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How to Revive a Hopelessly Stuck Inkjet Cartridge

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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.

 
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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.

nwlaurie3 months ago
I just stick 'em jet down in a cup of boiling water. It works nearly every time.
I've done hundreds this way (I'm a PC support tech)
Laral (author)  nwlaurie2 months ago

No, this did not work in my case. I'm using a pigment based ink, not a dye based one. The vacuum was definitely necessary. You can buy syringes that fit onto the nozzles that do the same thing but I have this pump so it was free for me.

aross91 year ago
I refill my inkjet cartridges to save hundreds of dollars. So it does'nt get struck.
ink cartridges cheap london
rimar20002 years ago
Interesting. A month or so ago, I unblocked a blocked cartidge using liquid soap for cloth, containing ethoxylated alcohol. I learn to do that here in Instructables.
Laral (author)  rimar20002 years ago
"liquid soap for cloth, containing ethoxylated alcohol" Huh? Would you care to translate? Do you mean, perhaps, liquid laundry detergent? Where's the link to that Instructable? I'd like to see it.
rimar2000 Laral2 years ago
Yes, that laundry detergent. Yesterday I look a while for that instructable, but I can't found it. Maybe you are luckier...
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