How To Make Your Ink Cartridges Last Longer

26-11-2014 by

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We all know that printing is expensive, often more expensive per litre than fine champagne, so making sure that you get every drop’s worth out of your ink cartridges is important in these lean times.

Our technical team has put together these money and ink saving tips to help you prolong the life of your printer ink and get the most for your money.

Ignore the low ink warning

Most printers will give you a low ink warning when  they detect that you’re running out of ink. However, as a PC World article found, most ink cartridges still have a substantial amount of ink inside when the printer tells you that you’re low. The best thing to do here is ignore the message and carry on printing until the ink visibly fades or when your printer refuses to carry on printing.

There is a delicate balance here though, as running the ink cartridge until it is too empty can actually damage the printheads. This is especially true of Epson ink cartridges and Canon ink where the printhead is built into the printer and is extremely sensitive.

We’ve already written a guide on how to bypass the low ink warning on your printer which will help you get rid of any annoying error messages that pop up.

Make sure you’re not cleaning too often

Running a printhead clean uses a fair amount of ink. Avoid running a printhead clean unless absolutely necessary. This means that you should print at least one small thing a week to make sure that ink doesn’t dry in the printhead and clog up the nozzles.

Proof before you print

Check your document thoroughly before you hit print. Making sure that there are no unnecessary images or spelling mistakes will mean that you only need to print once. If you’re printing anything off the web, checking print preview will make sure that you’re not printing unnecessary URLs or images.

If you really want to cut down on what gets printed when you’re printing from a web page, go to to make sure that you’re not printing anything you don’t want to.

Print in black and white or draft mode

Unless you’re printing off those holiday photos or a school project, having your images in colour is not really important. Make sure you’re not using colour printer ink needlessly by setting your printer to print in black and white.

If you want to double up on your savings, you can also set your printer to print in draft or economy mode, especially if you’re only printing for personal use. You can change these settings at any time if you need to.

Make a digital copy

Before you print, take the time to think about why you need a physical copy of the document. If it needs to be signed, will a digital signature do? Is it possible for you to fill that form in on your computer instead of by hand? Will saving a digital copy of the document in the cloud be better than storing a physical copy somewhere? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, don’t print.

Buy compatible printer ink

Despite the warnings from printer manufacturers, compatible printer ink is every bit as good as original ink cartridges, especially if you’re getting yours from a reputable supplier. Remanufactured ink cartridges offer a cost-effective alternative to expensive name brand cartridges.

If you do buy remanufactured ink, make sure that the company you’re buying from has a flexible returns policy as well as a warranty on their cartridges, like Inksaver does. If you have any questions about our printer cartridges or our policies, please feel free to contact us.

Nic Venter

About the author

Nic Venter+

 is the founder and director of He started the business in 2009 with the idea to sell ink and toner cartridges online and to provide you with a quality product, value for money and convenience. He regularly blogs on about printing and technology. Part of his philosophy is having fun and making sure that he and his team think everything ink, so you don't have to.

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