SmartInk blog

Top 10 Problems with Printer Cartridges & How to Solve Them

Today, we’ll teach you how to fix printer ink problems that you may encounter while using your home or office printer. We hope this will help you in your printing journey!

I get the ink cartridge not recognized error.

First, try to remove your cartridge and gently, with a dry lint-free cloth, wipe the contacts on the cartridge and carriage to remove any dirt that has built up during use. Then put it back in the slot and continue printing.

If this doesn’t help, there may be several reasons.

  • You ordered the wrong cartridge model. Double-check if it is compatible with your printer, or contact our Customer Care Team to ask for assistance.
  • Cartridge chip is faulty or out-of-date. This never happens to Smart Ink cartridges as we use the newest chip technology, but it can be the case for some low-quality ink companies.

My printouts have white stripes and/or other spots.

The most common reason for that is print head clogging. To improve the situation, you may start a cleaning cycle on your printer (make sure to see the manual for a reference). We recommend our customers running a couple of cleaning cycles before installing a cartridge if they switch to a new ink producer.

If you have a combined color cartridge with three colors in one block, the chances are high that the print heads are a part of the cartridge, and you can just replace the inks. Yet, if that’s not the case, you might need to change the print heads or even the printer itself.

I always get a Non-Original Ink error, it’s so annoying! 

Probably, you are using an HP or Canon printer that gets too sensitive when you install compatible cartridges 🙂

To remove this error message, press the Resume, Stop/Reset, or Start button and then you can carry on printing.

I’m getting the “Ink Cartridge not detected” message. What should I do?

Don’t worry, this is also one of the common ink cartridges problems for Canon printers. 

If the printer is reporting that only one cartridge has this error, turn off the printer and take out the faulty cartridge. Inspect the contact pins and if any of them is slightly bent, repair it so that it’s easily connected to the cartridge chip. Then gently, with a dry lint-free cloth, wipe the contacts on the cartridge and printer and put the ink back to the slot.

If you get an error across the whole set, check if you have ordered the right set of cartridges for your printer. If everything is okay, try finding a faulty cartridge. For that, remove all cartridges, reinstall the old (empty) cartridges you used before and restart the printer.

Install one of the new cartridges, and keep installing them one-by-one until the error returns. When the problem cartridge is detected, inspect the pins, fix them, and keep printing.

The cartridge is leaking, how can I fix this?

Sometimes, when your printer doesn’t work properly, the main cause may be a leak. If you see a bit of ink on your cartridge, try reinstalling it to fix the problem. The thing is that some cartridges may not form a good seal when you put them in the slot, so the air gets in and stops them from working properly. If this happens, simply remove the cartridge and put it back again – this should help.

I don’t know how to remove the cartridges – it’s kinda scary!

Don’t worry, we’ve got you! Removing and installing Smart Ink cartridges is easier than changing a light bulb.

First, turn your printer on and open the cartridge access door. Wait until the carriage stops moving, then press down on the old ink cartridge and remove it from the slot. And voila! You may proceed with installing your fresh inks.

When I print, I get a duplicate of the pic on other documents!

Well, this is a spooky printing world. This kind of issue is called ghosting.

For instance, you’ve printed a picture of your kids, and it turned out great, but then your husband was printing documents and got a duplicate of the photo over the text. Usually, this means that the drum of your cartridge is too old and weary and has to be replaced. In some cases, this can also be explained by an insufficient power supply.

All my prints look faded.

There are two main factors that might have influenced your print quality:

  • You may be using a draft/eco mode of your printer. Check out your printer settings and if this is the case, just switch it off and return to normal printing.
  • You are running out of ink. If the cartridges are almost empty, the print quality will get worse. Make sure to order a new set of inks in advance, and you’ll be able to change them anytime.

I get Low Toner errors, though I’ve changed it recently.

We know it can be really annoying when you get such an error all the time. The reason may be that toner gets stuck to the walls of the cartridge, and your printer decides that it’s time to replace it. What you can do is take your cartridge out of the printer and gently shake it to distribute toner equally. Then, put it back into the slot and enjoy printing!

I’m running out of ink too fast, though I don’t print that much.

There may be several reasons for this issue, but the most common one is that some manufacturers start putting less ink to raise their profit. Or you are simply buying standard-sized cartridges that do not last long.

If you don’t want to pay too much but still want to enjoy high-quality print, try Smart Ink. We offer different sizes of cartridges, including XXL ones, which will definitely last long. Besides, our compatible cartridges are very affordable and will help you save some money on what matters most! Don’t think hard, think smart with Smart Ink!

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