Printers can be an expensive investment but continually replacing the ink is where the real financial expense comes in. Here are some easy ways to increase the lifespan of your printer and toner, which in turn should help to reduce your tech frustration and save some money.
If your machine is constantly flashing “low toner”, instead of throwing it out, hold on to the cartridge. Take out the printer toner cartridge and give it a vigorous shake to distribute the powder. Another tip if you’re running low is to use a hairdryer to warm up the outside of the cartridge to get the ink running again.
Many printer owners are tempted to reset (using a paper clip) the memory chip on the side of cartridges so that they have every little bit of toner available. Printer manufacturers do frown upon this and can actually “lock down” the printer to prevent it from working if the chip is compromised; this can cost more money to fix in the long run.
Your printer is an electronic device with many moving parts and regular maintenance will help to keep this piece of equipment in good shape. It may sound like a no-brainer but cleaning out the inside of your machine will reduce dust and remove any other debris that has become trapped inside. These small particles can greatly reduce efficiency if left to build up inside the printer. Small dust blowers are inexpensive to buy and can be used to clean out your device at least once every six weeks.
If you’re looking to save money on your printer ink then get online and see what’s on offer. Some retailers will give you in-store credit if you return your empty cartridges. Certain cartridges are refillable and you can take them into stores to be replenished, which is a lot cheaper than buying new. One of the best ways to save money on refillable cartridges is to use stores that specialize in this service; don’t go to the stores where you buy printers from — they’ll be more expensive.
If you can, use black ink as much as possible: colored inks drain your cash. Also remember that printing detailed copies such as photographs is expensive and it can actually work out cheaper in the long run to send photos to a store to be printed.