How Often Should You Use Your Inkjet Printer

Did this ever happen that you had something to print out urgently, went towards the printer for printing, but Guess What! You see, your inkjet printer got clogged, and ink got dried out! 

Well, that's maybe your printer stayed idly for a certain time and just couldn’t function properly after this long period. However, this issue can be fixed easily. 

In this article, we'll be talking about how often should you use your inkjet printer. Have no idea? Well, don't worry. Along with this, we will be providing you with some additional suggestions to let you know some other aspects. So without further ado, let's dive into it. 

How Often Should You Use Your Inkjet Printer?

Surprisingly, the life span of the right ink cartridges gets shorter if you print less with the printer. Irregular use of the printer may create issues like drying the ink or clogging the head nozzle of the print. It may affect your ink flow level as well.

However, occasional printing requires necessary maintenance to avoid future issues. Well, the cleaning procedure might cost you some existing ink, but it's better to prevent the ink from draining.

Inkjet Printer

Nevertheless, here we are providing some of the recommendations given by the experts and consumers if you should use the printer regularly or how often you should use them. 

Use On A Daily Basis: Generally, it is recommended to print something daily. That will help you to check on the nozzle every day. If not possible, then 15x/month is recommended for maximum maintenance of the inkjet. 

Use Once A Week: Well, you can avail an optimal performance result if you use the printer at least once a week. That's how the ink won't be decompressing for sure. 

Use Once Every 2-3 Weeks: Many people don't use printers on a regular basis. For them, using it every 2 or 3 weeks can help at least maintain the functional performance of the printer. You use your inkjet printer once every 2-3 weeks, thus the printer will be in good working order for a long time.

Use Once A Month: Lastly, if your printer stays idly for a long time. Then go to clean it at least one time a month. It can be considered an ink-saving tips. This clean power cycle may cost a quantity of ink but is still beneficial for the inkjet printer. 

How Long Before Ink Cartridges Dry Out? 

Basically, ink cartridges get dried out when they are idle for a certain time. Wondering why this happens? Well, when an ink cartridge gets opened, it becomes exposed to oxygen. Then because of some chemical reactions, it starts to dry out. 

How Long Before Ink Cartridges Dry Out

Approximate Time: Modern inkjet printers have the option to keep ink cartridges as compact and tight as possible. However, 4 to 6 weeks can be an approximate time range for ink cartridges to dry out. 

Printer Cartridge Life Expectancy: Nevertheless, the shelf life of a printer cartridge is approximately 24 months to 36 months. Here the original cartridge can last for 24 months, and a compatible one can last up to 36 months. 

Expiration Date: However, there is always an expiration date for the cartridge to make use of the ink within time. It can be up to 2 years. But it is recommended to change the ink cartridge within 12 months for the maintenance purpose of the printer. 

Reasons Behind Drying Out: Anyway, there are some other reasons that may influence the timing of drying out ink cartridges. The first one is about infrequent uses. Then comes the environment where you are keeping the printer. 

The level of temperature, sunlight, cooling area, darkness, cold environment, etc., play an important factor behind drying out. 

Should I leave my inkjet printer on all the time?

It is recommended to leave your inkjet printer turned on all the time even when not in use. Well, there are various valid reasons behind this. First, remember that an inkjet printer contains a decent quality sleep mode system that consumes the least power and allows the printer to have a track of cleaning history, print heads, etc. 

It's a print head that usually requires changes and replacement. So, keeping your printer turned on helps the printer print head clean and prevent printer ink from drying out

inkjet printer

On the other hand, keeping it turned off forces the printer to clean print heads, and that ultimately results in a lot of ink waste. Plus, a restart of the printer requires warming up and all, so it's better to keep it on all the time. 

What is the average life of an inkjet printer?

In general, an inkjet printer such as Epson printer can last up to three years depending on the built-in quality of the product. 

On the other hand, multifunction printer like laser printers usually lasts up to five years or so.  

However, there are some factors that determine the average life expectancy of an inkjet printer. So, the more quality product you avail yourself of, the more years of service you can get. For example, HP Deskjet can provide longer service as a quality brand in comparison with a cheap one. 

What is the average life of an inkjet printer

But for the machine itself, you can consider approximately four years of proper service from an inkjet printer if the maintenance is well managed. 

How often should I clean printer heads?

Well, you can think of cleaning the printheads when you get a below-average printing quality. So, you have to clean the printhead in order to reestablish your good printing quality. 

Even though the cleaning of printheads takes only a minute or two, you have to do it regularly depending on the usage. For instance, if you use the printer frequently, then a weekly cleaning routine is good enough. 

How often should I clean printer heads

You can just run the 'Clean Printhead' function on the computer. Nevertheless, the printer for infrequent use, it's still recommended to clean the printhead once or twice a month. 

You can either use the computer program, or you can go for a manual cleaning process as well. Because it is important to take proper care of the printheads.  

Is Regular Printing Good For The Inkjet Printer?

Well, in order to justify the answer, let's get to know about both types of printers first. You can do regular printing from laser printers. These kinds of printers usually use toner powder. 

On the other hand, inkjet printers consist of small size nozzles. It directly drops ink on the paper, unlike regular ones.

However, you can take several things into consideration. Laser printers usually use light-sensitive drums. Where it electrostatically produces charged dots that connect with toner powder. 

Is Regular Printing Good For The Inkjet Printer

There a heating method has been applied. When the toner reaches the paper, this process completes the printing. That's how you can get black & white or color prints on a regular/laser printer.

On the other hand, regular printing is undoubtedly good for inkjet printers. Because you can avail high-resolution images, graphics, or photos through it, additionally, It's quite suitable for bright color images as well. 

However, if you are looking for a vast volume of printing, then it is suggested to go for laser printers for regular printing. Usually, in the workplace, it is preferred to use laser printers. Nevertheless, inkjet printers are appropriate for lower print volumes as well. 

Does Printer Ink Dry Out If Not Used Regularly?

Yes, printer ink can be dried out if not used regularly. Let's show you some aspects of why it happens. 

There is a high chance of your printer getting clogged after being dried out for this.

Think of it as a gel pen. Because sometimes, your gel pen might be clogged. But then, after rubbing the pen on a page for a while, it again starts to work. 

So the same case happens when you conduct irregular uses of printer ink. The ink of the printer comes in connection with oxygen and other elements of air. 

Even though it stays air-tight mostly, the ink slowly reacts with the particles of air and gets dried chemically. 

Does Printer Ink Dry Out If Not Used Regularly

Additionally, every cartridge shelf comes up with a 24 months life length. At the same time, compatible cartridges have around 36 months in total. 

So, after a certain time, printer ink will automatically lose its proper capability to print. So, it will start drying out eventually if It's not being used regularly. 

Other than this, some other factors can influence the drying out of printer ink. For instance, temperature, sunlight, darkness, the coolness of the environment, etc., can accelerate the time period of ink being dried out. 

Nevertheless, if the cartridge isn’t stored safely, it can affect the ink inside and impact on drying out of ink.

Other than this, manual refilling cartridges can also be a reason if not done properly. That's how your ink not only dries but also affects clogged ink nozzles.


We are certain that now you are well aware of how often you should use your inkjet printer. 

To be frank, it totally depends on the purpose you are using it for. Also, the usage depends on the workload as well. 

However, this article provides various aspects where you’ll know about the maintenance of a printer depending on the printer used as well. 

Nevertheless, we hope you find this article useful for the information you are looking for. Thank you.

Inksaver Editor

We're a group of people who love printers and scanners. We want to share our knowledge with you, so you can spend less time researching and more time printing and scanning!

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