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How To Salvage Damaged Printer Ink Cartridges

2010-08-12

Some people waste a lot of money buying brand new printer ink cartridges when they could easily repair and continue using their damaged cartridges. In fact, in most cases, damaged printer cartridges can be repaired for free or at very little cost. It is usually a better idea to attempt to fix a damaged cartridge or to have the damaged cartridge fixed by an expert than to simply toss it out and spend a great deal of your paycheck on brand new printer ink cartridges.

Sometimes, printer ink cartridges fail to work correctly immediately following installation. If this happens, you should remove the printer cartridge and check to see that the plastic strip on the printer head has been properly removed. Once you remove the plastic strip from the printer head, replace the cartridge in the printer. If it still isn't working, let the ink cartridge sit for at least an hour. While the cartridge rests, the air will rise to the top and the ink will sink to the bottom, which may enable a return to normal operation.

In some cases, printer cartridges fail to work because they are dirty or clogged. A dirty cartridge can be cleaned using cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol. Holding the printer cartridge with the print head facing you, lightly swab it with rubbing alcohol using a cotton swab. After cleaning the cartridge, allow it to dry for an hour before replacing it in the printer.

When damaged cartridges leak, they can be fixed easily. Place several paper towels on a flat surface, and set the leaking cartridge upright on the towel. When allowed to rest outside the printer, the cartridge's air pressure should equalize with that of the surrounding area. This will stop the leaking. Once the cartridge has finished leaking, clean it with a cotton swab and return it to the printer.

If you are using a new printer cartridge and your printer fails to recognize it, you may need to reset your printer. Sometimes, printers do not recognize generic brands of printer ink cartridges, because most generic printer cartridges are often created from recycled cartridges. To reset your printer so that it will recognize the printer cartridge, unplug the printer and clean off the printer head. Then reinstall the new printer cartridge and turn the printer back on. If the printer still fails to recognize the new printer cartridge, it may be faulty beyond repair. In this case, you should return the printer cartridge, its box and a receipt to the store from which you purchased it. They will be happy to replace damaged printer cartridges if your printer fails to recognize them.