why does my printer run out of ink so fast?

Find out why your printer's cartridge runs out of ink so

fast and what you can do to make it last longer.


Every printer user knows how frustrating it is to run out of ink

in the middle of an important print job.


When a low ink message pops up on your machine out of the blue,

it can feel like your printer is mad at you.  


In reality, there are many things that could cause your printer to run out of ink.

In this short guide, we'll go over five of them so you can get the most out of your printer refills.


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1. Poor Page Yield from Cartridge

Page yield is the number of pages that a single cartridge can print.  

The yield can be very different based on the series of cartridges that work

with your printer.  


If you just bought a new printer but aren't getting as many pages out of it

as you did from your old one, it's probably because the page yield

of your new printer refills is lower.  


Two printers that cost about the same can use refills

that print very different amounts.


Get high-yield cartridges for your printer if they are available,

or get a printer that uses refills that print more pages.


For example, the Brother MFC-J805DW costs less than $200

and uses print cartridges made by Brother.  

Each XL color cartridge can print 1,500 pages,

and the super high yield black cartridge can print 3,500 pages.  


You can also buy an HP OfficeJet Pro 8025 with HP 910XL ink refills

for about the same price.  

Both the color and black HP 910XL refills print 825 pages.  


For example, the page yield has a direct effect on the total number of pages you print.

This makes it a very important factor to keep an eye on

when you're keeping track of your printer's output.


2. You clean the printer too frequently

If you take good care of your printer,

both the machine and the printer refills will work well.  

Most printers have built-in software that cleans the machine on a regular basis

to keep the print quality uniform and to help the machine last longer.  


If your printer hasn't been used for a long time, it may ask you to run a cleaning.

If your prints are patchy or light, you may want to run a cleaning yourself.  

Before you print, this process "primes" the cartridges to keep them

from getting clogged and keep your print quality at its best.  


After you have cleaned your printer, print a test page or a diagnostic print

to see if the problem with the print quality has been fixed.  

When you clean your printer, a little bit of ink is taken out of the cylinders.  


Taking out this ink helps get rid of air bubbles inside the cylinders

and any dried ink that might be stuck in the ink nozzles.  

Cleaning your printer is a great way to improve the quality of your prints.

However, running multiple cleanings in a row can slowly use up the ink in your cartridge.


Fix: Don't try to do more than two cleanings in a row.  

Your problem with print quality should be fixed after a couple of cleanings.  

If you use more than that and the print quality doesn't get any better,

you may need to buy a new printer cartridge.

Person replacing ink cartridges from a printerPerson replacing ink cartridges from a printer

3. You don't use the printer enough

How long your printer refills last may also depend on how often you print.  

If you don't use your printer for more than a couple of weeks,

the ink in the cartridges will dry out.  


You might be able to get them to work again

by running a cleaning cycle on your machine,

but if this keeps happening, you will have to order a new set of cartridges.


The Fix: If you only print once in a while, toner refills or ink tank printers are better.  

Since toner powder is made of a dry, plastic-like material,

it won't dry out like an ink cylinder, so you don't have to worry about wasting ink

if you don't print for a few months.


Ink tank printers use a tank system that can be refilled and bottles of ink to print.

The ink is kept in a covered tank until it is ready to be used.  

People who own inkjet printers can try to keep their ink refills in good shape

by taking them out of the machine when they are not being used often.  


Place the cartridge with the tip facing up in an airtight plastic tub

and put the tape or clip that came with the cartridge back on to protect it.

Store the cartridge in a cool, dark place with a wet cloth

or paper towel in the tub next to it.  


We suggest that you check on the damp paper towel every so often

to make sure it is still wet.


4. The documents you print use too much ink

The kind of documents you print can also make a big difference.  

If you mostly print in black, the black cartridge will run out

before the color cartridges.  


But some printers will pull a little bit of ink from the color cartridges

even if you are only writing in black.

This is to keep the color cartridges ready for the next time

you want to use them.  


Another quick way to run out of ink is to print a lot of photos or papers

with a lot of pictures.  

You can guess how many prints you'll get from a cartridge

by looking at its page yield.


However, keep in mind that the page yield is based on 5% coverage,

or pages where 5% of the page is covered with ink.  

This is the same as sending an email or printing a short text.  


For instance, the HP 63XL high yield black ink cartridge can print 480 pages,

which means that at 5% coverage, you should be able to print 480 short letters.  


If you print something that needs more ink, like a legal document

or a full-page color picture, the number of pages you can print

will go down by a lot.  


Since different people print in different ways, the number of prints

you get from a cartridge varies from person to person.


The solution is to think about what you print more of.

Get high-yield refills for your printer if you use a lot of color ink.


If you print a lot of pages, you might want to move to a laser printer.

If you don't need to change cartridges very often,

you might want to think about getting a different printer.

You might have bought a cheap inkjet that uses cartridges

with only enough ink for a few pages.


5. Your printer settings are all wrong

If you use the wrong printer setting on your machine often,

it can quietly run out of ink.


The Fix: If you change those settings, you can use less ink.

Most printers have a number of settings that let you change

the print quality (and the amount of ink that goes on the page)

based on what you need to print.  


Many printers let you choose between draft mode, grayscale,

picture printing, and other options, but each printer

has different settings.


Gray scale: This setting tells your printer to only use

the black printer cartridge when you print,

so you can save your color cartridges for printing photos.

Draft mode: In draft mode, your paper will print faster

and with a little less accuracy so that you can use it as a draft.  

Even though the quality may not be as good as a regular print job,

it should be good enough for a quick review.

Photo printing: The photo printing setting improves

your ink cartridges for printing high-resolution photos.

For the best results, use this setting with a good sheet of photo paper. 


Read: How to Keep Ink Cartridges from Drying Out


Wrapping it up

Now that you know why your ink can run out so fast,

you can use your printer and cartridges

in the best way for your printing needs.  


Check us out at InkJets.com if you want to save money on printing costs.

Our compatible printer cartridges are a great low-cost option

to the manufacturer's brand and are proudly backed by a satisfaction guarantee.