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Cartridges are major components of an inkjet printer that smear the ink onto the paper in a specific pattern to produce a text or image. Under the cartridge are several microscopic nozzles that eject the ink in a precise volume and mix to produce various colors on the paper. Any failure in the cartridges can stop the printing function altogether and this can be caused due to a variety of reasons. Drying out of ink cartridges is a common problem that prevents printing. It causes the ink to clot inside the cartridges and prevents them from ejecting via the nozzles.
There are several reasons why ink cartridges tend to get dried up and interfere with the normal printing function. If the printer is not used frequently, it can result in the cartridges to become dried up fast. One way to fix this issue is by running the printer at least once in a week and do some nozzle cleans and test printouts.
The drying up and clogging of the nozzle heads is another factor. A printer cartridge has an expiration date and continues using them after the intended date can cause it to malfunction. Refilling cartridges can also result in the air to get trapped inside that causes the ink to dry up fast. The temperature of the room is also known to affect the ink inside the cartridges.
The first step to resolve a dried ink cartridge is by executing the print head cleaning function using the computer. It can clear any blocks in the nozzles and thus allow the free flow of ink needed for printing. Run a test print and verify whether there are any faded areas or misplaced colors in the print.
If the cartridge is still not functioning properly, detach it from the print head gently and soak it in warm water. The warm water can actually cause the dried up ink to get loosened and thus flow correctly from the nozzle. Gently rubbing the portion of the nozzles with a cotton swab immersed in warm water is also recommended.
Repeat this action until the ink comes out of the nozzles. Wipe away any excess ink using a paper towel and then attach it back to the printer head. Run a test print to inspect whether the cartridge is functioning normally. It is better to replace the ink cartridge if the issue persists.