Our Testing Reveals that HP Printer Inks Do Not ‘Dry Out’

Disclosure: Wirth Consulting was commissioned by Hewlett-Packard to perform the following test as part of an internal study intended to determine the effects of extended periods of non-use of HP OEM inks that are currently in use worldwide, and applicable host printers, under controlled conditions. Wirth Consulting was granted permission to publish the test results, as well as the distribution of the final test report.

HP commissioned Wirth Consulting to perform this testing specifically because we are a non-biased, third-party, independent testing company that employs good lab practices. Read on and you will realize that although the results of the test were not ultimately perfect, the tested HP ink and printer products produced solid results in which none of the tested inks “dried out.”


Some technology takes longer than others to mature. For example, consider inkjet-imaging technology. Decades ago, some very early inkjet printers were finicky and did not deliver consistent print quality. The same however was true of early copier technology as well. Unfortunately, only with inkjet technology are there lingering doubts about its integrity – a common misconception being that inkjet printers “dry out” when they are left unused – that is, the print quality becomes “unacceptable” at some point in time. HP is well aware of this misconception and its internal research indicates that the ink formulas used with the latest HP printers can perform to “specification” after considerable periods of printer inactivity. However, what methodology was used to support such claims? What was the “inactivity” time-frame? How was “unacceptable” print quality determined? Needless to say, verification and replication of these claims by a third-party source that utilizes good lab practices would add considerable value to HP’s research.

Recognizing this, Wirth Consulting developed and employed the following test program to verify that OEM HP ink supplies will perform after 90 and 180 days of inactivity.

In order to perform this test, we purchased, unboxed, and installed twenty-four (24) HP inkjet printer models sourced from around the world.



Determine the OEM ink types currently used in HP printers worldwide. For each type of ink, obtain two HP test units on the open market. Set-up the printers and divide them into two groups, with 1) one group undergoing a 90-day inactivity test, and 2) another group undergoing a 180-day inactivity test.

Perform testing under controlled conditions. Determine if selected HP printers equipped with OEM ink can remain idle and powered off, and then print to specification when powered back on after 90 and 180 days of inactivity.

Note: For full details you can view and download the full Hands-On Test Report here.

4 Responses

  1. Jason Hall says:

    I will tell you that I had an HP OfficeJet 7500A that had been powered down since March 2014 that I brought back online 2 weeks ago (Sept 2016) and the printer inks did not need to be cleaned or replaced after nearly 2.5 years of sitting in my garage. HP Original InkJet inks are bar none the best on the market.

  2. Michael says:

    I purchased a new HP OfficeJet 8710 38 days ago. I ınstalled the new color cartidges that came with the printer. I printed 2 pages with a few paragraphs of text. Today I tried to print two color half pages. The first page printed with incorrect color balance and before the second page printed, INK SUPPLY> LOW error now prevents printer from printing. I checked ink level and printer shows no color ink present

  3. Michael says:

    UPDATE: HP OfficeJet 8710. Ink did NOT dry out. Not sure why the error appeared but working fine now. Two hours later I tried again and printer now shows full ink jet and printing normally. So, I am okay with my HP.