Question Reinstalling a partly used ink cartridge


Apr 10, 2009
At my partner's insistence, I tried to solve a print quality problem by replacing the partly used black ink cartridge in my inkjet printer. It didn't help. Now I've got a presumably perfectly good half-used cartridge.

I understand that it's safe to keep this -- it won't leak all over my desk drawer -- but it will dry out and then may not work .

So, two questions.

First, is this a "what the heck, try it" situation, or could reinstalling a dried-out cartridge create problems beyond making the printer not work until it's replaced?

Second, how long does it typically take a cartridge to dry out, and is there a practical way to prevent or slow down the process?


Make and model printer?

Cartridge(s): Original manufacturer? Refillable per manufacturer? Third party/generic cartridge?

Overall, my understanding is that printer manufacturers sell physical printers at a loss and actually make money on the ink cartridges.

Last year, a neighbor and I discovered that our identical Canon All-in-ones would not even accept EOM cartridge swaps between the the printers.

When my Canon failed (TLDR story) all I could do was to take the various ink cartridges to a local Staples to earn recycling rewards points.

I now have an HP printer. Signed up for automatic ink refreshing as that was much less costly than purchasing sets of HP cartridges. Notably so.

[However, it seems that by doing so that my plan limits me to 100 pages per month. I can pay more to increase the pages but I rarely print more than a couple pages per day. In the process of figuring out how the page count is being determined. Reality and printer report not adding up.]

The inks may not dry out per se but the nozzles and ink are likely to get gummy and simply not work on any other printer as well.

Just recycle the cartridges - if one does happen to leak it will make quite a mess.....

= = = =

For the record - from HP:


We’re happy to see that you are getting the most out of your HP Instant Ink subscription for your HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 All-in-One Printer ! We designed Instant Ink to be flexible, so you can easily print all the pages you need at a great value.

Your current plan is the 100 pages/month for $5.99.

We wanted to let you know that you have used all the included pages for your billing cycle ending September 27, 2022, but you can continue printing all the pages you need at a great value.

You can upgrade your plan today, or automatically be charged for additional page sets. Each additional set of 10 pages is just $1, and any unused pages will roll over.

When you upgrade, you’ll get even more pages included with your plan, and you can roll over even more unused pages. If your printing needs change, you can downgrade your plan3. See your plan options at

Thank you for choosing HP Instant Ink!