How long the inks can last in Inkjet printer before they are dried and not usable

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I saw some quite low price deals on some of color inkjet printers last few days, like the $9.99 brother in Office Depot. I did not pull the trigger to buy any as I am not sure how long the inks can last, not because of used but those unused inks will dry up.

Typically in a household, we don't print something everyday, so I believe the inks will be dried after a few days not used.  Does anybody have any experience, or do we have any way to prevent the inks from drying?

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I've had various models of Canon printers and they go at least a week between printing and not dry up to the point of needing the print head cleaned.  When I had an Epson many years ago it needed cleaning if I don't print for 2-3 days.

My HP with 02 cartridges can go a year...

My older Brother inkjet (MFC-240C) performs a daily cleaning, even when not turned on. Depending on the printer, some rest the print heads on a pad to prevent drying out, others pump ink from tanks to the print head only as needed.

The bigger problem is rarely the ink drying up, but the manufacturer (like HP ) implementing time bombs in the cartridge. I've had brand new sealed cartridges that were unusable because they "sat" too long. In general if you don't use it quickly inkjet is a very expensive and/or time consuming game to play. Laserjet for me...

That said, I've had inkjet cartidges sit for months without use and not require a cleaning or anything. It can vary by the printer/cartridge obviously.

I think all inkjets are programmed for Self cleaning even if you don't use it.

I bought mine from eBay. The longest it lasted was close to 2 years, usually 1 year. I don't print much with my HP.

they don't last very long for me. maybe 20-40 prints

That's why NOW I look for cheap generic ink before buying a printer. Using Epson XP-520 AIO. A 5pack of ink costs $5-$7 & works perfectly every time.

Otherwise I'm stuck paying $35 a cartridge for printers that don't accept generics.

5-7 days

Canon PIXMA - mine are good for a year, easy. I only use real Canon replacement cartridges though (purchased on sale).

frugalpete said:   I've had various models of Canon printers and they go at least a week between printing and not dry up to the point of needing the print head cleaned.  When I had an Epson many years ago it needed cleaning if I don't print for 2-3 days.
  Yes, I have given up on inkjet printers because of this problem. You need to see if the nozzle is on the printer or cartridge. If like the old Epson's, the nozzle was on the printer and the ink would dry fast and clog up the nozzle.  If like HP, it was on the cartridge and dry up in about a month.  At least if the nozzle clogged up on the cartridge, you replace it.  But if that happened on the printer, you chuck the printer.

Unless you are printing a lot of photos, look for a deal on a color laser AIO. I got a Dell 2 years ago for $80. Just recently had to replace the black as we print a good amount of BW at home. Never a clogged ink tank when you need to use the printer.



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