Every time your printer runs the process of cleaning the printheads, it will generally use a considerable amount of ink to do so. The printer will flush ink through the nozzles of each cartridge slot to ensure the printheads are not drying out or clogging up.
Now you must be wondering, “Well, if it uses ink and the ink doesn’t come out of the printer, where does that ink go?”. Inkjet printers will usually have an internal sponge-like object which will soak up the brunt of the ink. However, that sponge has a limit to how much it can soak up. Once the printer has reached this point, the printer will alert you, usually with error messages.
Unfortunately, most inkjet printers cannot have the sponge or printhead replaced simply by its user and will be subject to a service. In most cases getting your inkjet printer serviced is not the most financially viable option as opposed to disposing of the printer and buying a new one.
Please note that even if you don’t elect to clean the printheads yourself, a lot of printers will automatically do this each time the printer is turned on. It is usually more cost-effective both in saving ink and electricity to keep your printer turned on at all times as the printer will use most of its power when it is booting up and printing, it will use very little power when being idle. If you cannot leave your printer on, try to only use the printer when necessary. Ensure to print at least once per week to keep the ink flowing so the printheads do no not dry up.