I refill my inkjet cartridges to save hundreds of dollars a year. The printer manufacturers make it as difficult as possible to do that. They would rather sell you a tiny cartridge with a month's worth of ink for $30. Fortunately there are companies online that specialize in the sale of inkjet inks for DIY refillers--like me! Hah-hah. I paid $40 for four colors of inks in pint bottles. That's many years' worth of printing. One problem however. The cartridges get all stuck up with dried ink in the nozzles and bubbles form inside the ink tanks in the cartridge, both of which conspire to foil your fun in bypassing the big boys. Don't give up hope. There's an incredibly simple, cheap solution that really works. It is based on the same principle that professional refill centers employ--exposing the cartridge to a vacuum, but using readily available equipment.
Step 1: Materials
Without further ado, here is what you'll need:
- A marinating syringe
- A jar with a tight lid with a wide enough mouth to allow an inkjet cartridge to be placed inside
- Some electrical or other type of tape
- Paper towels
- Vinyl or rubber gloves
That's it. I got the marinating syringe at a dollar store and had a half pint mason jar, electrical tape, and gloves, so total cost to me: one dollar plus tax.
Step 2: Prepare the "Vacuum Chamber"
Drill a hole in the center of the jar lid large enough to allow the needle to pass through. I used an electric drill to drill the hole and then I deburred the hole with a larger bit. You could just use a nail or an awl to make a crude hole if you had to.
Slap a small square of tape over the hole and you are ready to de-stick your stuck cartridge.