How to safely store open inkjet cartridges

8. October 2012 06:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments

Canon MP560 ink - CLI-221BK Black Ink Cartridge

With many modern inkjet printers, there's no need to switch ink tanks between different types of print jobs. However, there are still models out there that require you to switch to different kinds of ink depending on what's being printed. For example, you may need to use special ink when printing photos. This may seem like a hassle, but it actually results in exceptional prints when done correctly. One major drawback is that it requires you to open new inkjet cartridges, use them for awhile and then switch back to regular ink. Until they're needed again, what should you do with them? Learn some handy tips below.

When is it Necessary to Switch Between Inks?

If you primarily use your printer to print documents and things like that, or if you mostly use it to print photos, you'll hardly even have to switch between different types of ink. When you do need a different kind of ink though, how should you handle the situation? If you only need to print a few photos and then switch back to regular ink, isn't your photo ink cartridge going to go bad? It doesn't have to, and there are a few different ways to keep that from happening.

Risks of Storing Open Inkjet Cartridges

It's generally best to keep backup inkjet cartridges unopened until they're needed. If you have to open them and then store them again, you need to be careful about how you do so. If you don't take the appropriate measures, your inkjet cartridge could dry out and go to waste. After spending so much money on your inkjet cartridges, you'd probably like to squeeze every last drop of use out of them. The main thing you need to worry about is drying out your cartridges, but the following techniques will prevent that.

Plastic Food Containers

The first thing to know is that you should only store one cartridge per container. If you're storing a color inkjet cartridge, place it in a plastic food container with its metal side facing down. If you're storing a black inkjet cartridge, place it in a plastic food container with the metal side facing up. You will need a piece of sponge or a piece of towel as well. Get the sponge or towel wet, but wring it out well so that it's only slightly damp. Seal it in the container with the cartridge. It will keep the cartridge from drying out while it's being stored.

Plastic Baggies

If you don't have any plastic food containers handy, you can also use a plastic baggie with a zipper closure. Just make sure that it seals shut completely. The goal is to keep air from drying out the cartridge. As with the plastic food container, you will need to place a damp piece of sponge or towel inside too. However, you can position the cartridge however you'd like. It doesn't matter if it's a color inkjet cartridge or a black inkjet cartridge.

Where to Place the Containers or Baggies

Finally, you should find a safe and secure place to store the baggies or food containers. They should be kept in a place that is relatively dark. Don't let them come into contact with direct sunlight. They should also be stored in a place that is cool. If need be, keep them in the refrigerator. From time to time, check to make sure that the towel or sponge is still damp. If it's getting too dry, go ahead and wet it again. If you're not careful, the cartridge could dry out despite being stored carefully. With these tips in mind though, your inkjet cartridges should be ready for use the next time you need them.   

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