridges in direct contact with sunlight can degrade the quality of the ink. In warm temperatures, the ink will dry out or may leak when it comes to printing.
Keep the Cartridges Sealed
If you don’t need to use the Ink cartridges, do not open them as the plastic sleeve packaging is the best packaging to store ink cartridges.
It prevents the exposure of the ink to open air, and when you open the cartridge, it is exposed to the open air that can cause the ink to dry out.
Moisture is essential in the cartridge for the ink to be usable. If you have opened it, keep them in an airtight package to stay out of touch with air.
How to Store Opened Ink Cartridges?
If you have opened your Ink cartridge and taken it out of its original packaging, then you should transfer it or store it in an airtight plastic container.
Put your ink cartridge in a vertical upright position so that it does not get leaked. It would be best if you do not touch any nozzle of the cartridge.
Once you place your cartridge in the airtight container, take a piece of paper or cloth, dump it in the water, and put it in the container in which the ink cartridge is placed.
The fabric will provide the required moisture to the ink preventing the dryness of the ink cartridge.
Never use Plastic polythene for storing your cartridge. Also, make sure the cartridge’s nozzles are not rubbed against anything or nothing is being touched against it.
Use of Plastic Bag in place of Plastic Food Container. If you don’t have any plastic containers available, you can use plastic bags with zippers.
Make sure the zipper is locked entirely without leaving any air pockets. The ink cartridge must be kept away from coming in contact with air.
Risks of Storing Open Ink Cartridges:
It is recommended not to open the ink cartridges until you need them. But if you have already opened the ink cartridge and have to store it again, you have to be careful while keeping them.
However, if the process is not followed correctly, the moisture of the ink may get evaporated and could dry out, which gets wasted.
If you follow the process of storing appropriately, The Ink cartridges that are opened can be stored for up to 6 months without getting dried.
Should You Keep The Cartridge In The Printer?
According to us you should not keep opened ink cartridges in the printer if you are not using the printer at all.
Because it is not the accurate condition for the ink cartridge storage. However, if you are using the printer once a month you don’t need to remove it from the printer.
How To Store Unopened Ink Cartridges?
Ink cartridges are safe till they are kept in the original packaging it comes in.
The safest packaging is the bubble sealed wrap, which is initially done to prevent drying out. But how can you store an unopened Ink Cartridge?
Keep It Away From The Direct Contact Of The Sun:
The Ink cartridges should not be kept anywhere near the sunlight. The sunlight can increase the ink’s speed of drying out by evaporating all its moisture initially present.
The ink cartridges should be kept in dark places such as a closed room, a drawer and anywhere where the light does not enter much and has no air contact.
It would help if you placed it in the drawer you do not often open as it will be closed.
Keep It At a Cool Temperature:
Warm temperature and air contact can cause the ink to lose all its moisture and reduce the lifespan of the ink cartridge.
When the ink becomes dry, it gets wasted as you cannot use it anymore. So you have to be very careful.
However, new and unopened cartridges can be stored for up to 2 years. The duration may also depend upon the brand of the product.
Can You Store Ink Cartridges In The Fridge?
There are no such rules that you must keep ink cartridges in the refrigerator. But yes you can keep them in the fridge as they need to be stored in a dark and cool place.
Whereas there is no harm in storing them in the refrigerator but you should check from time to time whether the towel or sponge has dampness or not.
What To Do If The Ink Cartridge Becomes Dry?
What happens when even after storing it appropriately, your ink cartridge becomes dry? Don’t worry; you can fix an ink cartridge using these simple methods.
If your Ink has dried up inside the printer, you must try cleaning your printer a few times. Repeat the cycles after 5-6 hours so that the dried Ink gets a chance to soak into and clean the printhead.
Soaking Ink Cartridges
Take a bowl of warm water and put the ink cartridge inside it. It should be entirely submerged inside the water.
Keep the Ink inside the warm water for a couple of minutes, then dry it with a soft cloth.
Use cotton and soak it in the water; gently rub it across the nozzles without damaging the chip.
Dissolving Dried Ink with Rubbing Alcohol
Sometimes, the nozzles of the ink cartridges get blocked. To open the nozzles, you can use Rubbing alcohol, just like you used warm water.
You Can test if the nozzle has cleared by printing a page; if a good quality print comes out, that means it’s cleared.
So these are the major things that you should follow to store an opened or unopened ink cartridge.
But my best recommendation is that you should use your printer once or twice a month. It is the best way to keep your printer cartridge healthy and also your printer.
If you want to know how you can prevent printer cartridges from drying out? You can check out our article 6 Things You Should Know About Your Printer Cartridge for detailed information.
In that article, we have explained six major printer cartridge related topics that everyone should know.
Tanmoy Misra found his love for tech early in life when he got his first Nintendo (NES) console. He spent many hours blowing into cartridges to no avail until inspiration struck and he started taking apart and rebuilding anything that didn’t work. After dropping console gaming at the end of high school, Tanmoy entered the world of PC online gaming. His love of gaming and problem-solving soon led him to build his computers. As per expertise, he is an ISF-certified video calibrator and covering AV for a number of publications since 2018.