Can Printer Ink Dry Out Over Time?

Can printer ink dry out over time? It is the most often asked question, and we will attempt to answer it in this article. Over time, ink cartridges can dry out. They will ultimately dry out, and become useless if they are in your printer for a long time. To keep your ink cartridges flowing well, we recommend printing once every couple of weeks.

Printer ink cartridges do not last endlessly, but how long can they be expected to last? As more employees return to the workplace, they may discover that equipment that hasn’t been used in a while isn’t up to standard. Here is all you need to know about how to avoid your printers from drying out.

In this article, we will discuss why printer ink dries out? And how to keep Printer ink from drying out. 

Can Printer Ink Dry Out Over Time?

People who do not use their ink printers frequently enough, on the other hand, may discover that cartridges dry up rapidly and become jammed as a result. There are a few reasons why ink might become dry.

Printer Ink Dry Out Over Time

If you don’t use it frequently:

Does the printer ink cartridge dry up if you don’t use it? Yes, infrequent usage is the most common cause of dry cartridges. Your cartridges may dry out if you only use the printer once a year. Do you know How long it takes for ink cartridges to dry out? A printer cartridge’s shelf life is the estimated period it will last in its sealed packaging. An original printer cartridge has a 24-month shelf life, whereas a compatible cartridge has a 36-month shelf life.

We recommend leaving your printer on in normal usage but turning it off if you will not use it for more than a month.

If you Refilled Cartridges Unprofessionally:

An expert should refill the cartridge. Alternatively, you may get fresh cartridges at low rates to avoid developing air pockets in your cartridges and wasting ink.

If you try to refill old ink cartridges and accidentally get with air, the ink will dry out, and the nozzle heads will clog.

If you don’t use it frequently Printer Ink Dry Out

If you Refilled Cartridges with Old Ink:

Over time, ink cartridges might dry out. They will ultimately dry out and become useless if they are in your printer for a long time.

If you do not Store It Properly:

Sometimes your ink cartridges dried out while still in their package.  Unfortunately, that might be a result of a user mistake. Many people buy additional cartridges to have on hand when they need to replace them but often store them improperly.

How to store ink cartridges when not in use? Always keep your printer and refill cartridges in a temperature-controlled environment. The performance of your ink cartridges might be affected by heat.

If you Use Expired Cartridges :

Does printer ink expire? Most people are unaware that printer cartridges have an expiration date, and that using them after that period might cause printing issues. To avoid problems we recommend storing cartridges for no more than 12 months and storing them in cool, dry places away from direct sunlight.

How to Keep Printer Ink from Drying Out?

We covered many scenarios and situations that might cause printer ink to dry out. With our busy lives, it’s easy to overlook the need to take preventative measures to keep your printer cartridges from drying out.

The best part is that you might be able to fix the problem. It is quite unusual for one of these cartridges to fully dry out. The ink in the print nozzles instead dries out and causes a blockage. You might be able to get the ink flowing again by eliminating the blockage. 

Try these methods before ordering new printer ink for your device to see if you can get your dried-out ink to flow again.

Printhead Cleaning Routine:

This option may be accessible through your computer or as a printer function. If you’re not sure how to do it, consult your user handbook for instructions. You’ll probably need to repeat this process 4-5 times. Following are the steps to clean Printhead:

  • A separate button for cleaning the print head is also available on some models.
  • If you can’t find the tool, right-click on the printer icon in the bottom right corner of your screen.
  • A menu should appear as a result of this. Look for “Utility,” “Settings,” “Properties,” or “Toolbox” in the menu.
  • Look for a troubleshooting or maintenance tab after selecting that option.
  • There should be an option there that says something about cleaning print heads or head cleaning.
  • If you get stuck, look up your printer’s model number and the words “print head cleaning” in Google.
  • Start it up, let it run, and print a test page.
  • You may have to repeat the process a few times to get the desired outcome.
  • If you’ve run the tool a few times and still don’t notice any results, go on to the next option. 
  •  Clean Nozzles with Hot Water

How to fix printer ink not flowing? If your device’s print head cleaning procedure fails to get the ink flowing, you can manually clean the nozzles. Place your cartridge in a shallow dish or cup of hot water for five to ten minutes. You just need a bit of water to completely soak the nozzle.

If you have a significant blockage, wet a cotton bud in warm water and wipe it across the ink-dispensing region of the cartridge. When the ink begins to flow into the water, remove it.

Then, with the nozzles facing down, set the cartridge on moist paper towels. Allow at least two hours to pass. It is best to stay overnight. Replace the cartridge in your printer and repeat the self-cleaning process once it is totally dry.

Clean Nozzles with Rubbing Alcohol:

If hot water doesn’t work, rubbing alcohol can be used to clean the nozzles. Remove the cartridge from your printer and use a soft cloth or a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to gently clean the nozzles.

You may have to repeat this process a few times. Replace the cartridge in your printer once it has dried and tried the self-cleaning process again.

Clean Nozzles with Rubbing Alcohol


Now you have learned about can printer ink dry out over time? If you have many dried ink cartridges, a printer with a printhead built into the ink cartridge could be worth it. It means that if the printhead dries, all you have to do is change the cartridge, with no risk of the printer being damaged.

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