Removing Dried Ink From Your Cartridge Head

By: Ellen Davidson

Companies from Hewlett Packard (HP) to Epson to Canon and many others have all now come out with what is known as recycled cartridges. These recycled inkjet cartridges are essentially the types of cartridge that you can either refill yourself at home or alternatively cartridges that you can send in to companies like Hewlett-Packard for them to refill themselves. Hewlett-Packard inkjet cartridges nowadays for example are usually going to be refillable simply because the cost of HP inkjet cartridges has gone up so much that it really is not worth buying a new cartridge each time the printer inks run out.

One of the problems that people sometimes run into when they have printer cartridges that are very old and have been refilled a number of times is a problem related to dried ink clogging the cartridge up. This has two negative effects on the print job as a whole. The first negative effect that it has is to obviously clog the cartridges up so that the ink that is coming out does not get distributed in an even fashion across the page and what eventually happens there is streaking and uneven sections of ink density on the printed page. The second negative effect is that if the dried ink is dried in clumps along the bottom of the cartridge head, then what you are going to see is that it might even cause small rips in the paper because of the friction caused by the contract between the ink and the page itself.

Ultimately, removing dried ink from your cartridge head is not a difficult thing to do. What you want to do is get a bowl of hot water and immerse the ink cartridge head into that bowl of hot water for a few minutes. The hot water will act on the dried ink and release it, causing the ink to flow into the water and away from the cartridge. After the ink has been released and you don't see anything new being added to the water for a few seconds, you can then remove the cartridge from the water and dry it using a cotton swab.

Once that's done, what you can then do is install the cartridge back into your printer and run the cleaning utility that comes as part of printer software packages in today's world. You might have to run it a number of times before you get back the quality that you are after, but eventually you will find that the quality of the printing should go back to the levels it was at before you encountered the dried ink problems.

Ultimately, you might find that the cartridge head is destroyed. If that turns out to be the case, then you are going to have to invest in a new cartridge.

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