I don't use printers often, and its ink may dry out. I don't want to waste the ink, and I don't want to pay a lot of money for resupplying it too often.
How can I prevent printer ink to dry?

  • My personal solution was to buy a Laser printer, which I recently replaced by a Led printer, the cost used to be much higher but the recent versions are almost as cheap as inkjet printers and much less 'ink' replacement cost.'
    – Willeke
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 18:35
  • superuser.com/q/818661/269574
    – user1869
    Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 2:07

5 Answers 5


If you use a printer very infrequently, then remove the cartridge(s) and place them in the smallest air-tight container (e.g. a tight-sealing jar or heavy-duty zipper-closure bag). Many printers, though, upon replacing a cartridge and restarting, go through a brief self-cleaning cycle, which uses up some ink.

BTW, printer re-inking kits are a great way to save the cost of replacing the entire cartridge. If you go that route, be sure to get a compatible kit that includes a device to reset the cartridge, if required.


I cover the nozzle of the cartridge with a piece of painter's tape.

What kind of printer? I recall hqving HPs that had the jets integrated with the cartridge. But Epsons have a permanent print head with the cartridges just being tanks.

In the latter case, you hqve mechanisms in the printer itself that suffer from disuse.

A cheap laser printer is probably best for "occasional" use. A style like the HP, with carts removed and hermetically sealed, would be OK for a cheap color printer. The kind with internal plumbing needs to be used or undergo a laborious cleaning process.


I have had great success by putting cellophane sandwich wrap around the cartridge put it in a small container and store it on the top shelf of the refrigerator. When it's time to print I'll take it out a couple hours prior and it's good to go


Easy tips to avoid ink drying out

  1. Most of you must be facing the problem of ink drying out. For this store an ink cartridge in an airtight or zip-lock plastic bag. Keep it in a cool and dry place. Do not let it expose it to the sunlight and heat.
  2. Keep the cartridges in the head down position. It will keep it moist and will help prevent cross-contamination of colors.
  3. Do not let the cartridges touch any electronic parts. It will damage and disrupt printer and cartridge connection. Do not use plastic container for color ink cartridges when you will bring them to the refilling stations. To prevent cross contamination of colors, use the original box or cover the print head with a paper towel.
  4. Carefully remove and insert the ink cartridge in the printer and from the printer. Circuit board might get damaged if you force the cartridge in and out.
  5. last but not the least, even after doing all this, if you are left with changing the cartridges search for the best compatible toner cartridges suppliers. If you don’t get the equal or better quality of the cartridge it is likely to damage the printer.
  • A paper towel will wick the ink out, empying it and making a mess!
    – JDługosz
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 12:38

Solution is simple, just use the ink cartridges every week. at least print something, like a photo or a word document.. ink nowadays are more affordable, much affordable than buying a new inkjet if you are trying to save up on ink by not printing much :)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.