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Old 21-03-2008, 17:19   #1
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Solution for dried out HP printer cartridges

I've got one HP inkjet printer on the boat, and a couple at home. It seems like the printer cartridges are always drying up me if I leave them un-used for very long. I sure this is much to the amusement of HP, not to mention their enrichment. In the past, I have often taken a Q-tip and isopropyl alcohol to remove the dried ink around the printing strip on the cartridge. Occasionally it would help a little bit, but not enough to make the cartidge useable. As I was getting ready to throw yet another cartridge out, it occurred to me that I might not be giving the alcohol long enough to completely dissolve the dried ink. Since the cartidge was headed for the trash anyways, I decided to set it (print head down) in a shallow pool of isopropyl alcohol (in an old creme cheese container). I let it sit there for about 4-5 hours. When I took it out there was some ink staining of the alcohol, but I wiped off the cartridge and put it in the printer. I have now been using that cartridge for several months, and it has printed (like new) several hundred pages (mostly from this forum). I feel like I've struck gold, well at least $50-60 a year I can spend on other toys for the boat.
If you are not familiar with isopropal alcohol, it is sold in drug stores like Walgreens as an antiseptic. We also use it at work as a solvent clearer for circuit boards (you can immerse the whole board without damaging the parts). At work we use 100% isopropyl, but the drug stores commonly sell 70% isopropyl, which is what I used on the printer cartridges.
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Old 21-03-2008, 18:04   #2
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When I read the title in the message list, I was ready to do exactly what you described.
I've been doing that for several years. As you may guess, I'd rather spend my money on BOAT STUFF!!

Steve B.
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Old 21-03-2008, 18:35   #3
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Not that much that really is important needs to be printed. Ink cartrdiges dry out and a lot of other things just happen. We all would rather be boating than printing. Just don't start drinking the stuff. Make you really goofy.
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Old 22-03-2008, 08:50   #4
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I have now been using that cartridge for several months, and it has printed (like new) several hundred pages (mostly from this forum). I feel like I've struck gold, well at least $50-60 a year I can spend on other toys for the boat.
Thanks for the tip.
Dang it - I just threw away a color cartridge because the yellow would not print any more. I had not printed color in months. Next time........

Also, I refill my cartridges myself with inexpensive ink by the bottle. Lots of black gets used here. Cartridges vary but can be refilled (in my experience) between 4 to 10 times. Another few bucks kept in the pocket.
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Old 23-03-2008, 20:47   #5
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Man!!!!!!! You can learn anything on this board....I am $%#&* mad about my HP cartridges doing the same thing!!!!!!

I guess we can't learn Chinese or Arabic on this board....but I might be wrong.
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Old 24-03-2008, 02:20   #6
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Man!!!!!!! You can learn anything on this board....I am $%#&* mad about my HP cartridges doing the same thing!!!!!!
I guess we can't learn Chinese or Arabic on this board....but I might be wrong.
On-line language tutorials:
Chinese: Learning Chinese Online Page
Arabic: Learn Arabic For Free
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Old 24-03-2008, 08:17   #7
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I feel like I've struck gold, well at least $50-60 a year I can spend on other toys for the boat.
Methinks you underestimate the value of that little pot-o-gold. Last I checked, a set of three cartridges (black, tricolor and photo) is at least $85 for my HP PhotoSmart printer - and that's with using reconditioned cartridges - not new from HP.

I'll avoid the problem by not having a printer aboard!
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Old 24-03-2008, 09:04   #8
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I was listening to the Kim Komando show (the Digital Goddess) on the radio the other day. I don't remember the exact amount she said you pay for printer cartridge ink by the gallon, but it was something like TEN THOUSAND dollars!

Steve B.
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Old 21-08-2008, 01:06   #9
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The ink is water based and you will do the same thing by sitting the cartridge on a sheet of wet paper. As for refills, there is cheap ink and good expensive ink.
I gave up with my inkjet because I was wasting more ink cleaner than damn thing than i was printing. I bought a colour laser printer. They are not so expensive any more and prints most things with excellent quality. No good if you want high quality photos though.
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Old 21-08-2008, 01:31   #10
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The ink is water based and you will do the same thing by sitting the cartridge on a sheet of wet paper. As for refills, there is cheap ink and good expensive ink.
I gave up with my inkjet because I was wasting more ink cleaner than damn thing than i was printing. I bought a colour laser printer. They are not so expensive any more and prints most things with excellent quality. No good if you want high quality photos though.
I'm going to change to a colour laser as well for the same reason. Every time the inkjet is turned on it goes through a cleaning cycle so if I am lucky I might get to use 10% of the ink and with 8 cartridges it gets far more expensive than a laser.

With the cost of self serve photo printers, less than 25c a print, it is actually cheaper than stuffing around with the inkjet by the time you buy good paper to get good results from it. The traditional prints are also far more fade and moisture resistant.

Keep the laser away from humidity however as the toner can go lumpy.

Mike
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Old 21-08-2008, 05:49   #11
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If you have a vacuum packaging device (aka “Foodsaver”) store your cartridges, together with a little square of moist paper towel, with that. It seems to work.

s/v HyLyte
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Old 21-08-2008, 05:54   #12
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Glad I hit on this one! Thanks
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Old 21-08-2008, 07:17   #13
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hot water works well

A trick I have used for years is to pour very hot water into a cup and lower the print head about two mm into the hot water with the printing nozzles just below the surface. In a few seconds the colors begin to appear as colored streams. Pat dry on a tissue and install the printhead and run the align and clean processes.
I usually refill about 3 or four times and then replace the print head. It saves a lot.
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Old 22-08-2008, 22:30   #14
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The only change I would do is to use the 91% isopropyl,the less water is the better for the printhead.
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