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Choice Stationery Supplies Blog - for all the chat on printer inks and cartridges

When it comes to inkjets and toners Choice Stationery Supplies has lots to say - don't get ripped off!

  • Caring for your Inkjet Printer

    Inkjet printers are quite reliable machines, though they do sometimes cause issues, often due to the small room for error such complex devices have. However, there are a number of ways you can care for your printer and prolong its lifespan.


    One of the things that can often cause a lot of damage to inkjet printers is the misuse, or even non-use of cartridges. Leaving an inkjet cartridge in a printer unutilised often causes a lot of trouble for the machine. These cartridges end up clogging up the jets in the machine and have a detrimental effect on the quality of printing and the machine. Run a page through the machine a few times a week when it's not in use to prevent this from happening


    Smart people see bargains and understand them to be just that - a bargain and buy in excess for the future. Unfortunately, buying low cost ink cartridges in bulk however can cause significant problems for you in the long run. Cartridges don't have a long shelf life and can go stale quite quickly. These older pigment based ink cartridges usually have a tendency to see pigment separate from the suspension. When they are used in a printer they end up clogging the nozzles. This means you have to run a cleaning routine to get the machine working again. In the case of dye based inks they fluid picks up impurities and in time the ink turns to sludge. This causes the same issues for the ink.

    Cleaning nozzles

    Most printers have a setting to clean the jets, have a look at the instruction manual for instructions on how to clean these. During the cleaning process, the nozzles show up as gaps in the initial test pattern. Sometimes a few of these cleaning operations are needed to ensure that the jets are cleaned. Cleaning in this manner does use up a lot of ink. However do check that each nozzle is clean by performing individual colour tests and checking the pages.


    Often smudges appear on the paper; this is usually down to dirt or a hair on the end of the inkjet. Use a small piece of lint free material to rub these clean. Be sure that any cloth you use is clean and dry.

    When finished with a printer turn it off at the power switch. Most printers have covers for the heads that come into play when the power is stopped. Otherwise the ink is exposed to air and impurities.

  • How can I save an ink cartridge that has been open ?

    It's often the case that you open an ink cartridge and it turns out not to be needed, or maybe it just doesn't work - panic stations! You reset your printer, you clean it and you follow all the necessary steps to get it working, but they fail and you realise the printer is the problem. So, how do you save the cartridges?

    Open print cartridges are susceptible to dirt, drying out, air and a number of other things that render them useless in time. So, quick action is necessary to ensure they are kept in top shape and can be used when the printer is fixed.

    To store these cartridges and ensure they are in top condition for later, here are some tips.

    As it is quite common for excess spillage to get caught around the opening of the cartridge, it is imperative to wipe this area down with a wet cloth. This prevents clogging and issues with the cartridge in future use.

    Use some vinyl tape to cover the opening to prevent further leakage. If the cartridge is of the multi-colour kind, then ensure the vinyl tape won't touch the other openings. If it does it may cause the colours to get mixed up with each other and will render the cartridge unusable.

    When you put the cartridge in a ziplock bag to seal it from the air, place a moist wet cloth in there too. This will prevent the cartridge getting dried up and ensure that the air in the bag remains semi moist.

    Place the bag in a cold, dry place and make sure you remember where you put it as often people place cartridges places and forget about them. When you are waiting for your printer to be repaired, or on a new printer of the same kind, moisten the cloth in the bag every few days. This will prevent it from drying up and the cartridge will remain usable for a few months once the towel is kept moist.

    To prevent your printer being unusable in the first place, make sure to clean the printer and the printer head on a regular basis.  Electrical circuits that recognise a new printer  on printer cartridges are often blocked by dust, which can cause problems for open and new cartridges.

    By following this advice your printer cartridge should be in perfect condition and usable with your printer, whether new, or repaired.

  • Office Chairs - An Insight into what's Important!

    We're all well aware of how important the seat we sit on is at work and there's no doubting that not all chairs are equal.

    This very cool infographic looks at the different variables that make and break and office chair and is certainly worth a look.


  • An Unusual Way to Sell Ink

    We thought when we began that our company selling inkjets and other items online was an innovative one, however there are some businesses in the world of printing that sell ink in a number of different and more innovative ways than us. So, let’s take a look at some of the more unusual places to buy ink.

    Ink Vending Machine

    A vending machine is a conventional way to sell things, but selling ink in one is generally a little less than atypical. However, that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been done. Phoenix Ink in the USA began selling ink via vending machines in University in 2008. It offered customers environmentally friendly ink in places that they walked by on a day to day basis. It allowed Universities provide their students with resources and in malls was created to help make more profitable use of open space.

    The cartridges were held in a refrigerated environment and people paid for them using the latest credit card solutions. A lot of the machines also had places for people to return old and used ink cartridges for recycling and many provided customers with a percentage off new cartridges if they disposed of old ones. It’s a long way from the typical sweet vending machine we see in shops and in store, however we can certainly see why it would be popular.

    However, we also feel it's worth mentioning that HP once filed a patent for a similar machine.

    However, even though inkjet vending machines are great, they still don’t have all the benefits we can offer. Our packaging, returns policy and wide selection as well as the fact we offer a variety of different sorts of office items is something we are very proud of at Choice Stationery.

  • Ricoh Release Low Cost GelJet Printer in UK

    Ricoh has added more devices to its GelJet lineup of printers and is now offering a high quality colour printer for business for as low as £60.

