How To Reset Ink Cartridges To Cut Costs

There are several companies which promise to save money by refilling or resetting printer ink cartridges instead of replacing them. These companies may even provide instructions on how to do it yourself. It is not hard and the cost is significantly less than buying a new cartridge.

A few of the companies which sell new ink cartridges say that refilling printer ink cartridges does not work. Of course, these companies have a vested interest in selling new cartridges, so they may have a reason for finding reasons for this method to not work.

320px-Canon_PG-810_CL-811_ink_cartridge
By eFilm (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

When looking more closely into the process, there are some issues with refilling printer ink cartridges. One important factor is that the quality of the print job may change the more the ink cartridge is refilled. This is caused by changes in the nozzles or print heads on the cartridges.

Once a printer ink cartridge is empty and the ink completely gone, the quality of these nozzles or print heads change. They may not print as well or quite the same as they did during the first print run. This, however may be an acceptable cost to consumers considering the savings realized when refilling a printer ink cartridge.

Ink cartridges contain a great deal of technology. From the physics that deal with how the ink flows through the print heads, how the foam degrades and gets filmy, to the technical aspects of the print heads, about a third of refilled ink cartridges fail.

It is also possible to replace just certain the parts of the ink cartridge such as the print heads. This, too is a way to save money, although there foam, ink flow, and other issues may still remain.

Most of the technology within a printer lies in the print cartridge. This is where the print nozzles fire at very small drops, ranging between four and six picoliters.

There is also a limit to how many times a print cartridge may be refilled. After one, or possibly two time, the cartridge may not work at all. Once a cartridge is completely dead, some will go to a landfill while others may be recycled into new cartridges.

When a printer cartridge is recycled, they are returned to the manufacturing facility, then sorted by machine and either taken apart or shredded. If they are shredded, the pieces are mixed with other additives and resins to create new cartridges. Recycling print cartridges this way helps ensure few end up in landfills.

How It Works

It is possible to buy inkjet kits online or from local discount stores. The kits contain blunt needled syringes, ink, and instructions for refilling the cartridge. They come in black and color. Color kits typically contain three ink bottles: red, yellow, and blue. The red may look more like orange, but will be red when printed or mixed to create other colors.

The next step is to remove the printer ink cartridge from the printer. Each model may differ slightly, but the basic instructions will remain the same. There may be two cartridges, one in color and one in black.

Now gently pull the label back and look for the refill holes. These are generally located on top of a cartridge under the label. The label may have to be completely removed.

Place the cartridge on a non-porous surface so any spilled ink will not soak in. It is recommended to use latex gloves before accomplishing the next steps.

Open the cartridge and determine which inks are inside and need to be refilled. Using the ink refill that matches the ink in the cartridge, insert it into the correct hole and gently squeeze. Once the colors are all refilled, replace the label, ensuring it is tight so the ink does not evaporate.

Place the cartridge back into the printer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
So, is it worth it to refill an ink cartridge even if the print quality may not be as good or the cartridge may fail completely? Most consumers believe it is, especially considering the reduced cost and impact on the environment.

Even with the benefits, refilling printer ink cartridges is still considered a controversy by some. One large manufacturer of printers and printer cartridges, devotes several pages on its company website to anti-refill arguments. Given the high cost of new cartridges as compared to refilled or remanufactured cartridges, chances are this controversy may continue.

If you already reset your ink cartridge, but still need to get a new printer ink, please check out Meritline Ink Cartridge section. Click here.

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