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Can Inkjet Refill Kits Shorten the Life of Printer Heads?

Dried Ink Leftover from Spillage Common

Does refillable ink for printer cartridges shorten the life of the printer head? Let’s take a look at the Canon BJC-4300 printer and it’s inkjet refill kit. While this is an older model printer newer printer models may find themselves having to cope with similar problems.

A typical refillable ink kit is usually bought in either black ink or color sometimes kits containing both can be acquired. A kit typically contains a bottle of cleaning solution along with a plastic syringe and a tool that is used to help widen the holes on an empty cartridge. Widening the holes allows the syringe filled with ink a better passageway to shoot the solution into a sponge that holds the ink until use.

Over time the sponge will wear down and it won’t be able to hold any ink. When this happens, after the syringe is inserted into the sponge and the ink is injected, the ink will simply drip through the printer holes at the bottom. Ink that leaks through the bottom may also do so because the sponge has been filled to its holding capacity and can hold no more. You can judge whether or not its time to get rid of the cartridge by how many times you have refilled it. The cartridge can be filled between 3 to 10 times.

The life of a cartridge really depends on how long the lag time from the last use is. If you don’t print much and rarely use the printer, let’s say around twice a month, then the life of the cartridge dramatically shortens and you may get a refillable ink life of 3. This can happen because the ink in the sponge dries up. On the opposite end, if you use the printer often then you may get to fill the cartridge up to 10 times.

If you don’t use refillable ink and throw the original cartridge out after it is emptied then the life of the cartridge seems to last much longer; the ink in the sponge doesn’t dry out as fast. Every time you refill a cartridge you expose the sponge and the ink to air which produces a drying effect.

Refilling a cartridge with ink is often messy and the outcome can be spilled on and into places that can reduce the life of the printer head itself. The ink spilled can dry on the fragile print head computer chip. It can dry on the bottom of the print head where the ink is released. This is a common problem that may be relived with the help of the cleaning solution found in the kit.

The easiest way to clean a blocked print head is to pour a speck of the cleaning solution on a paper towel and then sit it directly onto the solution for a couple of minutes. This will help to dissolve away the dried ink. When the couple of minutes are up pick up the print head and sit it on a dry paper towel. Never rub the print head to dry it because this can cause irreversible damage that will cost you. It will be the price of a new print head and in the end the refillable ink kit that saved you money to begin with can indeed shorten the life of the printer head.