Keep your inkjet printer running smoothly with this tip
Inkjet printers can be a nuisance for some people and they’re usually brilliant for a while after you buy them, but they stop working after a year or two. Why is that and what can you do? The answer is simple.
To state the obvious, inkjet printers contain ink and use nozzles to squirt it onto the paper. The ink head inside the printer contains tiny nozzles through which the liquid ink is ejected. It runs from left to right across the paper print, piece by piece.
If you use an inkjet printer regularly, you probably won’t have a problem. One that sits in a busy office or home can run for years and produce thousands of pages, all perfectly.
The biggest problem with inkjet printers is the ink drying up in the nozzles or nozzles. This can happen if the printer is not used for a long time. Home users are the most affected because they only print documents occasionally.
How long an inkjet printer can sit idle varies from model to model and ink to ink. I’ve had inkjet printers that stopped working after about three weeks. The following can happen:
In the week leading up to the holiday you have nothing to print, so the inkjet is not used. You’re going on vacation for two weeks and while you’re baking in the sun on the beach, the ink in the nozzles of the inkjet printer is drying at home.
When you get back from vacation, it takes a few days to get going and use the printer again. The result is that the inkjet goes unused for three weeks or more and can be deadly.
Once these nozzles become clogged with dried ink, you may never be able to clean them and the printer is broken forever.
Prevent the inkjet ink from drying out
- If a week goes by and you don’t use the printer, print something.
- Use it or lose it is the best advice.
- Print something the day before your vacation to keep the ink fresh in the nozzles.
What should be printed? Ideally something with all the colors in it. (Another way to clog the printer nozzles is to only print single color documents like letters – the colors will dry up).
There is a very easy way to do this using the Paint program in Windows. Press Windows + R and enter mspaint to start Paint. (Linux users can do something similar with a Linux paint program.)
Click either the Edit Colors button on the right or double-click a color (it depends on what version of Windows you have). This will bring up the Edit Colors window.
Hold Alt and press Prt Scr (it’s somewhere in the top right corner of the keyboard).
Close this Edit Colors window and press Ctrl+V to paste it into Paint.
Print it out now.
This image contains all the colors of the rainbow, so all ink cartridges will be used up. The image may appear large on screen, but it’s tiny on paper, measuring a couple of centimeters. This means it doesn’t use a lot of ink, which is expensive enough without wasting it.
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Printing this small image keeps the ink in the nozzles of the inkjet printer and only uses a small amount of ink.
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