Can ink cartridges dry out? Here’s how to fix them

Let’s cut to the chase: when it comes to ink cartridges, we’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is that yes, ink cartridges can dry out. The good news however, is that when this happens, you can easily fix them.


Before attempting to fix dry ink cartridges, it’s important that we understand what might cause ink cartridges to dry. There are a few ways this could happen:

Less usage

If you use your printer infrequently, then chances are the ink cartridges will dry out rather quickly and end up getting clogged. This can easily be avoided by using the printer more frequently and performing regular cleanups to ensure everything is in order.

Expired cartridges

Every ink cartridge comes with an expiration date. When this expiration date arrives, the cartridge will become unusable. We recommend always keeping a note of your ink cartridge expiration dates and requesting an order at least a week in advance.

Incorrect storage conditions

You should always ensure that your cartridges are stored safely in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. This also means the cartridges need to be kept at a stable temperature. If not, it can affect its performance and result in a dry ink cartridge. 

Manually refilling cartridges

The refilling process needs to be carried out properly as it could potentially let air into the cartridge. This would only dry up the ink and clog the nozzle heads. This is why you should always go for reliable manufacturers such as Brother, Canon or Lanier.

How to fix dried ink cartridges

1. Run the printhead cleaning option in your printer settings

You can find this in your computer’s printer settings. You’ll typically find this titled under ‘maintenance’, ‘troubleshooting or something similar. If you’re not sure about the process, you can refer to the user manual for instructions. Once you run the settings, the printer will attempt to print a test page. This will determine if any nozzles are blocked and if any of them need cleaning.


Afterwards, run a ‘head clean’ 3 or 4 times. It should be noted that this may fix only some cartridges.   

2. Soak the cartridges

Open your printer and take out the dry ink cartridges. Place them in a medium-sized bowl. Fill it with lukewarm water and soak the cartridges. Ensure that the nozzles are completely covered.

3. Clean the cartridges

Using a cleaning cloth or a cotton bud, wipe through the nozzle entrance. If you don’t see ink starting to flow into the water, soak the cartridges for a few minutes and try again.

4. Fix them back to your printer or go for a replacement

If the above process fixed your cartridges, you can place them back in the printer. Remember to dry the cartridges to remove the water before fixing them back in place.


If you’re still having dry ink cartridge issues, then perhaps it’s time for you to go for a new ink cartridge. Here at Toner City, we source some of the best brands in the market with prominent names like Dell, HP, Lexmark, Epson, Ricoh and more.   

Talk to the experts

Toner City has been proudly serving the Australian market for over a decade. We specialise in ink cartridges, toner cartridges and labels. 

Still not sure how to fix your dry ink cartridge problem? Reach out to our team and we’ll be happy to assist you with your queries. Call us on 1300 330 242 or reach us via our contact page.

Are refillable ink cartridges a good choice?

It’s an age-old dilemma and it’s one that gets asked a lot. When it comes to whether refillable ink cartridges are worth it, there are pros and cons that you need to be aware of in order to make an educated choice. Thankfully, Toner City is here to help and offer our professional opinions. Here’s what you need to know about refillable ink cartridges.

The case for refillable ink cartridges

Lower costs

Purchasing new ink cartridges every time you run out of ink is a costly and time-consuming endeavour. Comparatively, purchasing refillable ink cartridges would be a low-cost alternative. While the initial cost may be higher for a refillable ink cartridge, the cost savings are much higher in the long run. 

Environment-friendly choice

Perhaps the most notable benefit of going with a refillable ink cartridge is its environment-friendly aspect. Ink cartridges are made of plastic and every time you get a new one, you need to throw away the old cartridge. This will only increase plastic wastage. Refilling your cartridges cuts this wastage down significantly. 

Better availability

Contrary to what you might think, buying a new cartridge isn’t that easy at times. The cartridge you’re looking for might be out of stock or it might not be in production anymore. This means you might have to go for a new printer altogether. Getting a refillable ink cartridge saves you this trouble.  


Why you shouldn’t go for refillable ink cartridges

Quality of ink

One downside of using refillable ink cartridges is that you’re dependent on the quality of the ink you use. This becomes problematic when you’re in need of high-quality printouts on a regular basis. A substandard refilled ink may even impact the durability of the printer itself. This is where buying genuine products is important. You wouldn’t want your Canon or Epson ink cartridges to wear out when you need them the most.  

Longevity of the printer

Every refillable ink cartridge has a limited lifespan. This means that you can only refill ink up to a certain limit. You’ll find that there are a number of options available in the market when it comes to refillable ink cartridges. Not all of them are compatible with your printer and not all of them guarantees durability. This could adversely affect your printer’s lifespan over a long period.   

Can get messy

Despite the convenience, constantly refilling the ink cartridges can be a messy process. Especially if you’re planning to do it by yourself. While you may likely end up staining your hands or your work area with ink, you could also end up clogging the printer head or experience leakages. It’s always a good idea to consult an experienced professional service to get your printer cartridges refilled.

Is refilling ink cartridges a good idea?

The biggest advantage of getting a refillable ink cartridge is that it helps the environment while reducing costs. On the other hand, using an unreliable ink cartridge can spell trouble for your printer. Hence why you should always go for a trusted supplier when going for refillable ink cartridges.

Where can you find genuine ink cartridges?

Toner City has been proudly serving the Australian market for over a decade. Our catalogue of products includes ink cartridges for popular printer brands such as Brother, Canon, Lexmark, Epson, Dell, HP, and Lanier, to name a few. 


Still undecided? Reach out to our team and we’ll be happy to assist you with your queries. Call us on 1300 330 242 or reach us via our contact page.

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