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Find Out Exactly How Ink-Refills.com Can Save You Time and Money 

If You have never refilled before, chances are you have some questions--primarily; does it work, and am I really going to benefit from those huge savings.  We can answer you with a confident "YES!"  However, if you would like to examine the facts, just select any of the Frequently Asked Questions from the dropdown window below. .


Brand names and trademarks are used for descriptive purposes only and remain the property of their respective owners. Their use here does not imply endorsement by or association with the owner companies.

Copyright 1996 - 2002 Ink-Refills.com - All rights reserved.

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How Much Can I Save?

Please find your printer in the list of refill kits. Example: divide $29.95 by the number of refills, and do the math. Shipping and handling are $3.50, so your total cost is $33.45 per kit. For example, if you get 10 refills of black ink in the kit, your cost will be approximately
$3.35 per refill. COMPARE that with the retail cost of a cartridge!

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Is It Messy?

Ed, one of our founders, is no whiz at things technical. However, he says that the first time he ever refilled a cartridge, it took him less than 10 minutes and he didn't get any ink where it didn't belong. He says he was prepared for a spill, but he didn't even have to wash his hands when he was done. Ed could have worn a white suit, he says ( don't try this unless you are as good as Ed ).

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Is Everything Included in the Refill Kit?                                                                                    

Yes, the kit contains everything needed for you to refill easily. Illustrated instructions and all necessary supplies including ink. A couple of refill kits suggest you use a vise or a pair of pliers (we assume you will have these) but there is always another way! Once you have bought kits for the black and color (except for a couple printers), you will only need to buy bulk ink in the future and...                                                                                      SAVE EVEN MORE.                                                   

Users of the Hewlett-Packard 51625 and 51649 tri-color cartridges will benefit by buying our Top Popper, $9.95 when purchased with any refill kit. This device makes short work of what is sometimes a tricky job (removing the top) with these two cartridges.

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What If I Have A Problem?

Problems are quite rare and when the directions are followed exactly, our tests indicate nearly 100% success. A considerable amount of time and money has been devoted to developing the best refill methods and testing them for each and every printer. We don't offer the kit until the "bugs" are out... 100%. So please, if you are having a problem, don't blame it on the kit or ink. Review the directions and your actions and look for the answer there first. Doing most anything for the first or second time can be "tricky". Stick with it and you will have success and save a lot of money.

NetWares feels that there is very little chance that any problems will arise; but if they do, a technical assistance contact is furnished with all the products. You will get the fastest response by e-mail ... make sure you detail your problem and include the name and model # of your printer.

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How Good Is The Ink?

It is important for you to know that the ink is specially formulated for each printer, even for each model. We are supplying the highest quality inks available. Some users will find our inks superior to those in the OEM cartridge. You will find no loss of quality with our inks, which are formulated with the same technology as the OEM ink. We also have the photo inks available and can also supply you with various specialty inks like "water proof", NEON or other colors.

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Are All Inks The Same?

No, different printers require different formulations. There is no such thing as a generic ink that will work well in all printers. That is why we have all these different kits available. Some inks will not perform well if used in the wrong printer; this is why we ask you what kind of printer you have. DO NOT use ink formulated for one printer, in another.

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Should I Print With My Old Cartridge Until It Is Completely Dry?

No! An inkjet printer works by heating a very small amount of ink, which is then jetted onto the paper. The ink cools the resistors used to heat the ink. If there is no ink, the resistors overheat and burn out. This shortens the life of the printhead. So, when the low ink warning light glows, it is time to refill or change your cartridge. Keep a spare cartridge ready to go, and you won't have to stop printing, except to change cartridges. Then, you can refill when it is convenient for you. Try not to let the cartridge dry out before refilling; a tightly sealed plastic bag will slow down the drying process. (Of course, you have noted that all the new cartridges that you have bought come in hermetically sealed packaging).

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Should Old Cartridges Be Discarded?

No, even old, dried out cartridges can be refurbished, but it takes a facility like ours to do a good job. We buy empty cartridges, preferably those used only once and they must be the type that have the printhead attached.
THIS IS A GREAT FUNDRAISING IDEA: Start now, ask everybody with an inkjet printer to save their empties for you or your organization. Collect the donated empties, and we will pay you UP TO $2.00 each with a minimum of 10 cartridges. This is only for those cartridges that have the printhead attached. Help save the environment by minimizing the discarded cartridges going to the landfill, and make money besides. This is a great idea, and once you get started it's nearly effortless. Please call us for a price quote and for shipping instructions.

