We recently heard from a reader who uses his inkjet printer so rarely that the ink cartridges dry out and he has to buy new ones. What can I do, he asks. Here are a couple of good suggestions:
Use the printer at least once a month. Just print a test page; that uses all the colors. That will be enough to prevent the dry-out problem. If you won’t be around for a while, or can’t remember to do that, you can take each cartridge out and seal the top with tape. Or you can put the whole cartridge in a bottle or a plastic sandwich bag with a moist cotton ball.
Laser printers don’t have the problem of drying out, because they use powdered toner. It’s a mixture of finely ground pigment and glue and the mix is already dry. But if you don’t print very often, you’ll probably balk at the higher cost of buying a laser printer. Though cheaper in the long run, the initial cost is about $250, which is much higher than ink jet prices.