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How to refill inkjet cartridges. Basic guide - Photoopia

How to refill inkjet cartridges. Basic guide

Updated: 2023-08-20

Nowadays, almost all inkjet printers use ink cartridges. These are small plastic containers that hold the printer ink. When the ink cartridge is empty, the printer reads the cartridge’s chip and signals the computer to print.

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When it comes to printing, the type of ink cartridge you use is often overlooked. The wrong ink cartridge can lead to poor results, which can waste both your time and money.

Although it isn’t always true, cheap ink cartridge can make the quality of your print be reduced, and your printer can even produce fuzzy images.

There are many pros and con’s when you use one of the three inexpensive ink cartridges below.

Refill Ink

Using refill ink allows you to refill the printer’s empty cartridges. Although this is the cheapest way, this will usually result in a more negative printing quality than the other options.

Recycled Printer Cartridges

Several companies will clean a used ink cartridge, than refill it with ink, test them to make sure the print quality is good, and then resell them as a recycled cartridge.

The results are much better from this option, than the first one. However, the price will be significantly higher because of the labor that is involved with recycling.

The companies that do recycle the cartridges will often use some special equipment for the process that will guarantee the high quality of product. They do this because if the new recycled cartridge, for whatever reason, doesn’t work, you will be refunded your money or you can have the malfunctioning cartridge switched with a working one.

Generic Cartridges

Since the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) put patents on their cartridges that will make any reproduction illegal by anyone else, the use of any generic cartridges is a less popular alternative.

It’s possible, for a few printer models, to locate a generic cartridge that will contain all of the proper parts; the only difference is that they don’t have the name of some manufacturer that matches the one on your printer.

Even though buying a generic cartridge is cheaper than a real one, it’s still the most costly of the 3 different options I have presented you. The generic ink cartridges work the same as the brand name ones.

Your specific printing needs will help you decide which option would be the best. As an example, if you’re planning on printing pictures, you would be a little more concerned about the quality compared to someone that wants to print screenshots of websites.

Basic Guidelines To Follow When Refilling Inkjet Cartridges

Refilling ink can be a tricky process the first time. Refilling ink cartridges can be an economical alternative to buying new cartridges. It does take some practice, but once mastered it is generally cheaper than brand-name OEM and remanufactured/compatible cartridges.

Here are some basic tips to get you refilling cartridges like a pro as soon as possible.

The Main Goal Of Refilling

Most ink cartridges are relatively simple in design, more or less a bag of ink encased inside a plastic box. The refill must be performed at such a speed that leaking is not caused (refill speed too fast) or that ink fails to permeate throughout the cartridge (refill speed too slow). Basically, we’ve seeking the happy medium in between.

Preparing For The Refill

Work over a sink or drain if possible. Avoid working at a desk or near anything of value.

Wear old or spare clothing to minimize damages incurred by ink stains.

Check to see if your ink cartridge has an opening that connects to the ink. Otherwise, you may have to drill a refill hole yourself, which can get complicated depending on your ink cartridge model.

Safety During The Ink Cartridge Refilling Process

How safe is ink (e.g. what if I accidentally come into contact with the ink)?

Printer ink is considered non-toxic, as it is mostly composed of water and a tiny portion of alcohol and glycol. If ingestion does occur, there is no need to induce vomiting. On average, printer ink has a toxicity similar to that of laundry detergent. If ink gets into the eye, flush with cold water for at least 15 minutes.

Rubber gloves are recommended to keep ink as clean and uncontaminated as possible and to prevent getting ink on hands. In some rare cares, people have reported allergies to ink upon contact, including symptoms like hives and shortness of breath. Immediately stop if this occurs, and if symptoms persist or worsen, contact a medical professional.

Materials Needed During The Refilling Process

If you are new to refilling your own inkjet printer cartridges, it is recommended that you purchase a printer-specific ink cartridge refill kit, which will contain all of the components necessary to complete the refill.

For a true DIY job, some tools that may be needed include:

– A screwdriver (size depending on ink cartridge model)

– Glue or wax (as a sealant)

– Tape

Getting a ready-made inkjet refill kits is highly recommended for both ease of use and increased ink compatibility.