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Time to violently shake that cartridge again? Instead of getting frustrated when you realize that your efforts were frivolous, perhaps it’s time to consider prolonging this inevitable process? When considering longevity of ink cartridges there are a variety of things to consider such as price, print medium, and the ink itself. There can be confusion between ink and toner, but ink generally comes in liquid or powder forms. Let’s clear this up with some facts:

Liquid Ink

This is the ink type you will find in any typical ink cartridge; which consists of pigments and additives to control the appearance, thickness, and flow of the liquid.

Ink cartridges are possibly the most expensive and most replaced component of any type of printer. When the ink runs out, it usually has to be replaced and individuals have the choice between name brand, aftermarket, generic, and remanufactured options. A lot of the time, ink from generic brands and remanufactured companies are less expense and may have more actual ink. Consumers who print in small volumes would benefit from these types of ink options.

Powder Ink

This type of ink, better known as toner, is what makes up the laser toner cartridges that are heated by printers and then applied to paper.

Toner cartridges are generally used in printers that print a high volume of documents for various users. The life of a toner cartridge is usually much longer than an inkjet cartridge so it does not have to be changed as often. Also, laser printer ink generally tends to last longer because it does not have expiration dates and since the ink comes in a powder form there is no incidence of it drying out.

What Are The Experts Saying?

Many of them say that name-brand ink usually has the longest life because it was designed for a particular printer. For example, Lexmark and Kodak ink cartridges were ranked as the options that last the longest without affecting print quality. This suggests that even though you can save money by purchasing generic or remanufactured ink cartridges, it may not be the most practical if looking for options with a long life. If you want to adopt more eco-friendly practices, there are a variety of ways to determine how green your home office is:

Tips to Get the Longest Life Out of Your Printer Ink

There are a variety of simple ways to get the longest possible life out of your ink and toner cartridges.

Turn off the printer when it is not in use because the printer will slide the ink cartridges over to the side of the unit and the cartridges will be sealed and not exposed to air. Air exposure can lead to drying out faster.
Print regularly to reduce the incidence of the ink sitting too long in one position and hardening.
Avoid extreme temperatures because high variations of hot or cold can easily affect the longevity of printer ink.
Print in draft mode to reduce the amount of ink used and make it last longer.
Print in grayscale to only print in black and gray to save color ink.
Do not stop the printer in working mode because the cartridge could still be moving and this would cause the printer head to stop, which may lead to an ink leakage.
Keep printing even when the low ink warning pops up because most likely you can print many more pages before the cartridge actually runs out.

No matter what type of ink you decided to choose to meet your needs and last the longest, recycle any old cartridges by placing them in recycle bins. Many stores will even give you money off your next cartridge purchase when you recycle an old one.

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