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How Many Times Can I Refill My Cartridge Before It Wears Out?

Realistically, we don't know, only time will tell; maybe, under ideal conditions, 10 times or more? There will come a time, however, when you notice that your print quality is deteriorating. This is usually evidenced by the printer streaking or incomplete ink coverage even after you have done the head cleaning instructions. Another indicator is printing colors which do not correspond with your screen ... e.g. - Blues look purple, Reds look dirty. This is caused by the printhead "wearing out" and NOT by our ink! Those of you with cartridges separate from the printhead, may find it is the printhead that needs replacement while the cartridges are still working fine.

Then, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have completely exhausted the usefulness of your cartridge, and can trash it without any qualms. That will be the time to buy another cartridge, new or remanufactured, and, we hope, from NetWares & Specialties.

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Are Your Products Guaranteed?

Yes, NetWares guarantees all of our products with our no risk guarantee. If your refill kit (or whatever you buy from us) doesn't work as we stated it would after carefully following directions, return it immediately and we will refund your purchase amount or credit you toward another purchase. Our goal is to supply you with the best possible products and help you save $$$ on your printing costs just as we have ourselves. We do not make any Guaranties or Warranties regarding your printer. There is no reason our kits would ever cause any damage to your printer when the refill directions are followed.

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Will your ink void my warranty?

The manufacturer's and sales outlets are doing their best to discourage refilling. Some even imply that using refill kits or cartridges other than originals will void the warranty. NOT TRUE. Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and general priciples of the Federal Trade Commission Act, a manufacturer may not require the use of any brand of ink (or any other article) unless the manufacturer provides the item free of charge under the terms of the warranty. Anyone providing you with free cartridges??

The replacement cartridge business is HUGE and very profitable for them. Despite all their various claims, I don't know of one single case where the manufacturer voided a warranty due to refilling. Besides, as a practical matter, how would they ever know if you didn't tell them?

Bottom line is this: We have an excellent product at a very reasonable price which will save you a lot of money and inconvenience. We stand behind our refill kits and ink 100%. If you are not satisfied, send the kit (in good condition) and unused ink back to us at your expense and we will refund your full purchase the same day we receive the return. The most you have to lose is $3.20 postage and a little of your time....we are out the same!

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TROUBLE SHOOTING, TIPS AND GENERAL INFO . . .
Please feel free to send in your own tips and tricks that you have learned and I will post them here. Also, if you had a problem and resolved it, tell us what you did.

GENERAL TIPS :

1. You will realize the greatest savings and efficiency by always having at least one extra cartridge for each color. With a spare, you will have hardly any "downtime" except the time it takes to replace the empty with your full spare.

2. Never print with an empty cartridge in the printer or even when one of the colors has been used up. The ink helps cool the "heat sinks" that produce the bubbles, without ink they overheat and burn out.

3. Always store your empty and refilled cartridges in an airtight container to prevent from drying out. Put tape over vent holes while storing and use clips to cover exit ports. Place a damp paper towel in container to maintain humidity.

4. It is preferable to refill an empty cartridge immediately in order to keep the sponge in the cartridge from drying out. Or "top it off" before it goes empty.

5. Be sure to put down newspapers on work surface in case you have a spill and have clean water available for rinsing and cleaning the syringe and tools.

6. Have one of our Cleaning Kits on hand to keep the cleaning reservoir in your printer clean, use to dissolve dried ink on or in the printhead of cartridge and to even flush out your internal printhead for those printers (Epson) that have one.

7. Make sure you have not covered the vent hole with tape or that you have removed same prior to printing.

8. If your cartridge has the printhead attached or has an assembly that holds the ink tanks, keep the electronic circuitry free from dirt and contamination by gently cleaning with lintless cloth and distilled water, isopropyl alcohol or the solvent in our Cleanimng Kit. If you get an error message that printer does not recognize the installed cartridge, it is most likely due to "dirty" electronic circuitry where the cartridge (assembly) interfaces with the printer.

9. If your ink tank or cartridge does not want to absorb the ink when refilling, it is probably because the sponge in the compartment is drying out or becoming filled with dried ink. Here again our Cleaning Kit may be able to solve by injecting some solvent in the tank to dissolve dried ink. Another method is to heat the cartridge or tank (remember no metal in microwave) until it is warm to the touch and then try to refill very slowly.

