Safely Storing Inkjet CartridgesFrom time to time, it may become necessary to store inkjet cartridges for an extended period of time. Yet, most of us have no idea how to properly store the cartridges so that once they are removed from storage they have a chance of regaining functionality. When a cartridge is unused for an extended period of time, the print heads can clog beyond repair. To avoid having to replace your cartridges, try following theses simple steps before storing:
1. Clean the outside of your cartridge. Wipe away excess ink built up on the print head.
2. Place your cartridge in a zip-style bag. If you have multiple cartridges, store them in separate bags.
3. Run a small sponge or paper towel under water and wring out the excess, leaving it only damp.
4. Place a damp sponge or towel in each zip-bag that you have placed a cartridge in.
5. Seal the bag and store in a cool and dark place.
By following these steps, your cartridge can usually remain in a functional state for 3-9 months, but you need to re-soak the sponge or towel every few weeks. If you plan on storing your cartridge for longer than 9 months, there is a possibility that the cartridge may fail once reinstalled. Storing an inkjet cartridge longer than 9 months, without use, will probably result in a clogged print head regardless of any precautions you take.
If your cartridges face shorter periods of inactivity, due to a vacation or sparse usage, the best idea is to just leave your cartridges in your printer, and your printer plugged in and powered on. Most printers will automatically run print head cleans every week or so to maintain the fidelity of print heads. These prevent the print heads from drying out, even though you are not printing.