Lots of Ink, virtually nothing visible on copy


Rex's Mom

I have a Lexmark x6100 (all in one) which has not been used in quite a

Tried to make a color copy and not even the black text printed. Bought
new cartridges just in case, but...

Tried a nozzle clean...checked the ink supply by opening the printer
control software and it seems to have adequate ink.

Cartridges are at least a year old, probably more.

Any thoughts?


The jets are dried out and blocked. Long periods of no use will block all
inkjet jets.

Rex's Mom

Woody said:
The jets are dried out and blocked. Long periods of no use will block all
inkjet jets.

that's what I feared, but was hoping to avoid new ones. What is
'average' life? Are there any 'tricks/hints' to prolong life or at least
get maximum life? (like printing at least one page a month or similar?)


Arthur Entlich

Try removing the cartridges and placing them head down on some layers of
good quality paper towel wetted with warm water, and press the heads
into the paper toweling in a light pumping action. If the paper
toweling gets stained with ink, move the heads to another portion which
is also wet. Do this numerous times until the ink seems to be flowing
well, and then try reinstalling the cartridges, giving them a cleaning
cycle or two, and see if that resolves the problem.

Keep in mind that the ink levels you see in the monitor software are not
actually measured, but are based upon the full cartridges when you
install them, and an amount is subtracted for each printing and
cleaning. Th is may not be accurate if you used a refilled cartridge
which may have more or less ink in it than the usual from the
manufacturer, or the ink could have leaked out over time (less likely)
or the water in the ink could have evaporated leaving a very thickened
ink that won't properly flow.


Arthur Entlich

I assume your printer is using the type of cartridge which have the head
incorporated into the ink cartridge, so that you get a new head when you
buy a new cartridge. Most Lexmark and Dell (rebranded Lexmark with a
slight change in cartridge design) printers are designed this way, as
are many HP models.

With this type of printer, if you know you will not be using the printer
for a long period of time, you can remove the cartridges and place them
in a zip-lock freezer bag, or other heavy thickness well sealed plastic
bag with the air squeezed out and place the cartridge in the fridge (not
the freezer). You may wish to place a small piece of sponge which is
dampened with water in the bag, but not directly near the head
electronics, as they may corrode over time is left too damp. If
possible store the cartridge with the head down so the ink will stay in
contact with the head to prevent drying and to lessen the likelihood of
air pockets developing in the cartridge.

Some companies used to make cartridge holders which provided a seal
against the head when the cartridge was in storage outside of the
printer, but I do not believe these are still being produced.

Some companies place a best before date into the cartridge electronics,
after which time the cartridge my no longer be acknowledged. For
cartridges with included heads, this makes no sense to me, since the
worse that could happen is the head would clog, which is part of the
cartridge anyway, and replaceable with a new cartridge. In general
cartridges can be expected to work properly for about one year to 18
months after the expiration date if unopened, and about six months to
one year after opening if opened prior to the expiration date.
However, types of ink and brands will differ. Some Epson cartridges with
dye ink, which do not incorporate the head into the cartridge, may last
4-5 years past expiration date if kept in a cool location.



Rex's Mom said:
that's what I feared, but was hoping to avoid new ones. What is
'average' life? Are there any 'tricks/hints' to prolong life or at
least get maximum life? (like printing at least one page a month or

You should use OEM ink. Whatever the life it should be longer for the
ink was designed for the printer as a unit.


That is a lie!

The OEM ink isn't going to dry out any slower....I once opened an HP
#20 C6614DN ink cartridge brand new sealed in the HP box and foil bag
and it was completely EMPTY. All the ink had evaporated out of the
cartridge. You could see right through it, as this cartridge is clear
with a plastic bladder inside...It was past the expiration date on the
back of the box by six months. The cartridge had been stored in a
customer's supply closet in a controlled environment, but it did get
hot in the room at times, where it would evaporate at a faster rate.

At Laser Cartridge Plus, Inc. we seal all of our refilled ink
cartridges in cartridge clips and then airtight bags. If you are not
going to use your printer ink for a while, you can remove the ink
cartridge from the printer, and then put it back into the cartridge
clip that seals off your printhead from the air, and then put it in a
ziploc bag and squeeze out the excess air in the bag. To refresh a
dried out cartridge, you can get some layers of paper towels and put
some windex on the paper towels, and then blot the cartridge printhead
onto the windex until you see ink coming out. Repeat until the ink is
flowing well and then run the clean printhead cycle in your printer
software a few times to get it going. You can also print a test chart
to get your cartridge flowing well from the link below:



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