How to Make Your Printer Ink Last Longer

Close up printer ink jet cartridge

Source: somchai choochat/

The average office does a considerable amount of printing each day, meaning that printer ink is a significant part of their office supply budget. It’s not surprising, then, that many people want to make their printer ink last a long as possible. If you’ve ever wondered how to make your printer ink last longer, these valuable tips can help you get the most out of every cartridge.

Choose Your Fonts Carefully

The font you choose could increase or decrease the amount of ink you use. Opting for slimmer styles over bold, block lettering means you can print more documents from one ink cartridge. 

You should also consider reducing the size of your fonts: 11- and 12-point fonts are perfectly legible but require less ink than 14-point lettering. For an even bigger ink saving, download Ecofont, an innovative font style that uses 20% less ink by having small white dots as part of each character.

Opt For a Printer with High Ink Efficiency

When shopping for anything, it’s tempting just to go for the cheapest option on the market, but often this can cost you more in the long run. When looking at the specs of a printer, always check out the ink efficiency.

You should also always make sure you know how to put ink in a printer before replacing the ink, as mistakes can lead to wasted ink. Keep the printer’s instruction manual somewhere safe, so you can refer to it when the time comes.

replacing inkjet cartridges

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Keep Your Printer Clean and Well-Maintained

Even the highest quality printer will eventually have problems printing if it’s not well maintained. Keeping your machine clean and well-maintained ensures it remains as efficient as possible, meaning your cartridges last longer. 

Telltale signs that your printer needs to be cleaned are if your prints are streaky or spotty. It’s a good idea to have your printer cleaned at least once a year, either by a professional technician or yourself if you feel confident doing so.

Wipe down the exterior of the printer daily and avoid storing any items on top of the printer. This prevents dust and debris from clogging the printhead or damaging the cartridges, leading to early ink replacement. 

Check for Clogged Printheads

Another maintenance issue that leads people to replace their ink cartridges unnecessarily is having clogged nozzles or printheads. If your printer suddenly stops printing, it may not have run out of ink; there could be dried-up ink blocking the nozzles. To fix this, you can run your printer’s cleaning feature or, if that doesn’t work, simply remove the cartridge, wipe with a damp paper towel and carefully reinstall.

Use High-Quality Ink Cartridges 

Wondering how to get more ink out of a cartridge? The problem could be the type of cartridge you’re using. Not all ink cartridges are created equal: The amount of ink they yield can vary significantly depending on how they are manufactured. For the best results, go for an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or a high-quality equivalent. 

Change Your Printing Mode

When printing documents that others will see, a top-quality finish is paramount; however, if you’re printing draft copies or documents for your records, you can afford to sacrifice the quality. Fortunately, most modern printers have “draft” or “economy” modes; these use less ink and speed up the printing process.

Looking to make your colored ink cartridge go further? Consider switching to “Grayscale.” This means your documents automatically print in black and white.

Choose Digital Saving over Printing

It sounds simple, but the best way to make your ink last longer is to print less. Most offices print much more than they need to, wasting both paper and ink. Be kind to the environment and your bank account and stick to saving your invoices, contracts and other documents digitally.

Proofread keyboard key

Source:  Ilona Koeleman/

Always Proofread Your Documents

Another way to print less, and therefore save ink, is to proofread your documents before printing to avoid wasting copies. Using spelling and grammar check programs and read-aloud functions can help with proofreading. Always check the “Print Preview” before printing: This can prevent the need to reprint.

Ignore Low Ink Warnings

When you see that “low ink” pop-up on your computer or the printer’s display, it’s tempting to change your cartridge right away, but you should try to hold off for as long as possible. You might be surprised to know that this message can appear when you still have a significant amount of ink left in your cartridge, depending on the printer brand. 

Instead of putting in a new cartridge and potentially wasting your Epson or Dell printer ink, look for signs of low ink such as banded text or light prints. Always keep spare cartridges around, so you’re never caught short. 

Small Changes, Big Results

If you find yourself going through ink at an alarming rate, take a look at the way you use your printer. Making small changes and following these simple steps can ensure your printer ink lasts as long as possible, saving you money and reducing the waste your office produces.