How to Repair Inkjet Cartridges


Inkjet cartridges are expensive. So you want to use them completely before you need to replace them. There aren't a lot of parts in an inkjet cartridge. Yet they can easily quit working from time to time. Common problems that can arise with inkjet cartridges are clogs, leaks after refilling them and faded ink. You can easily repair most problems that arise with cartridges. You just can't repair inkjet cartridges when they become damaged.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton swabs
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Paper towels

Check two things on an inkjet cartridge if it's not releasing ink after it was installed in the printer. First, remove the cartridge and make sure the plastic strip covering the print head has been removed. Second, let the inkjet cartridge sit unused in the printer for an hour or so. This will allow the air inside the cartridge to rise to the top, leaving the ink at the bottom.

Clean a dirty or clogged inkjet cartridge with cotton swabs and alcohol. Hold the cartridge up so the print head faces you. Dip the swab into the alcohol so it's moist, but not sloppy wet. Gently wipe the print head until it's clean. Let the alcohol evaporate, then replace the inkjet cartridge into the printer.

Repair a leaking cartridge after you have refilled them. Check to make sure it's sealed tightly. Then, fold a paper towel over several times. Place the cartridge on the towel and allow it to set undisturbed. When the air pressure inside equalizes with the air outside, the leaking should stop. Carefully wipe the inkjet cartridge clean, and it's ready to use.

Use your computer and printer to repair a cartridge that's producing faded printing. Find the printer's software program. Look for the "maintenance" or "troubleshooting" section. Follow the steps to clean and reset the inkjet cartridge so it will work properly.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't use your printer on a regular basis, you should print a few pages every week. This will help keep the ink flowing freely. If you remove an inkjet cartridge from its packaging, and then don't use it immediately, replace the plastic strip over the print head so it doesn't dry out.

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