Ink Cartridges Hack: 10 Tips for Extending Your Printer Ink

Posted by Alberto Palumbi on

Do you feel like you run out of printer ink way too soon. Read Ink Cartridges Hack: 10 Tips for Extending the Life of Your Printer Ink to solve your problem.

How often do you use the printer cartridges? Every day? Every few days?

If anything, it’s become a necessity nowadays. Imagine life without it—you’d have to copy out everything by hand!

There’s just one issue—printer ink can be expensive. Depending on the printer brands, a small color cartridge can easily cost you $40 or more. It might not even last that long either!

Looking for an color ink cartridges hack? Perhaps some tips on how you can use them for longer? If so, you’re on the right page! We’ll be going over a few things below.

Keep reading to learn more!

Ink Cartridges Hack: 10 Ways To Extend the Life of Your Ink

Don't want to spend so much money on ink? Here are a few ways that you can make your cartridges last longer:

1. Adjust Your Printer Settings 

You can save ink by adjusting your printer settings. For example, you can toggle the print quality level.

Consider using “Fast Normal” or “Draft Mode” if you're printing a document for your own use. The text will be lighter, but it’ll still be visible.

Another thing that you can do is change the printing preference to “Grayscale.” That will print everything in black and white, which will use less ink and save you money. 

2. Don't Worry If You Get a Low Ink Warning

Don’t panic if your printer gives you a low ink warning. Chances are, there’s still quite a bit left in the cartridge. In fact, some say that there's enough to print a hundred more pages!

When should you replace the ink cartridge? Wait until there are actual signs that the ink is running low (e.g. light or faded text) at this point you must replace your cartridge immediately to prevent the ink nozzles from drying out and damaging the print head. You should have a spare set of black ink cartridges and color inkjet cartridges on hand for you inkjet printer.

Keep in mind, however, that some printers might not let you print anything unless you switch out the cartridge. You can bypass this by covering the chip sensor with some tape!

3. Clean Your Printer Nozzle 

Cleaning the print nozzle can help extend the life of your ink cartridges. You can tell when it’s clogged because your documents will start to become faint.

The best way to clean it is by soaking it in warm distilled water. From there, wipe it dry with a cloth before putting it back in your printer.

Consider running a print test to make sure there are no issues afterward.

4. Make Use of the Print Preview Function

We’ve all done this before—you print something but it’s either the wrong page or in the wrong orientation. In situations like this, all you’re doing is wasting ink.

Fortunately, you can prevent this by taking advantage of the “Print Preview” function. Put it simply, it allows you to see what the page will look like before you print it.

You want to make sure that everything looks right before proceeding with the actual printing.

5. Consider the Font 

Believe it or not but you can actually save ink by changing your font. Here’s a tip—avoid those with thick letters and numbers. 

For example, you might want to use Times New Roman, Courier, or Helvetica—they're are all known for using little ink.

Don't forget, you can also set the typeface at a smaller point size as well!

6. Take Care of Your Ink Cartridges 

Ink cartridges are delicate. They can easily dry out if you leave them out in the open. Not to mention that the ink can also evaporate!

For this reason, you want to protect cartridges that are not in use. This means keeping new cartridges in their packaging until they’re ready to be used.

Don’t plan on using your printer for a while? Take the ink cartridge out and seal it in an airtight bag—that will prevent it from drying out.

7. Pay Attention to Image Resolution

You can extend the life of your cartridges by adjusting the image resolution. More specifically, you want to decrease the DPI—the lower your print quality, the less ink your printer uses, the high page yield resulting in a low printing cost per page.

Go into printer settings and see what it's pre-programmed to print at. In some cases, it might be between 200 to 300 DPI, which is overkill for most documents.

8. Turn Off the Printer When It's Not In Use 

Don’t leave the printer on if you’re not using it—that can cause the printhead to clog over time. There’s also a chance that the heat from the machine will dry out the ink in the cartridge.

Instead, you want to turn it on only when you need to print something.

9. Shake the Ink Cartridge

Just because your prints look faded, doesn’t mean that your cartridges are empty. Some of the ink might just be clogging the nozzle.

One way to clear the blockage is by gently shaking the cartridge. Once you’ve done that, insert it back into the printer. With a bit of luck, it’ll start printing like normal again.

10. Print "Printer-Friendly" Pages

Opt for “printer-friendly” pages whenever you’re printing from a website. Why? They’re optimized so that you won’t use as much ink per page. Not only that, but you'll save on paper too!

For example, most will eliminate ads, navigation bars, and other unnecessary things from the page.

Ink Extending Your Ink Cartridges 

And there we have it—10 ink cartridges hacks! As you can see, there are several ways to save ink when you're using your printer. Why use more when you can use less, right?

Looking for a new printer cartridges? Feel free to take a look at what we have available!

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  • It’s interesting to know that You can extend the life of your cartridges by adjusting the image resolution. More specifically, you want to decrease the DPI—the lower the number, the less ink your printer will use. My sister did the same thing by going into printer settings and seeing what it’s pre-programmed to print. In some cases, it might be between 200 to 300 DPI, which is overkill for most documents. I’ll share this with her later since we’re getting new ink cartridges. Thanks.

    Levi Armstrong on

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