Is Refilling The Ink Cartridge A Good Idea? (Read Before You Refill)

Refilling an ink cartridge is a good idea if you don’t want to buy a new one. Depending upon the cartridge, you can easily refill an ink cartridge for just $8 to $10. 

You can refill the ink cartridge for almost half of the price of a new ink cartridge. 

However, there are some bad and good parts of refilling an ink cartridge that you must consider before refilling an ink cartridge.

Advantages of refilling an ink cartridge:

  • Save a lot of money.
  • Use the ink cartridges until it reaches an end.
  • Save the environment by reducing waste.

Disadvantages of refilling an ink cartridge:

  • Buying a new ink cartridge is much more reliable.
  • Quality ink will come out.
  • No fear of ink leakage from the cartridge.
  • No nozzle clogs.
  • It may void your printer warranty by leaking the ink.
  • It will produce high-quality printouts.
  • The printer works flawlessly.

Although the disadvantages of refilling ink cartridges are far more than the advantages, in the long run, refilling is pretty cheap compared to buying a new cartridge. 

However, if you use a lot of refilled ink cartridges, some printers don’t perform as well as they are meant to in the long run.

Moreover, if you are using a refilled cartridge, the quality may not be that good. 

Refilled cartridges have lower ink quality which may not show you the best result if you print much text. For sharp printouts, buying a new OEM cartridge is always better.

How Many Times Can an Ink Cartridge Be Refilled?

The amount of times you can refill your ink cartridges depends upon the brand or manufacturer. 

Also, you have to take care of the ink cartridge when you refill it because if it leaks out, it may not be usable after that. Additionally, it also depends on how much you use your printer.

If you use your printer occasionally and store the ink cartridge, then there are high chances that the ink will dry out in the cartridge, thus it may not be usable.

However, if you use your printer often, the ink cartridge may have a good condition, thus it can be refilled multiple times.

When it comes to the refilling count of the ink cartridge, a branded or a good quality ink cartridge can be refilled up to 7 times before it reaches the end of life. 

However, in most cases, ink cartridges are filled up only 5 times.

Does Refilling Ink Cartridges Damage The Printer?

Yes, refilling the ink cartridges can damage your printer in many ways. Additionally, it can also void the warranty of the printer. 

If you get your ink cartridges refilled, there is a risk of overfilling, which may damage your printer. 

You will lose the quality of the printing if you refill a third-party ink.

A refilled cartridge can also block or clog the print heads, which may damage your printer. 

If the ink leaks inside the printer, then most likely, your printer will go out of warranty. 

Some third-party ink damages the print head quickly, so get quality ink refilled in the ink cartridges.

Moreover, your printer will also start throwing errors for refilling the ink cartridge if you use a refilled ink cartridge or even a third-party cartridge. 

Print heads fail too quickly if the ink quality is bad.

Can All Printer Cartridges Be Refilled?

Ink cartridges are easy to refill and reliable as it saves your hard-earned money. Additionally, it is a great initiative for the environment to fill your ink cartridge.

However, not all ink cartridges can be refilled. Some of the traditional ink cartridges do not support refills

Thus you cannot refill them. They are known as use-and-throw ink cartridges

But most of the modern ink cartridges support refilling and can be refilled multiple times before expiring. 

If you buy a branded ink cartridge, it will most likely have refill support.

Can You Use Any Ink to Refill Your Printer Cartridge?

When it comes to refilling your ink cartridge, the question arises can you refill the cartridge with any third-party ink?

Yes, most of the ink cartridges can be refilled with third-party ink brands. Almost all the printers support third-party refilled inks. 

However, you have to make sure that you refill your cartridge with a good quality third-party ink, as you may see the difference in the printouts. 

Third-party ink can degrade the quality of printouts. Also, third-quality ink produces useless printouts in some cases, so keep that in mind before refilling the cartridge with third-party ink.

Does Refill Ink Cartridges Deliver The Same Printing Quality As The Original?

It is hard to determine if the printing quality will be the same after refilling your ink cartridges from a third-party manufacturer. 

Most manufacturers want us to get a new cartridge every time the ink finishes, but sometimes we get our ink cartridges refilled from third-party stores. 

Ink cartridges are expensive and almost come in double the price of a refilled ink cartridge. 

However, brands are lowering the price of branded ink cartridges to lure customers into buying new ink cartridges. 

The bright side of refilling an ink cartridge is the cost. However, there are some flaws due to which users like to buy a brand new ink cartridge.

The most important factor that a user would not want to refill the ink cartridge is the quality. 

Even if you configure your printer at the best settings, you will never get the same results as the original ink cartridge. 

Additionally, in many cases, print also rejects the refilled ink cartridge.

Modern printers are programmed so that they can recognize the ink cartridges, thus they will not start printing with the refilled ink cartridge. 

However, in 95 % of cases, the printer will let you print with the refilled cartridge and…

Why Does The Printer Not Always Recognize a Refilled Cartridge?

Printers do not always recognize a refilled cartridge. There are various reasons why it happens and how you can fix it, have a look.

There are a wide variety of ok ink cartridges available in the market. If you get a refilled cartridge for your printer, it may not be recognized because it is not compatible.

To check the compatibility of a refilled cartridge with your printer, you must check what type of refilled cartridge this is. 

It can be an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) cartridge, remanufactured cartridge, compatible cartridge, or a third-party refilled cartridge.

Your printer will not recognize all types of cartridges. OEM refilled cartridges are expensive compared to other refilled cartridges. 

OEM cartridges are refilled from the brand itself. Hence there will be no issue, and it will get easily recognized with the printer. 

The problem lies in the other 3 types of cartridges. So you should ignore buying these types of ink cartridges.

If your printer still doesn’t recognize the cartridge, you can try these steps:

  • Restart the printer and reconnect it with a USB.
  • Remove and reinstall the ink cartridge.
  • Clean the ink cartridge with rubbing alcohol.
  • Try using another cartridge. If that’s working, then there is some fault in the old cartridge.
  • Your printer remembers the old empty cartridges, as the ink cartridge has a chip and a code. To fix it: 
    • Remove and refill the cartridge and insert another full cartridge into the printer.
    • Start the printer and wait for the cartridge recognition.
    • Now, remove this cartridge and insert the refilled cartridge, it will start working.
  • Pouring too much ink in the cartridge will also cause the cartridge recognition issue.
  • If the cartridge is dry or clogged, the printer won’t recognize it.
  • Use OEM ink cartridges only.

How Much Does It Cost to Refill Ink Cartridges?

Refilling the ink cartridges doesn’t cost much. It costs half of what you pay for a brand new ink cartridge. 

A new ink cartridge can be bought for $15-20, so you can get your old cartridge refilled for around $8-16 from a third-party store.

Our Advice

We would advise you not to refill the cartridge yourself, as the cartridge can be overfilled, which will become useless. 

Additionally, if the ink leaks, it will damage the printer, so get the ink cartridge refilled by a professional or from the brand itself.

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Tanmoy Misra found his love for tech early in life when he got his first Nintendo (NES) console. He spent many hours blowing into cartridges to no avail until inspiration struck and he started taking apart and rebuilding anything that didn’t work. After dropping console gaming at the end of high school, Tanmoy entered the world of PC online gaming. His love of gaming and problem-solving soon led him to build his computers. As per expertise, he is an ISF-certified video calibrator and covering AV for a number of publications since 2018.

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