Inkjet Refills - What Are They And How Do They Work?

Well the name kinda gives the game away doesn't it? An inkjet refill allows you to replace the ink in your cartridge without having to pay top dollar for a brand new cartridge every time you run out. It means you're never left short of ink and you're saving more than a few bucks every years on buying inkjet cartridges.

There's two ways for you to refill an inkjet cartridge.

1. You can do it yourself with a home refill kit.

2. You can bring it to one of the inkjet refill stores.

If you decide to go down the road of refilling your cartridges yourself then you'll have a choice of two refill kits - black and color. The black kit will only have one color...which will obviously be black.

The color kit will come with cyan (blue), magenta (purple) and yellow ink - this allows you to refill each color ink tank individually. If you're using a combined color cartridge then you might be best to bring it to a professional refill store.

How Does A Refill Work?
Each inkjet refill kit comes with at least one syringe and air balance plugs (or sometimes clips). The syringe is used to squirt fresh ink directly back into the cartridge. How you actually go about this depends on the manufacturer - some cartridges are just way easier to refill than others. You'll find a refill hole on the cartridge somewhere - there always has to be one. The clips or plugs are used to form a tight seal over the refill hole but you can remove them later on for more cartridge topups.

Your final step is priming the cartridge. This basically gets it ready for installation into the printer. Usually the quickest way to do this is to place the refilled cartridge on some paper towels - this encourages the flow of ink. The very last thing you need to do is clean the printhead with the cleaning fluid that came with your refill kit.

Are Refilled Inkjet Cartridges Reliable?
You don't need to be a professional to do a refill properly. As long as you take your time and follow the instructions that came with the refill pack you should have no problems at all. You'll get away with refilling a standard inkjet cartridge about 7 times before it becomes unusable. If you keep refilling the same cartridge it will eventually fail and leak all over the inside of your printer - usually ruining the printers electronics.

Print Quality?
This depends on the quality of the ink you get from the supplies. Ink refill companies who work towards the highest standards manufacture their inks to match the viscosity, density and drying time of their inks so that they're exactly like the ink supplied by the original cartridge manufacturer. You might need to test a few different refill kits or suppliers before you find one that you like.

There's lots of places for you to buy refill kits online and offline. Shopping online does give you the conveniece of checking reviews and taking your time to pick the exact product you want though - this can save you up to 75% of your normal purchase price too!

One final note. Check your printer documentation for warranty warnings on using inkjet refills with your printer. Some manufacturers will void your printer warranty for using inkjet refills...even though this is technically illegal. You gotta practice due diligence with these things right?

If you're not interested in refilling your printer cartridges you can get more information on cheap inkjet cartridges here.