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How does one re-ink a typewriter-type ribbon? Answered

I have a Gaylord charging machine (used in nonautomated libraries to check materials out) but fear that the ribbons may be unobtainable in the near future. I'm hoping re-inking the ribbon will prolong the machine's useful life.


Here's a device that was patented back in the seventies if you can figure out the jargon looks like a great solution.


check for colored typewriter ribbons available on etsy blue purple or brown. or check yourtypewriter dot com allot easier than re-inking black ones. good luck typing!

 I've got no idea if you can really re-ink it in the first place, maybe if you buy another spool of the inked ribbon for the typewriter then it would make sense to me. I just bought another ribbon spool for Php13.50 I guess. In USD it's like 26cents. The hard part is taking the ribbon out, or maybe putting it in. No, it was the part of winding it so that it would work. I don't know which is hard because I replaced mine months ago. All this said it doesn't really answer the question. 

National Book Store. Just ask the cashier; it's usually hidden from view, but they have them.

Soaking the strips in printers ink might help.

I can help you! I have done this for old Commodore Computer printer carts. Heres what you'll need:

1. an old phone book, optional: also old newspapers
2. a bottle of INK PAD REINKER (look in any ofc supply store, its a bottle with a roller on top full of black ink, ask, they know what it is.)

Take the phone book and open it on a table, (add some old newspapers around it too, it might get messy) Now get your ribbon and pull out like 2 feet of it and lay it flat over the phone book. Now open the ink, theres a ball on the top, it will roll and work like a rollon deoderant. hold the ribbon still with one hand and roll the ink on with the other pulling away from you. The old phone book will absorb all of the extra ink that might come out. Roll up the ribbon, pull out more dry ribbon, repeat. Turn to new pages of the phone book if you need to. If you plan it so you only touch the dry part of the ribbon you get by with few ink stains on your hands, but it can get messy. If you have the red and black ribbon, say goodbye to the red part. :)



8 years ago

>:O i have a type wrighter too and its and old remington. it still works but if you get a best answer ill have to come back and see it. :)


9 years ago

When I used to use a dot matrix printer, I used to hit my ribbons with some WD-40 when the ribbon would go dry. There is a lot of ink in areas that aren't hit by a typewriter key. I think that the WD-40 would allow the ink to move around on the ribbon and distribute itself evenly again. Make sure to just wet it a little bit. Don't make the ribbon soggy or it may smear onto the pages as you type. While this doesn't actually reink the ribbon, it used to let me get a considerable amount of extra usage from the ribbons that I was using.

I did the same with my dot-matrix printer ribbon.  For the spool-type ribbon, I just unwound all the ribbon in a pile and gave it a light spray with WD-40, then wound it back up.  The ink and solvent would migrate throughout the ribbon.  Had somewhat less success with the ribbons on the office printer, that were in a cartridge---but was able to pry open the cartridge and give the wadded-up ribbon a light spray.  Rather than waiting for the ribbon to "go dry" I'd give it this treatment every now and then.

I have done this to ribbons several times. Just like caitlinsdad... i used STAMP PAD ink because it wont dry out quickly. it works. but i always get it on my hands so wear plastic gloves and work over newspapers

I would try two pieces of an O-Cedar sponge ( Top and Bottom ) put ink on both pieces and with some pressure with one hand ( on the sponges ) pull the ribbon through the sponges with the other hand. This would stop over inking. Use gloves and lots of newspaper, good luck! another way is to look for a reinking store, we have one in the next town. if interested email me.

Probably NOT a good idea, I soaked mine overnight in water and it works SLIGHTLY better now. I too have a fear of typewriters and ribbons going extinct. Best of luck.

Phil B

9 years ago

Back in the day when typewriter ribbons were THE MEDIUM you could get more life from one by unspooling it and daubing it with a drop or two of glycerin every few turns as you rewound it. Let it sit for a day or two, then use it.

I think you can use the regular stamp pad ink that comes in a tiny bottle. Drip drops onto the ribbon slowly and give it time to soak in. You don't want an overstaurated ribbon that will make a mess. If you can see liquid on the fibers on f the ribbon, you may have too much. Hold the ribbon in a plastic bag while you do it so you don't mess up your hands. Good luck.

Soak it in ink, simple as that really. L