Does printer ink evaporate?

Does printer ink evaporate?

Yes, it does even when you are not using your printer. Printer ink is designed to dry faster on paper so that it does not cause smudges. You can lose small ounces of ink when you poke holes into the printer cartridges for refills. You also lose ink when you unplug your printer without turning it off first. Most people will refill their cartridges by poking a small hole in the foil. When you do this so often you will have perforated the ink cartridge so much that the ink lose due to evaporation is noticeable.

Most of the consumer inks in the market consists of a mixture of glycol base, water and various chemical pigments. Evaporation leads to a larger concentration of pigments and this makes you ink thicker.

How to prevent printer ink from drying up

Use your printer occasionally

One simple way to prevent your printer ink from drying up is to use your printer at least one per week. Clogged cartridge nozzles contribute a lot to ink waste. When you are using your printer regularly then you keep the ink flowing and this prevents clogging.

Proper storage of cartridges

While it is advisable to store spare ink cartridges for those times when you run low on ink it is also important that you know how to properly store ink cartridges. If you are storing cartridges it is important you store them in an upright position. If you store them sideways or any other way then you cause the ink to lean towards one side. This will cause problems when using the cartridges. It is also equally important that you know how to store ink properly. This should be a dark and dry area. The ink cartridge should be stored at room temperature. Too much heat or cold will result in poor quality ink.

Keep cartridges sealed at all time

One obvious way to cause your ink to dry is to leave your cartridges open. The seal should only be opened when you actually intend to use the cartridge. In case, you leave the seal open you can put the cartridge nozzle inside a sealed plastic tub. Then use its clip or protective taping before placing it. Once done put a paper towel  or clean, damp cloth or inside the tab. Check the paper towel or damp cloth occasionally to ensure it is still wet. Remember to store the cartridge somewhere dark and cool.

Ensure you operate at the right temperature

While it is advised that you store your ink cartridges in a dark and cool room it is also important that during printing you ensure that the operating temperature of the room you are working in is at normal room temperature.

Reactivating dried out cartridges

Sometimes it is impossible to do any print jobs and the ink cartridges will dry out. You will note that the nozzles have dried out hence they are unable to deliver any ink for print. Once you remove the obstruction you should be able to start printing again.

For some printers like the HP the printer will automatically fire a small amount of ink from the nozzle so as to clean out the head nozzle. This prevents it from clogging. It is for this reason that the company recommends that you allow your printer to complete the process of shutdown and complete startup.

Ways to prevent ink from evaporating

Clogged heads
Make use of your printer at least weekly. This keeps the ink flowing into the nozzle heads. For advanced printers turn on the printer occasionally so as to spray a small jet of ink from the nozzle and prevent clogging
Bad printer ink
How you store your ink matters. Store cartridges in cool and dark rooms. The room should not be too hot or cold. Cartridges should be stored in an upright position and not sideways. Store your ink inside a box to prevent dust accumulation
Unsealed cartridges
Your unused cartridges should remain sealed unless you are using them. If not put your cartridge nozzle inside a sealed plastic tub.

Moisturize the cartridges often

How to fix clogged nozzle heads
Use the inkjet printer automatic cleaning cycle


If you have an existing clogged printer head you should try cleaning it instead of purchasing a new cartridge. You can unclog one via using the printer’s automatic cleaning cycle. To activate this go to the printer’s control panel and click printer properties. You will then be prompted to initiate a procedure that will soften, discharge excess ink and remove clogs on the printer head. Choose the deep cleaning procedure. If this does not fail you will need to use the manual cleaning approach. For the printer head you often have two types – one with a detachable head and one without. When cleaning the printer heads avoid any exposure you may come into contact with the ink. Wear gloves and any other protective clothing. Wiping off the dried ink with a paper towels will do the trick.


Printing ink is expensive and since there are capable of evaporating it is important that you use your cartridges occasionally. This prevents the ink from drying up. It is also important you follow proper cartridge storage by putting them in a dark room that is neither cold or hot.


How long does it take for cartridge ink to dry up?

If you do not turn off your printer completely then the print heads will dry up and seal within 30 minutes. When this happens, you may find yourself disposing off the cartridge entirely hence losing your money or you incur expensive attempts to unclog your cartridge heads.

Why is it important to allow your printer to shut down completely?

This is because your printer automatically fires small amounts of ink that has been on the nozzle head and this unclogs the heads. This is why it is important to allow the printer to go through the whole process of startup and shutdown

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Allen Scott
Allen Scott is a technophile and has been handling tech gadgets for over 10years. According to Allen, most people are not aware of the new technologies developed that they can adopt to boost production in their respective industries. Businesses are still using old technological equipment that are less efficient and repair intensive. The above is the reason why Allen came up with comprehensive excerpts on different types of technological gadgets. So, as we move deeper into the techworld, it is important that the developed technologies be fully utilized. The Future is tech and the earlier everyone embraces this idea, the more fulfilling and efficient their lives will be. The above goes for both the developer and equipment user. Allen is a father to one and a husband, he loves traveling and during his free time, he loves to unravel the mysteries behind the development of the various tech gadgets.