What Do You Do When Your Printer Runs Out of Ink and You Have a Rush Printing Job?

by: Ismael D. Tabije

It is always a pain in the neck when you run out of ink while printing a very important document – on a deadline. When everything fails, make sure you keep your cool and you know what to do next. Don’t worry! You’ll have that paper in your boss’ or professor’s desk in time – even if you run out of ink.

Undoubtedly, computer parts and accessories cost a lot. And you usually don’t realize when these parts would reach the end of their lifespan, so be sure you are prepared. Running out of ink is not a funny situation, not when you have a deadline for a paper. And buying a refill in the middle of the night is not exactly a fun thing to do. Now, you’d probably ask, “How do I keep my cool?” Here’s how: Know about ink refilling and do it yourself!

Ink refilling is popular nowadays, that it has even given birth to lots of ink-refilling stations. But that would mean another expense to you too, although it might be cheaper compared to buying a new ink cartridge. You can actually do the refilling yourself provided you have the materials and the knowledge how to do it.

Anybody who can read a manual would surely be able to get on with the task. Below is the list of what you should have and what you should do when refilling your own ink cartridge. Remember, keep your cool and don’t panic!

A place with a close access to running water is the best place to do the refilling. This is so as not to smear ink on furniture, other things most especially important documents.

The amount of ink to be refilled varies on the size of the cartridge. The cartridge states how many milliliters (ml.) of ink it can hold.

In your ink-refilling kit, a syringe is provided to draw the ink (of any color) to refill the empty (or near empty) cartridge. Along with it are bottles of ink of different colors, a bottle of cleaning solution especially designed for the sensitive parts of the cartridge and a user’s manual. Refer to the manual on how to properly inject the ink to the cartridge.

To transfer the ink from the syringe into the cartridge, there must be a very tiny hole (the size of the tip of a ball point pen) poked on top of the cartridge, near the label. Insert the needle of the syringe and slowly, very slowly inject the ink into the cartridge. It is necessary to do this process very slowly so that the ink would not form foam and the bubbles would prevent it from printing.

The newly created holes need not be sealed after refilling, as it would look like the other “breather” holes on top of the cartridge.

Left over ink inside the syringe can be returned to its original bottle. The syringe must be properly washed before using for another color. It is also preferable to use different syringes for different colors.

To make sure ink is not dripping out of the sponge, turn the cartridge upside down. Replace the cartridge back in the printer cradle, totally cleaned up. Run test print to see changes and to clear and clean any printing problems.

Few important things to remember:

It would be best to refill a near-empty cartridge than a totally empty one as dried up ink might cause clogging.

It would be best to let refilled ink cartridge stand overnight to let the newly injected ink even out.

It would be best to poke a tiny hole on top of the cartridge with UTMOST care so as not to cause a crack which will completely make it useless. Even a very thin crack might cause the newly refilled ink to dry up no sooner that when you put it in.

It would be best to inspect the cartridges to be refilled because there are some ink cartridges that say “Single Use Only”, and refilling it might cause damage to the printer especially when the ink injected is not the same with the previous content of the cartridge. Worse, when found out, the one who refilled it (you or some commercial refilling station) could face charges.

It would be best to check the cartridge (especially the newer models) for the green chip that keeps track of the levels of the ink. Its memory can be reset so as to be able to check the level of the cartridge with the newly-injected ink or when it is necessary to refill “again” before it has completely run out of ink.