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Can an out of date printer ink cartridge still be used?

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Out of date printer ink cartridgesThe question of whether it is possible to use an out of date ink cartridge comes up time after time during discussions with customers so lets look at this in some detail.

It has to be said that, in most cases, the answer is “yes” with a few exceptions/concerns that we will come onto. That response is no doubt good news to most of you as, quite simply, you will not need to spend further funds on a new cartridge as quickly as you may have anticipated.

However, there are a number of things you need to be aware of in view of the passage of time such as if the ink in the printer cartridge has dried out. When you buy an ink cartridge it comes in a plastic bag that has been sealed and any holes in the cartridge are usually covered. This should ensure that the ink has not dried out.

Having said that, you may find that, if the cartridge comes with a print head, the ink could have become a little dry. This is easily remedied by placing a piece of damp tissue on the cartridge’s print head for about a minute and that should loosen the ink that had become dry. You could then run the option to clean the print head two or three times to generate some fresh ink on the print head.

Should the ink cartridge be of the type that does not have a print head and has been kept out of any packaging for an extended period of time then it would not be a good idea to try to use the cartridge. This is because any dried up ink may just get pumped into the print head that is located on your printer and may result in serious damage to the printer. It is better to ere on the side of caution and destroy the ink cartridge.

You should find that ink cartridges from the following manufacturers can still be used even if they are out of date – Lexmark, Konica Minolta, Oki, Dell, Epson, Kodak and Canon.

It should be noted that a limited number of ink cartridges have an expiry time stamp such as Hewlett Packard but some of their cartridges can still be used by following any instructions you are provided with and taking note of any messages – these include the HP38, HP88 and HP363. However, the following Hewlett Packard cartridges cannot have their expiry date over-ridden – HP10 to HP14. You will, unfortunately, need to replace them.

Hopefully, the above will be of assistance to some of you.

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