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PRINT HEAD CLEANING TIPS . . . for cartridges with the printhead attached or assemblies that hold the ink tanks:

The best solution is to purchase one of our Cleaning Kits which includes a specially formulated solvent, 3 pages of instructions and tips and the tools and supplies you need to keep your printer operating smoothly. This kit has saved many printers and printhead cartridges from the landfill. At less than the cost of most cartridges, one use and it pays for itself. Cleaning Kit - click here.

1. DRIED INK ... Remove the cartridge with printhead or the printhead assembly from printer. The printhead is where the ink is jetted onto your paper. Gently blot the printhead with a lintless cloth or towel and warm, distilled water. This will remove any ink dried on the surface. If this doesn't solve the streaky print problem, then set the cartridge in a shallow saucer of hot, distilled water (careful not to submerge any printed circuitry). Let set for 5-10 minutes, dry off and reinstall in printer.

2. DRIED INK ... If steps in 1. do not solve problem then set cartridge in a shallow saucer with 50% solution of household ammonia and hot water. Let set for 15 minutes, dry off and reinstall in printer. Run the printer head cleaning operation as prescribed in manual and then try to print. If print is still not correct, alternate the head cleaning and printing several more times or until the print is normal. If the cartridge still does not print properly, there is damage to the printhead and it needs to be replaced.

3. Put pressure on the cartridge to expel ink through the printhead and clear out possible clogs or dried ink. One way to do this is to blow through the vent hole with your mouth ... BE SURE YOU HAVE APPROPRIATE MATERIAL TO CATCH THE EXPELLED INK.

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HEWLETT PACKARD:

1. HP has made design changes to the deskjet 500 & 600 black cartridges to discourage refilling. They removed the vent hole at the top corner of the cartridge. You can either use the old style cartridges with our existing kit ... or ... purchase a "bottom fill" device ($9.95) from us which will fill both the new and old styles. If you are adventuresome, I can tell you how to refill the new carts using the old "drill and fill" method.

2. If you have properly filled your cartridge with ink and it will not print, there are two likely problems. First, make sure you have not covered the vent holes thereby creating a vacuum and preventing the flow of ink. Second, check your printhead to see if ink has dried on the surface and is blocking ink ... if so, blot the printhead with a lintless cloth and HOT, distilled water, let dry and try again after doing the head cleaning operation as prescribed by your printer's manual. If it will still not print or print is "streaky", try alternating the head cleaning and printing several more times. If there is still a problem, use the head cleaning tips... HERE.

3. In addition to #2, there is one other reason the cartridge may not print at all. If you have changed the pressure in the cart when refilling, you will need to refer to the instructions on how to equalize the pressure using the tubing. OR ... set the cartridge aside for several hours and try again later.

4. If you need additional plugs for refilling, let us know and we'll send them.

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go to hewlett packard listings

 

CANON:

1. Refilling the BC - 20 cartridge ... instead of drilling a hole in the vent on top, insert your drill or a drywall screw into the vent hole and pry the plug out. You can then more easily refill this cart and replace the plug when done.

2. Refilling the bci-21c (tri-color) cartridge. The directions recommend a vise but here is an alternative method: slice one side where the cap meets the cartridge with a sharp knife or razor blade (be careful). Take a pair of pliers and twist the cap up or pry under the side you cut to lift it up and leave hinged on one side. Refill the compartments and then scotch tape the cap back on (don't cover vent hole).
UPDATE ==> We now offer an alternate refill method whereby you need not remove the top - if these directions were not included in your refill kit, please ask and we will get to you immediately.

3. Be carefull not to overfill the color chambers in any of the cartridges as there is a danger of mixing the inks and you'll get some "funny" looking colors as a result. Keep in mind that you will usually run out of one color first (usually yellow) therefore the other colors will not require as much ink to refill. Inject the ink slowly. You will soon learn which ink you personally use the most and can refill accordingly.

4. If the ink drips out of bottom of cartridge as you are refilling it, you are either overfilling or the sponge in the cartridge is beginning to dry up and won't absorb as much ink. If the latter, make sure you penetrate the sponge with your needle and push down to the bottom then slowly remove upwards as you inject the ink. "Wiggling" your needle around in the sponge may also help it to regain some of its porosity. NEVER PUT THE CARTRIDGE BACK IN THE PRINTER WHILE IT IS DRIPPING!

