How to Keep an Ink Cartridge From Drying Out

By Laurie Rappeport

If you have an inkjet cartridge in your printer you may look for ways to save money on the ink, as the cartridges can prove expensive. Surprisingly, once you have installed your cartridge in your printer, you will waste money if you don't print a page or two every few days because infrequent use will cause the cartridge to dry out. If you don't need to print every few days, you can preserve your ink cartridge through preventative care and management.

Things You'll Need

  • ink cartridge
  • tape
  • air-tight plastic bags

Step 1

Remove your ink cartridges from your printer if you plan to travel or feel confident that you won't need to print anything for at least a few weeks. Follow the directions for removal provided in your printer's manual or from the printer manufacturer's website. Remove the color cartridges as well as the black ink cartridges.

Step 2

Place tape over the breather holes; these are the openings along the cartridge's top edge (usually). This helps to seal the moisture in the cartridge and prevents the cartridge from drying out while in storage..

Step 3

Put each cartridge in a separate air-tight bag. Ziploc bags work well for this stage. Label the bags with the color and the date.

Step 4

Store the cartridges in their air-tight bags in your refrigerator. The tape covering the breathing holes and the air-tight bags prevent the cartridges from drying out from exposure to air. The cold air of the refrigerator reduces the possibility of the ink's color degrading.