Inkjet Cartridge Refilling Procedure

After blackening my hands and working surfaces one too many times, I have decided to create a checklist for using those nifty inkjet refill kits. They can potentially reduce the cost of printing but the economy is somewhat lessened if you don't do it exactly right, since you'll have to throw away the cartridge and perhaps the desk you worked on.

These instructions apply to refilling the main black inkjet cartridge used by the Canon BJC-6100 printer with the KRT (Ko-Rec-Type) refilling system. If things go well, I can get a dozen refills for the cost of buying just one new Canon cartridge.

However, things have generally not gone well. That's why I made this checklist.

1. Gather the following tools and materials:
- Inkjet cartridge refilling kit
- Skin-tight latex gloves
- Sharp scissors
- Stretchy electrical tape
- Large roll of paper towelling
- General-purpose spray cleaner (e.g. Fantastik)
- About 20 sheets of scrap printer paper sheets
- Garbage pail with plastic garbage bag inside
- Plastic cut from a garbage bag (about 2 feet by 2 feet)
- Empty food can, three-quarters filled with hot water
These must all be within easy reach

2. On table, lay down plastic cut from garbage bag
Tape down the plastic at the corners

3. Lay a stack of six sheets of printer paper on the table
This will absorb spills quite readily
The stack should be roughly centered on the plastic sheet
Tape down the stack of paper at the corners

4. Cut eight strips of electrical tape, 2 inches long
Stick the ends (about 1/4 inch) to edge of table for quick access
Separate ten sheets of paper towelling
Set the sheets of towelling aside within easy reach

5. Remove cartridge from printer
Place cartridge on the stack of paper

6. Cut a small square of paper
This should be just big enough to cover exit hole on cartridge
(The exit hole is the felt-filled hole at the bottom)

7. Flip cartridge upside down
Place paper from Step 6 on cartridge exit hole
Seal well but do NOT press on the exit hole
Use three overlapping strips of electrical tape
The seal must be absolutely airtight!

8. Assemble ink injector (syringe)

9. Make sure you know where the rubber plug for the cartridge top is
If cartridge has been refilled before, it's inserted at the top

10. Prepare to start working very fast

11. Put on latex gloves
Open ink bottle

12. Fill injector as well as possible, set down on paper stack
Close ink bottle -- do not leave it standing around open!
Clean up any spills

13. Open the filling hole in the top of the cartridge
Inject ink
Set injector down
Wipe excess ink from top and sides of cartridge -- DO NOT INVERT
Insert plug
Seal cartridge by putting 3 overlapping pieces of tape over plug
Seal must be absolutely airtight

14. Clean up any spills

15. Fill and empty syringe with the hot water in the food can
Continue to do this (changing water) until syringe is clean
Disassemble syringe
Refill can with fresh hot water
Put syringe parts in food can to soak a bit more
Wait two minutes to see if cartridge is leaking

16. If stack of paper is soaked with ink, replace it

17. Remove seal from exit hole on cartridge

18. Put cartridge down on an unsoaked spot on the stack of paper

19. Remove syringe parts from food can and set down on paper towel
Pour water out of food can
Set can aside for recycling
Move cartridge to an unsoaked spot and wait 2 minutes

20. Move cartridge again to an unsoaked spot
Wait 2 minutes

21. If the cartridge is no longer exuding ink:
Clean cartridge with paper towel moistened with cleaner
Allow to dry

22. Wait 2 minutes to be safe

23. Put cartridge in printer and test

24. If it works okay, breathe a sigh of relief

25. Wait ten minutes
Look inside your printer again to make sure everything's okay
Print another test page
If it works, rejoice!

Note: This checklist is presented as-is, with no guarantees, warranties, or warm assurances. You're on your own, okay?

Happy printing!

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