Can I Refill My Inkjet Printer Cartridges?

By Leslie Meredith
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With inkjet printers at their most affordable, the cost of replacing inkjet printer cartridges can easily exceed your initial purchase in a couple of months. Consumers look for ways to reduce the cost of ink, and one way is to refill your own cartridges. If you’re willing to risk ink on your fingers, you may be able to save 75% or more.

Common Concerns

  1. Is it difficult to do? No, the process is straightforward and uses a specialized syringe to transfer the ink from a bottle to the cartridge. Plan on up to ten minutes the first time and just a few minutes once you are familiar with the process
  2. Is it messy? It can be messy, so go slowly. If ink does get on your hands, a mild bleach and water solution will be more effective than plain soap and water for removing it.
  3. Will refilling my inkjet cartridges affect my printer’s warranty? Printer warranties vary, so you should check yours to see if refilling is prohibited. Some manufacturers warn against using generic inkjet cartridges as well. Inkjet refill companies sell a variety of refill kits formulated for specific printers. If you decide to refill your own inkjet printer cartridges, be sure the kit is compatible with your printer.
  4. How many times can an inkjet printer cartridge be refilled? The number of refills depends on the type of cartridge you have. If the print head is built into the inkjet cartridge, you may be able to refill it up to 15 times; if your cartridge do not have the print head built in, expect to make at least five refills.

Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Cartridge

Much like the gas tank in your car, you’ll get more mileage out of your inkjet printer cartridge if you never let it run dry. Add ink before you get to the very bottom of the cartridge, and if you do run out, refill or change your cartridge immediately.

If you’re still not ready to refill your own inkjet printer cartridges, many local office supply stores will do it for you. You will have to wait a few minutes, but you will come out with clean hands.

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