5. If you have properly filled your cartridge with ink and it will not print, there are two likely problems. First, make sure you have not covered the vent holes thereby creating a vacuum and preventing the flow of ink. Second, check your printhead to see if ink has dried on the surface and is blocking ink ... if so, blot the printhead with a lintless cloth and HOT, distilled water, let dry and try again after doing the head cleaning operation as prescribed by your printer's manual. If it will still not print or print is "streaky", try alternating the head cleaning and printing several more times. If there is still a problem, do the head cleaning tips... HERE.

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go to canon listings

 

EPSON:

I strongly suggest that all Epson users purchase one of our Cleaning Kits. Sooner or later you will need it and one successful use will more than pay for itself. Cleaning Kit - click here.

1. After refilling, it is very important that you thoroughly seal the injection holes you made. If scotch or other tape will not seal, then use a glue gun to reseal the holes.

2. NEVER put the cartridge back in the printer if it is leaking or dripping ink. If this happens, retape the vent grooves and let set for a few minutes until the dripping stops and then reinstall in printer. (It is best to put cartridge in a paper cup and let it drip while "lodged" in the cup. If you set on a paper towel, the towel can actually "wick" the ink out of the cartridge.) Remove tape from vent grooves.

3. You have refilled the black cartridge according to directions BUT it won't print! Well, the Epson cartridges can be a little touchy ... 1st make sure you have removed the tape from the vent grooves. Second, read tip #5 (below) and try that. If that doesn't work, the most likely problem is that the "sponge" which absorbs the ink has trapped some air bubbles and prohibits the ink from flowing. Try this; remove the cartridge and make sure it is not dripping, gently shake it and turn on all sides, let set for 30 minutes and then reinstall. If that doesn't work, remove cartridge, inject more ink until it begins to drip out exit hole, set aside until dripping stops, gently shake cartridge and turn on all sides and set aside for 30 minutes and then reinstall cartridge. Here is a page of tips just for the Epson... EPSON TIPS AND TRICKS.

Customer tip: Unlike other cartridges, the Epson cartridges for the Stylus Color series may actually benefit from leaving out to air dry a day or two between refills. This actually purges the air from the cartridge and does not seem to cause the fibre material inside the cartridge to absorb any less ink. This helps with the trapped air problem.

4. If printing is streaky or incomplete then it is possible ink has dried on the printhead ... if so and you know how to access the printhead, wipe the printhead with a lintless cloth and HOT, distilled water, let dry and try again after doing the head cleaning operation as prescribed by your printer's manual. If it will still not print or print is "streaky", try alternating the head cleaning and printing several more times. Usually an ink "clog" will be cleared out by this method but may take many repetitions.

5. The printer prints for a while and then stops printing: The ink exit port may have enlarged and lost its seal (this happens especially after refilling several times). Remove the cartridge and place a strip of clear scotch tape or duct tape over the exit port and reinsert in printer. The printer will penetrate the tape just like it does when cartridge is new and the tape will seal port allowing the positive pressure to return and ink will again flow into print head. This is a fairly common problem with Epsons'.
NEWS FLASH ==> We now have plastic seals for the exit ports that solve this problem. They come with all new kits but if you need them, let us know with your next order and we'll throw some in.

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return to tips to keep your epson printer printing smoothly

go to epson listings

go to procedure for clearing stubborn clogs

 

LEXMARK:

1. As of now, all the Lexmark cartridges (Compaqs are same) have the printhead attached. They are fairly trouble free when refilling but can be subject to some of the same problems as the HP's and Canon BC-20 black cartridge.

2. If you have properly filled your cartridge with ink and it will not print, there are two likely problems. First, if there is no print at all or it stopped suddenly, make sure you have not covered the vent holes thereby creating a vacuum and preventing the flow of ink. Second, check your printhead to see if ink has dried on the surface and is blocking ink ... if so, blot the printhead with a lintless cloth and HOT, distilled water, let dry and try again after doing the head cleaning operation as prescribed by your printer's manual. If it will still not print or print is "streaky", try alternating the head cleaning and printing several more times. If there is still a problem, use the head cleaning tips... HERE.

