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Refilling Ink Cartridges

July 29th, 2015

Back in 2009, I got lucky and found a Canon ip90 on Craigslist for $25. If you’re not familiar with the model, it’s a small (12.3 x 2.1 x 6.9 in), portable inkjet printer that’s precise enough to print photos. At the time, they were near $300. The one I got looked brand new and came with a case, so I got a screaming deal.

thinkpad and ip90

Not mine but here to show the ip90’s size

It’s been a great travel printer except for one thing, the ink. It was always dried out. I don’t print every day or even every month. When I did try to use it, I’d have to get out a new cartridge ($5-10 each) and then use half of it cleaning the print head. Then, I would have a binge printing session where I printed everything I could think of that needed printing. The rest of the cartridge would eventually dry up and go to waste.

Tired of throwing money away, I decided to give refilling my own cartridges a try. It was so easy and just a little bit messy. They ones for the ip90 are refilled with a syringe. All you do is fill it from the ink well and dispense the ink into the pad on the bottom of an old cartridge.

The kit that I bought came with a bottle of cyan, magenta, yellow, and three bottles of black ink. The bottles are so big that I think they will last me a lifetime. It came with a syringe for each color. There were some loose ball bearings in the package. I imagine that they are to put into the ink and aid in mixing it. Unfortunately, they were stuck in some of the syringes instead, rendering them unusable. I ended up using the same one and rinsing it between colors. No big deal

Ink Refill Kit

I was totally afraid to actually go the whole refill route. I had been filled with FUD and stories of giant messes, hands being stained for weeks, the inside of the printer being flooded in ink and colors that were horribly wrong. In reality, it was easy and cheap without any of the foremetioned issues. The colors are good, the cartridges aren’t drying out in two weeks like the canons ones,and I have lifetime supply of ink. I feel like a fool for spending so much on cartridges and listening to anti-DIY rhetoric.

co_printerfill01 Printer Test Page


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