If you rely on the conventional office printer to perform your daily work, it is very likely you are spending a small fortune on ink and cartridges. Today’s ink cartridges have gotten quite sophisticated and can also be very expensive.
Additionally, some of these ink cartridges don’t appear to be doing a very economical job and you could find yourself being constantly alerted to “Low Ink” or “Refill Cartridge” notifications, even when there is no possible way the cartridge is empty all the way.
The first thing to do –after waving an angry fist in the air and vowing revenge on these money-grubbing corporations– is to immediately rethink your printing habits and implement some economical hacks and procedures that will keep you from dishing out your cash to the cartridge and ink emporium.
Following are some practical pointers to practice in the office:
Tip 1: Resetting the Cartridge
Understanding the way the cartridge is designed has a lot to do with getting the most bang for your bucks. Each cartridge features a small circuit board, which –in addition to other functions– prompts the computer to give you the “Refill Cartridge” notification, however, it will often send this message if there is still plenty of ink left in the cartridge.
This could be a design flaw, a way to prevent large high-resolution projects from starting and not being completed or a conspiracy to keep you coming back for more ink– but what ever the reason it can be circumvented with a simple hack — and all that expensive ink used efficiently.
Before throwing the cartridge in the bin, examine it closely. What you are looking for is a tiny reset button –usually located above the small circuit board mentioned earlier. Once located this can be reset with a paper clip.
Then reinsert the cartridge and use the remaining ink.
Tip 2: Review the Print Options Carefully
There is a virtual plethora of options and settings on today’s high-tech printers –these affect the final printing quality and can be adjusted dramatically. The resolution of the document or paper you print determines how much ink will be used to create the images or fonts on the paper.
By lowering the resolution, the images and text will appear much lighter but still easily recognizable and legible. The default setting may be pretty high –something like 600 or 1200 DPI. Reset this to 300 dpi, which is more than enough to maintain clarity and increase your cartridge output 3 fold.
This will also reduce printing time — and time is money.
Tip 3: Only Use Colored Ink Cartridges for Color Printing
Replacing and refilling color ink cartridges is a lot more expensive than monochromatic ink. Unfortunately, some colors are designed to use a combination of all the colors of the rainbow to print a document with no color — you would think only the black cartridge is used, but you would be wrong.
If you look closely at your document you may notice that the black is more like off-black — soon you will notice your color ink is gone and you didn’t print a single color sheet. If this is happening you might consider selecting the “Black and White” or “Grayscale” option. This will tell the printer to print in only inexpensive black ink.
Even with this option selected many big name printers continue to use colored ink. The best way to address this is either by purchasing a monochromatic printer –a pretty inexpensive option– or, depending on the printer, removing the colored cartridge.
This may cause the printer to balk and complain, but eventually you will be rewarded with economical print quality.
Tip 4: Buy the Right Ink Cartridges
Ink cartridges are available for a variety of purposes and researching the best printer for your purpose — before purchasing is the best way to save big on office expenses.
Ink cartridges may come in small to XL sizes. Although, you will certainly get a better deal by buying an XL cartridge you should also consider how much printing you actually do. Ink tends to dry up and any ink you haven’t used in over 4 – 6 months may end up wasted.
It may be best to buy a smaller cartridge that will be used efficiently.