Printing at home is extremely fun – you can be creative, get to choose your own color scheme, settings, and so much more. And even if you only print plain text, you can still enjoy the process.
However, every printer owner knows about the biggest downside of printing at home – the ink cost. Unfortunately, even though printers are relatively cheap these days, cartridges cost a fortune, sometimes even more than a printer itself.
The reason for such sky-high prices is a regular business strategy of the major manufacturers. The thing is, they choose to make money on consumables rather than on printers since they can make a faster profit this way. Is it fair? Not really. But the good thing is that you can learn how to get more ink out of a printer cartridge, thus prolonging the life of your cartridges and saving funds.
How many pages can your cartridge print?
There are several factors that influence how many pages you can print with your new ink cartridges.
First, there’s the model of the printer you use. Usually, they get updated every couple of years, so the number of pages they can print will change as well. Earlier, we conducted research that illustrated such a difference over time.
See for yourself: “Let’s compare, for example, two HP printers released with a 5-year difference. HP DeskJet F2400 that uses 60XL inks can produce up to 600 black and white copies and 450 color ones. Meanwhile, the HP OfficeJet 7500A, which uses 920XL cartridges, makes 1200 black and white copies and 700 color ones only from one ink cartridge with Smart Ink”. Read on here.
Second, the type of printing plays an essential role, too. Depending on whether you choose black and white or color printing, your ink consumption will vary. So if you’d like to get more ink out of a cartridge, printing in grayscale or B&W mode might help.
Third, pay attention to the type of cartridges you choose. The manufacturer, cartridge type, and capacity are the key factors when it comes to ink consumption. And if you are wondering how to extend printer ink cartridges, these are the main things you should take into consideration.
How to get more ink out of a cartridge
Now that you understand what aspects influence the longevity of your cartridges, let’s get to know how to extend printer ink. There are many ways to do so, including printer maintenance, choosing the right type of cartridges, and even playing with your printer settings.
We strongly recommend studying all the tips we are adding below so that you can try them and choose the ones that work personally for you. Let us remind you that they work best as a complex solution, so if you stick to only one or two ideas, you might not see the expected results.
Save ink with economical printing
- Print in draft mode.
Don’t be hesitant to change your printer settings to serve your purpose. If you need to print some less important documents or notes, choose the Draft mode or Economic mode as it’s called in other printer models. This way, your printer will use less ink, allowing you to save a bit on what’s more important. And please don’t forget to turn it off as soon as you’re done printing so that you don’t get stuck with it next time.
- Avoid large fonts, bold text, and other unnecessary styling.
Large and fancy fonts, as well as bold text, require more ink. That’s why you might consider restyling and reformatting your documents before printing them, especially when it comes to less important text for personal use. We recommend you pay attention to the Arial font group since it’s one of the simplest and most popular options.
- Proofread before printing.
Similar to our previous advice, proofreading might help you get rid of all the unnecessary text, leaving you with a clean copy that will take less space and require less ink. So if you want to know how to get more ink out of a cartridge, start proofreading! You’ll avoid re-printing information and save yourself some ink.
- Use grayscale or B&W mode.
If you want to avoid color printing to save some of your color ink for later, you should consider printing in grayscale or black and white. You can find such options in printer settings on your computer or on the printer display.
- Print multiple pages per sheet.
Another setting that you might use when printing drafts or personal prints is the possibility to print several pages per sheet of paper. Usually, you can find such a field in Document options, but it may vary depending on your printer and computer.
- Disregard printer errors until the cartridges are truly empty.
When printing, you may often encounter an error warning about low ink. The thing is that some printers start sending such messages far too early, making you buy more products. So here is one more tip on how to get more ink from a printer cartridge. Ensure to rely on the quality of prints rather than printer warnings – if your printouts are streaky and blurry, it’s time to change cartridges.
Please make sure to replace your ink cartridges when they are truly empty. Printing with a depleted cartridge can melt your printhead and cause irreversible damage to your printer.
Take good care of your printer and cartridges
- Store your cartridges properly when not in use.
If you have a spare set of cartridges at home, store them correctly to prevent them from drying out or getting damaged. You should keep cartridges in plastic cases with the orange protective cap or yellow tape to keep them safe. Besides, store them in a dry, dark space, at moderate temperature and out of reach of children.
- Use your printer at least once a week.
If you are wondering how to get more ink out of your cartridge, don’t skip regular printing. Consider using your printer once a week to keep your installed cartridges from drying out. This will also prevent your printheads from clogging too often.
- Avoid clogging, clean your printheads regularly.
Regularly run your printer’s printhead cleaning feature to wick out any dried ink and prevent clogging. This can be easily done automatically from the Printer maintenance section of your printer, or you can do it manually in several different ways. Find out more about printhead clogging and how to avoid it in this extensive article.
- Clear the nozzles of your cartridges.
To help the rest of the ink come out of the cartridge freely, you might clean the nozzles of your cartridges. This can be done with a clean and dry paper towel or a hairdryer (by blowing the nozzles with hot air).
Other tips on how to use all the ink in a cartridge
- Only print when you need.
This advice might seem too simple and generic, but we cannot skip it. Please make sure to print only those photos and documents that you need – this will help you save some funds on ink, as well as save our planet.
- Use print preview.
Preview all images and prints before pressing the Print button to see if they fit the page correctly and won’t drain your ink.
- Use remanufactured ink cartridges.
Remanufactured cartridges are as good as the original inks since they are produced similarly. Old cartridges are collected, cleaned, checked and tested for any errors and vulnerabilities, then filled with fresh ink and tested again. They are packed and delivered worldwide so that you can print whatever you need while saving your money and taking care of the environment. They are an affordable, high-quality solution for those who care about themselves and the planet.
- Shake cartridges to evenly distribute the ink.
When you start getting faded or streaky prints, it might mean two things: your cartridges are running empty, or some of the ink has dried up and is clogging the nozzles. Here’s how to get the most out of ink cartridges and prolong the life of your inks – try flipping your cartridge upside down and shaking it gently. But don’t be too harsh on it so that you don’t damage the cartridge itself.
- Choose higher yield cartridges.
Most manufacturers provide several ink options for your type of printer. Some of them even include XL and XXL cartridges. So if you’d like to enjoy printing for a long time without getting to worry about new inks, consider buying the most high-yield cartridges in the product line.
Use the right ink cartridges
If you wonder how to get extra ink out of a cartridge, maybe the problem is the cartridge itself. Try getting high-yield compatible cartridges made by Smart Ink – they are affordable and provide high-quality prints. This way, you can enjoy printing while saving money on what’s more important for you and your loved ones.
Besides, Smart Ink cartridges help you print approximately 12 times more sheets for the price of an original cartridge.[/vc_column_text]