Some people see refilling cartridges as a waste of money for one reason or another.

However, many do not realise that buying new ink cartridges is a lot more expensive than refilling your old ones. Some cartridges are actually as expensive as some printers. So refilling can save you a lot of money.

Asides from saving you money, refilling empty cartridges contributes to minimising environmental waste. In a 2005 study conducted by NSW Department of Environment and Conservation, every 10 tons of recovered waste i.e. reused cartridges is the equivalent to taking four cars off the road permanently, or the annual electricity requirements of 14.5 households and saves enough water to fill 3.5 average backyard swimming pools.

So the big question is: how can you make your ink cartridges last longer and reap the benefits?

If you want your ink cartridges to last longer and get the best performance from them, it is imperative that you follow some of the best practices for ink cartridges care.

Knowing the Best Time to Refill

There are different signs to look out for so you know when the ink is getting low. These signs may be deterioration in the quality of print like blurred text or fading and other forms of lose in the colour of images. Some printers have indicators to show low ink cartridges. When this happens, it’s best to immediately have your ink cartridges refilled.

Most people have their cartridge refilled when it is totally empty. However, this practice is one of the fastest ways to ruin your cartridge. The ink acts as coolant for the print head nozzle. If you continuously print with an almost empty cartridge, it burns out. Say goodbye to your cartridge if this happens because it will become too unstable for refilling and the unusable.

Handling and Care for Refillable Ink Cartridges

We cannot stress more the importance of handling cartridges with care. Our main purpose is to increase the life of your ink cartridge. You can do your bit to prevent damage to the cartridge. Here are seven ink cartridge care tips:

1. To prevent the ink from drying out, store an ink cartridge in an airtight or zip-lock plastic bag and keep it in a cool and dry place. Do not expose to sunlight or heat.

2. Keep the cartridge in a head-down position. This will keep it moist and will help prevent cross-contamination of colours.

3. Avoid touching any electronic parts of the cartridge. This may disrupt or damage your printer-cartridge connection.

4. For colour ink cartridges, do not use a plastic container when bringing it to refilling stations. Instead, use the original box or cover the print head with a paper towel to prevent cross contamination of colours.

5. When putting or removing the ink cartridge to and from the printer, do it carefully. Do not force the cartridge in and out or you could damage the circuit board.

6. Do not contact with the print head directly as this will likely create permanent damage to the cartridge.

7. If you are not using your printer often, run a test print each week. This will help you determine the condition of your cartridge or if it needs cleaning. This will also prevent it from drying up. Run a cleaning cycle in order to maintain the good condition of the cartridge and to keep the nozzle working.

Your ink cartridge can last for a very long time with proper care and maintenance. The above tips are just some of the basic things that you could do to extend its life.

If you have other tips that you want to share, Ink Gallery gladly welcomes them. Feel free to leave a comment.