GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR INKJET CARTRIDGE
How do I maximize the life of my Inkjet cartridges?
To get the longest life out of your inkjet cartridges (and your printer), you should do the following:
1) Prevent your inkjet cartridges from drying out. If you are going to go on vacation for an extended period the Ink Cartridge left in you printer may dry out. Think of it just like leaving the lid off a paint tin, eventually the ink will thicken and cause blocking to your print-heads. Take the time to remove these cartridges before you leave. Make sure you follow the instructions provided by your original printer manufacturers manual before you do this. Wrap them in plastic and place in your refrigerator until you arrive back. Make sure that you use your maintenance software when you do re-install them to clean and prime the heads again. You should print using the colour and black print out at least once in 2-3 weeks, but preferably once a week. If the cartridge is already dried out, do not use it to print, it will damage the print head with heat. You can clean the print head of the cartridge
2) Cleaning Water Based Cartridge Print Heads:
If you think your print head is blocked, then there is a simple procedure to clean it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGKFg0r7CXc Don’t forget to run the print head cleaning mechanism as described in your printer manual before using it again
3) Cleaning Pigment / Oil Based Ink Cartridge Print Heads:
For some oil bases pigment inks you may have to use isopropyl alcohol instead of warm water. (follow above water based cartridge maintenance instructions)
4) Cleaning My Printer?
You should be aware that you have to maintain your printer on a regular basis to ensure consistent print quality. On most printer models you will notice that when you change ink cartridges or when you first turn your printer on the printer goes through what is known as a Print Head Cleaning Procedure. For the life of your printer this will happen hundreds of times. You may not have noticed that while this automatic head cleaning and alignment is taking place that old ink and paper residue is being dumped into a holding bin usually a small plastic container situated towards the right hand side of the printer under the lid. This is where your printer head sits while parked and not in use. If this Ink Dump Area gets over loaded, or generally un-maintained instead of cleaning your printer cartridges is does quite the contrary, it clogs them up with old ink and paper dust, a sticky residue almost like a Crude Oil blocks the tiny pores in your fragile print head and results poor printed output which shows print banding or print discolouration. In severe cases complete print-head blockage has been noted.
The Solution: Maintain your printer by cleaning the Print Dump Container and the Cartridge Parking area. Use a cotton bud ear cleaner and some Isopropyl alcohol. Make sure that you remove as much old ink as you can, but before doing anything make sure that all electrical power has been switched off and that you are working in an environment suitable for the job in hand.