Buying original printer ink cartridges can be extremely expensive. It is therefore not surprising that, in the past few years, buying ink refill kits online has become so popular amongst printer users. However, refilling an ink cartridge is not an easy process and it should only be attempted by users with a good understanding of the steps involved.

How to Refill a Printer Ink Cartridge

To refill a printer ink cartridge, all is usually needed is a refill kit, bought at any IT store, as well as a used cartridge. It should be noted that attempting to refill an empty cartridge usually leads to various problems such as clogging. It is usually much easier to refill a cartridge which still contains a small amount of ink.

The entire refilling process can sometimes be somewhat different, according to the original brand of the printer. For example, an original HP ink cartridge is not refilled the same way than an Epson ink cartridge. It is therefore essential to closely follow the instructions manual supplied in the refill kit.

Since the process can sometimes go wrong and ink can be spilled, it is best to protect the desk or the table where the operation will be performed with several layers of newspaper or strong cloth.Once the work area is set up, the refill kit should be opened and all components should be laid out, along with the original cartridge.

At this point, the instructions manual should be carefully read. The puncture point where the syringe will be inserted is different for all brands and it is therefore important to know exactly the layout of the cartridge. Usually, the puncture point is located next to or even under the label on the top of the cartridge. Another important fact which should be in the manual is the amount of ink which should be used to fully refill the cartridge.

Once the user has found this information, the ink can be filled with the appropriate ink color and the needle can be inserted in the refill hole. The needle should be pushed firmly until it is lodged deep into the sponge which is in the ink chamber. Once the needle is in, the cartridge can be slowly refilled.

It is worth noting that some cartridges, mostly of the Epson brand, are equipped with microchips which have to be reset with a tool supplied in the refill kit. If this step is not performed, the printer may not accept the refilled cartridge.

Impact of Refilling a Printer Cartridge on Print Quality

Refilling an ink cartridge usually does not have any dramatic impact on print quality. However, it is possible to notice a difference when printing high-quality photographs on papers manufactured by the same brand than the one which supplied the printer. The reason for that is that, usually, the company which manufactured the printer designed their photo paper to react as well as possible with the chemicals contained in their ink. By refilling a cartridge with different ink, it is therefore common for high-resolution photographs to be noticeable adversely affected.

It should also be noted that attempting to refill an ink cartridge is usually seen by most printer manufacturers as a breach of the warranty agreement. If returning a defect printer to the manufacturer, it is therefore important to remove all refilled cartridges from it or replace them with original ones.