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go to lexmark listings

go to compaq listings

 

Airlocked Cartridges that Won't Print:

1. Hold the cartridge with printhead down (over some newspapers) and raise to eye level. Sharply thrust the cartridge downward and stop abruptly before reaching the newspapers. Do this several times or until some ink is expelled.

Customer tip: If your Cartridge is airlocked from refilling,try this... Snitch one of your wife's (or someone's) nylon stockings (we also use a man's big sock). Take the cartridge and wrap in a paper towel and place in the foot of the stocking. Take this outdoors and twirl it around your head as fast as you can about twenty times. The centrifugal force will expel the air or trapped bubbles and allow the ink to pool at the exit port. So far, 100% success rate.

Customer tip: Another method to accomplish the same expulsion of air is... blow thru the vent hole until a small amount of ink has been expelled. Or use your syringe plunger and tubing to do the same.

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Colors are not printing correctly
 
If the colors of your printout are incorrect like red looks brown or blue looks purple or yellow is dirty - there are several reasons for this:
1. Software configurations are wrong.
2. The nozzles of the printhead are failing.
3. Colors have mixed internally in the ink tank.
4. One or more colors going empty.

Here are the troubleshooting steps to diagnose the problem and correct it if possible:

Step 1 ==> Check to see if it is the software you are printing from by printing from other software like MS paint or similar.

Same problem in all software - go to Step 2

Problem only occurs in the one software program - the settings in your software need adjustment. try changing some of the color settings to compensate - if it has gamma scales, change them slightly.

Step 2 ==> Print a test page (see your manual for instructions on how to do this) and check the result for color accuracy and that all 4 colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) are present. 

test OK - go to Step 3

test not OK - If you are missing one or more colors, refill the color chambers or replace the cartridge and you should be back to normal. If the test does show incorrect colors, go to Step 4

Step 3 ==> Uninstall your current driver and reinstall the latest up to date version from this site:
http://www.ink-refills.com/drivers.htm
If there is still a problem, you will need to contact the printer's support line.

Step 4 ==> Incorrect colors still appear. Most likely this is due to colors mixing at the printhead. Remove the cartridge and set it printhead down on a damp paper towel and let some ink wick out. Blot it in different spots until you see a rectangle (the size of the printhead nozzle area) containing
the 3 different colors clearly. Return to printer and run a head cleaning or nozzle test - if everything looks OK - go back to printing. If not, repeat the steps and then print some solid colors from MS paint or similar until it clears up.

If it does not clear up, then either the ink compartments are totally contaminated or the printhead nozzles are failing. Either way, if the printhead is part of the cartridge, it is time for a new one. If the printhead is internal like the Epsons or some Canons, See here for more info:
http://www.ink-refills.com/esc-tips.htm
http://www.ink-refills.com/faq.html

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Your refurbished cartridge is not printing correctly . . .
 
Sometimes the shipping method or the handling of the cartridge causes problems. If there is any leaking of ink, please clean the cartridge up with water and paper towels. Usually only a small amount of ink will leak even though it looks like a disaster. Let us know and we will give you some credit toward your next order.

1. The cartridge will not print or does not print all colors ==> It could be "airlocked" - see the tips here.(use the "BACK" button on your browser to get back here). The other most likely cause is that ink has dried on or in the printhead nozzles. This is not uncommon, try the tips here. (use the "BACK" button on your browser to get back here).

2. The colors are not printing correctly ==> This can happen due to pressure changes in the printhead. Try this: 

Incorrect colors still appear. Most likely this is due to colors mixing at the printhead. Remove the cartridge and set it printhead down on a damp paper towel and let some ink wick out. Blot it in different spots until you see a rectangle (the size of the printhead nozzle area) containing the 3 different colors clearly. Return to printer and run a head cleaning or nozzle test - if everything looks OK - go back to printing. If not, repeat the steps and then print some solid colors from MS paint or similar until it clears up.

3. Remember, problems are rare but they do occur and we want to help you solve them. The idea is for you to save some $$ on ink and for us to make some $$. In the end, we will always stand behind our products and accept them back for refund or replacement when necessary. All we ask is you try to solve any problems that occur. If the above tips do not work, send an e-mail to our tech support and we will get right back to you.
Honest! We will. SEND E-MAIL

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Brand names and trademarks are used for descriptive purposes only and remain the property of their respective owners. Their use here does not imply endorsement by or association with the owner companies.

Copyright © 1996 - 2002 Ink-Refills.com - All rights reserved.




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