Shaking ink cartridges


New Member
Hi all

Having just got my new printer and going through the user manual, it states that you should shake the cartridges on a monthly basis and the white, metallic and orange on a daily basis.

I've heard about shaking the white ink before on my old Roland but I have never been told to shake the rest of the colours.

Does anyone actually do this?

Its also states when doing a manual clean to only clean around the print head and a few other parts, I've always been told to run a swob over the whole printhead. Has this changed with the Epson or was this terrible advice?


Problem Solver
Depends how long is your cartridge cycle. If you run out of ink every month....then no. If it takes you 12 months to use a cartridge then yes it's a good thing to do give 'em a shake.

I would never swab over the nozzles, that's just asking for bad time.
Ours don't sit around that long, but we shake them when we install them.
You don't want to run a swab over your print head. I have lightly pressed the swab to the print head when I see build up, but very lightly and held it there for a few seconds. Don't rub the swab back and forth tho.

d fleming

Shake at install of cartridge and monthly if not used up. I have never had a printer with white or metallic ink but I would imagine those need to be shook more often because of solids content. Never swab over the nozzles of print head. Clean the snot out of everything else.


Active Member
I have an Epson. The silver and white cartridges have to be shaken daily. Takes 15 seconds. The other colors (including orange) it's every three weeks. There's a sticker on the printer that says to. If you don't do the silver and white the printer will remind you on the display. And if those inks settle, not only will they mess up the prints using those colors, it may clog the heads when it sucks the settled particulate.

We use only the cloth covered swabs from the kit. The printer tells you when it's time to do head maintenance. I think it's once a week, but the display will prompt you when it's time. You clean around the edge of the head and between the different nozzle sets (colors) on the head and also on the nubs that help it lock into the capping station. Then you use the squeegee from the cleaning kit to squeegee the whole surface of the head. Wipe the edge of the squeegee with your swab filled with cleaning solution before you do that. After that you press OK and remove the head wipers and clean them and where they attach, clean the capping stations and the nubs that hold the head in place. Press OK again after you replace the wipers and clean the wiper rail.


New Member
The epson, at least the SC ones will tell you when to do everything. There's also stickers on them showing where to clean, like around the heads (NOT ON THEM), and the cap stations, etc. The display will tell you when to do that maintenance as well.


Premium Subscriber
Hmmm, I was always told, not to shake these things, as you don't want bubbles and whatnot getting into your inklines. It's better to gently turn them end over end several times. We always have a set or two on the shelf as back up. We'll turn them around every once in a while.


Map Wraster
We just shake them when the machines ask us to. Hasn't been an issue, but we do not run the metallic inks anymore, just replaced it with the cleaning cart since we've never seen its value.


Sales and services from S. California
We get 1,000s 500ml bottles and 440ml cartridges of Jetbest brand from Taiwan. We don't shake them while they are sitting in our S. California warehouse for 3-4 months. Not an issue so far for 8 years. I don't know if other ink brands need shaking.


Well the manual tells you to so why not do it?
Our 60600 hardly gets used any more so we shake them once a week.
When it was busy we just shook when installing.


Problem Solver
We get 1,000s 500ml bottles and 440ml cartridges of Jetbest brand from Taiwan. We don't shake them while they are sitting in our S. California warehouse for 3-4 months. Not an issue so far for 8 years. I don't know if other ink brands need shaking.
Kind of different shaking something that's in storage vs being used don't you think? People and the transport probably gives them a shake before inserting to the printer.


It's just like paint they don't shake or stir it when it is on store shelf, but they shake when you purchase and you stir it before painting to suspend the solids (colors and other ingredients).


Very Active Member
I try to give the operator a good shake at least once a month to keep the printer up and running smoothly.
Works best if you don't grab them around the neck (legal issues).
Rocking gently back and forth is best. Shaking can introduce microbubbles in the ink, which may take some time to completely dissipate. These microbubbles can travel to the printhead and cause nozzles to drop out, making you think you have some kind of parts problem, when it is just air bubbles. This knowledge comes from experiencing this because the customer shook the cartridge rather than rocking it.

Sounds like a rather vigorous agitation to me with the amount of shakes per second.

That being said, our machine will be 3 years old next month and we haven't missed any agitations. Just set up a calendar reminder for 9am every 3rd Monday and it gets done before anything starts production. Print quality has remained consistent the entire time. 2 minutes every 3 weeks isn't much to ask.


Active Member
We've had our Epson since the S series first came out, what 6-7 years ago? Shake the cartridges according to schedule vigorously and never had air bubble problems.