Indeed, the inkjet cartridges tend to dry out quickly, and this is one of the biggest setbacks of inkjet printers!
But why do they dry out that fast?
To cut the long story short, we must simply say that the inkjet cartridges tend to dry so quickly because the inks they contain are specially formulated fast drying chemical solutions.
And yes, the purpose of these fast drying inks is to make sure the ink on the printout gets completely dry as soon as the page exits the printer! Otherwise the printout could get easily smudged with the first finger touch.
Unlike laser printers, where the printout is getting finalized by heating the paper and temporarily melting the toner, in inkjet printers “fixating” the printout comes down to simply letting the ink dry on the paper.
How can I prevent my inkjet from drying out?
Simply put, you cannot really prevent your inkjet from drying out, but you still can slow down the drying process.
The “rule of a thumb” here is to use your printer as often as possible. Do not be tempted to “save” your printer by not using it. Even if you don’t have any real work for your home inkjet, print at least one test page per week to make your inks flow and unclog the inkjet nozzles.
In case you do not plan to use your inkjet printer for a longer period of time (several weeks or months), then you’d better remove your inkjet cartridges from the printer and put them in airtight plastic bags.