Inkjet Cartridge Refilling Tips


How To Avoid A Mess

When you are refilling an ink cartridge, you should do it over some newspapers or over your sink. Once you get used to refilling, a mess will no longer be an issue

How To Clean Up

The first time you refill a cartridge, you probably will get some ink on your hands. After you learn what you are doing, this should not happen again.
To get the ink off, use a mild bleach and water solution. Put just a little bleach on a wet towel or rag. This will clean the ink off your hands. Wash with soap and water when you are finished with the bleach.
If you don't want to use bleach, Lava soap will work fine, with a little scrubbing.

Pressure Equalization

When you shoot ink into a cartridge it upsets the internal pressures in the cartridge. When the cartridge is full, let it set on some newspapers or in a plastic container for 15 minutes or more before putting it back into your printer. This will give the cartridge time to stabilize internally. The excess ink will drain off and the chambers inside will reach equilibrium. Wipe off the print head with a paper towel or cloth and reinstall or put into a zip lock bag for storage.

Dried Out Cartridges

The number one refilling problem for HEWLETT PACKARD printers is a dried out cartridge. If an HP cartridge is left empty for more than 10 minutes, the ink (any kind) will dry and clog the micro holes at the outlet of the print head. When refilled, this will present itself as streaked or banded output. Don't attempt to refill old empty cartridges that you have had in your desk drawer for a few days or longer. It won't work after it is refilled. Refill cartridges that go empty right away or store them in a zip lock bag with a damp cloth to prevent drying.

The best way to keep your printer running is to have a backup cartridge set. Keep the backups filled. When the one in the printer goes empty, put in the backup. Then refill the empty as soon as possible. Store in a zip lock bag with a damp cloth until you can get to it.

If you do a lot of printing, you can "top off" your cartridge. By knowing how many pages your full cartridge can print gives you a mental signal to "top off" when you reach the 3/4 empty point. Some of the cartridges are "see through" so you can fill them when they are not quite empty. If you are the scientific type. Weigh a full cartridge and an empty one. Then you can calculate what percentage of the ink has been used. A low cost postal scale is needed. It is kind of like the gas tank in your car. Don't let it run out or there will be problems.
Click Here for some tips on unclogging a clogged printhead

How To Extend The Life Of Your Cartridge

The bubble jet cartridges have electrical resistors that control the current to each outlet jet. These resistors must stay fixed in terms of there resistance or ohms. When they get over heated the resistance changes. After many over heatings the resistance value may not be in the acceptable range and this will present itself as low quality output, either color distortion or weak printing or both.

The ink in the cartridge keeps these resistors cool and prevents over heating. However, when the cartridge goes empty and the printer continues to try to print, over heating occurs. If left too long this can burn out the cartridge. This is why cartridges have a limited life in terms of how many times they can be refilled. Each time there is a no ink situation and the resistors overheat the life of the cartridge is diminished.

The remedy here of course is a new cartridge. To extend life, refill your cartridge at the first sign of low ink or do the "top off" procedure above.

How To Avoid Any Problems

Make sure you follow the instructions. Different makes and models have different instructions, so even if you know what you are doing, it may differ with a different printer! The easiest way to avoid problems; Follow your directions to the letter.

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