    The device, which is the lowest priced printer from the company with this technology, offers reliability and a low running cost, as well as great images of an A4 size of 1200x1200dpi. The printer is network ready with a built in Ethernet port and can print up to 29 ages in a cycle per minute.

    The device which is aimed at the smaller business and home markets is a hybrid of laser and inkjet technology and uses viscous pigment based inks, which are made from soya to dry rapidly on paper creating the image or text.

    The printers are also made from green materials and have an eco-mode that cuts ink use in half and use only 27w when printing, around the same as a single light bulb. The device feeds paper through the printer by a transfer belt rather than rollers and this enables it to print on relatively thick materials such as cardboard.

    Costs per print are between 14p  page in colour falling to half that in eco mode. The device works with both PC and Mac and also can print from Android and IOS devices too. There’s also a two year warranty with the printers, which is onsite and means the technician will come on site to fix any malfunction.

    It looks like an interesting device for a low initial cost, using some particularly interesting technology in this sector.

  • HP Discusses Inkjet Printer Changes over Last 30 Years

    HP has been making inkjets for almost as long as the inkjet has existed and in the period of time has seen some significant changes in the way printing is done. Within that period of time in fact they have probably been one of the fore businesses in developing how ink and paper meet.

    Recently, the company offered a number of insights into the most important parts of the printing process and speed and quality were two of the most common. Consider, for example, that early ink-jet printer heads each held 12 nozzles; today, they hold more than 42,000 each. Or that each nozzle is 15 microns wide—and that a human hair is 75 microns wide. These facts are quite astounding in themselves and show where we’ve come from to reach where we are now.

    HP’s development webs in Corvallis, USA have been discussing the way that things have changed and how printers have kept up with the pace of change. In fact, the lab there was used to develop everything from calculators to circuit boards.

    The whole talk is a very fascinating one and places things in perspective as regrads where the world of the inkjet is today – moving from producing a page of very low resolution copy at 1 page in three minutes, to having printers with 42,000 nozzles create one page in split seconds of time via nano layers.

    It’s certainly worth reading if you’ve an interest in printers or anything in the tech arena and a good grasp can be got here on eWeek.

    What do you think about printers and printer tech and where we’re going?

  • The High Cost of Ink for Business




    The High Cost of Printing [INFOGRAPHIC]
    via: The High Cost of Printing [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Businesses pay significant amounts of money for ink in this day and age and this great infographic sheds a lot of light.

  • MIT Create Ice Cream in all shapes with 3D Printer

    We always talk about 3D printing and its food making abilities, however this is possibly the tastiest form of printing yet.

    Three students from MIT have created a 3D printer that can produce Mr Whippy style ice cream in any shape you please. The device is basically a soft serve device connected to a 3D printer. The students explained to The Guardian, “We bought a small upright freezer which was large enough to both put the Solidoodle inside and allow for the full build volume we were aiming for.”

    The device is cooled through liquid nitrogen, which allows it to cool into any shape they require the moment it is released. Shapes are created by layering the ice cream on top of other ice cream, as they are squirted onto plastic moulds.

    One of the big wins for the 3D printer is that it interests children and so gives them some sort of intrigue into the technology. Indeed, it’s also supposedly very tasty too – which is always a good thing. The device may also have plenty of commercial use and is touted to be appearing in some form or shape in a Mr Whippy van near you soon.

    For now however, take a look at this Willy Wonka style magnificent machine. Ideal for the temperatures we’ve been having of late.

  • Great Printer Cleaning Tips from the Pros

    Cleaning a printer is a worthwhile endeavour if you want to ensure you get the best from it in terms of longevity and also in the quality of the prints. So, here are some more tips to give you an idea on how to do just that.
    Safety first
    When you are cleaning your printer, make sure to turn the device off and also stay clear of fusers as these can hold heat and stay very warm.
    Dust is one of the biggest problems for people using printers and the best way to clean it is with either a small vacuum, or alternatively a small can of compressed air - this is also a great alternative and can really help make your life a lot easier. This can also be used on keyboards to clean between keys and to be honest is a necessity for numerous reasons.
    Be Kind
    A lot of devices are damaged by people being rough with them. We know printers can be a pain, however treating them roughly seldom helps.. Always be careful when you get paper problems and be firm but remember to be kind as otherwise the mechanism can be damaged.
    Printer Heads
    The printer heads should be cleaned quite regularly, although not too much. In addition, try and keep printer cartridges in cool dry areas and printers away from dirt and also heat as this tends to dry them out.
    Follow these tips and you should greatly limit issues with your device.
  • Amazon Expect Fujifilm Instep Share SP-1 to be Christmas Hit

    We’ve mentioned the Fujifilm Instep Share SP-1 before and it’s been on sale for a number of months now, however according to Amazon it’s going to be a significant Christmas buy for 2014.

    The company showcased the Fujifilm device at their annual Christmas event in London and believe that there is a healthy interest in it already and expect it to be big come the festive season. The device is similar to some already existing on the market, including the LG Pocket Photo and options from Polaroid too.

    The Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1 is a fun device that is around the same size as a Fujifilm Instep 8 instant camera and prints fun little images to sheets directly from a tablet or a mobile phone. The cost of the little sheets is around 20 for £14, which is one of the lowest costing on the market.

    The Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1 is priced at £140 and is battery operated too, with two AA batteries coming in the box alongside a packet of 20 exposures for printing too.

    It remains to be seen whether it will be as popular as Amazon believe, however we will have to wait and see what happens.

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