Tips on How to Get More Ink Out of Printer Cartridge

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Nothing is worse for a printer owner than getting ready to print an important document, only to be stopped by an error sign on your printer’s touchscreen which states, “INK LEVELS LOW.” Not only does this mean that the user cannot print their document, they now have to spend money and buy more ink, even though it feels like they just bought a few ink cartridges not that long ago.

But just because the printer says that the ink cartridges are running low does not mean that there is no ink left. There is usually a small amount of ink left in the cartridge, but the printer will not recognize that amount. If the printer does not recognize the amount of ink left in the cartridge, it will not print any papers, even if the text or design is in black and white.

Without being able to print, the owner of the printer will have to order more ink. Not only will they have to spend their money when they don’t need to, the ink cartridge still has valuable ink inside!

If anyone finds themselves in this type of situation, there is something you can do. There are several tricks that a user can force their printer to acknowledge the ink inside the cartridge.

To learn about these tricks, keep on reading!

Six tricks every printer owner must know to get the most out of their ink cartridge.

The first handy tip every printer owner needs to know is how to reset the ink cartridge. There is a small hole on the back of every ink cartridge, and below the hole is the word reset.

To reset the ink cartridge, find a paperclip and unfold the end so that it sticks straight out. Then, guide the paperclip point into the reset hole and press down lightly. For some ink cartridges, there may feel a small click or bump when the cartridge is reset, but for other types of cartridges, there will be no obvious sign of resetting.

Resetting the ink cartridge with a paperclip should be the first solution you try out if you are trying to get more ink out of a printer cartridge. However, if that does not work, you might have to get a little experimental.

The second trick you can try is the heat trick. If the paper clip trick did not work, the next step to try is to warm up the cartridge slightly with a hairdryer or by placing it in front of a heater.

As the heat warms up the ink, the ink will flow through the cartridge and the top nozzle easier. Expose ink cartridges to heat for only a minute or so and do not submerge them in warm water or try to stick them in the oven or the microwave.

If none of these tricks have worked, then it is time to utilize a third method that has worked for every type of cartridge out there, whether it is an ink cartridge or a Nintendo 64 cartridge.

The cartridge must be shaken for several seconds. By shaking the cartridge, the ink at the bottom will listen and move around. Any dried specks of ink that are sitting inside the top nozzle will loosen so that the ink inside the cartridge will flow better.

Another way to save as much ink as possible is to clean the inside of your printer. Cleaning the printhead inside your printer will help remove any caked-on old ink that could be preventing sensors from detecting all of the ink in the cartridge.

See also: What is the best printer with the cheapest ink cartridges?

Like any other electronic device, our printers can get full of dust and crumbs. So cleaning it out and removing the dust and old ink will make it work better.

The age of the ink cartridge can affect the printer sensors. If you have had the cartridge for a long time, then it is possible that some of the ink dried up can no longer be used. Ink and toner do not expire, but they can dry up, and an ink cartridge can break.

If you had your ink cartridge for more than six months, it is more likely to dry out past this point, especially if you leave the printer on.

Be sure to write the installation date on your ink cartridge on the day that you place it into the printer. This will help you know when it is time to get a new cartridge.

Quick note: another way to save the amount of ink your printer is using from the moment you install a brand new cartridge is to lower the quality of your printer’s ink to draft level.

This can be done in the printer settings. Printer companies make the default of the print quality at the highest level possible because it depletes the ink faster, and then the customer has to buy more ink. It is just a way of boosting sales.

If you still have your printer manuals, consult them and go to the section on lowering default quality to draft. This option is usually accessible through the preferences section in print quality.

If you mostly print text documents with your printer, then this is a great option to set your printer to. Just be sure to set it back if you need to print a design or document, and you need a higher quality print.


Hopefully, one of these tricks will work for you so you can get your money’s worth out of your ink cartridges. But there is another thing that you can do to preserve your ink and keep it from drying out.

When you are done using your printer, turn it off. When a printer shuts down, it will remove the ink cartridge from its in-use position, and the nozzles won’t stay open. As a printer owner, you must do everything you can to spend as little money as possible on ink! So always remember to turn off your printer when you are not using it!

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