Cartridge Refilling & Compatibles
Cartridge Refilling FAQ
Compatible Inks & Toners
When your cartridges are out of ink or show deterioration in print quality, simply take the cartridges out of your printer and bring them to The Cartridge Expert, making sure to handle carefully and not to touch the electrical strip if there is one.
We will electrically pre-test your cartridge, refill them with ink, perform a test print and return them to you with a cost-saving of up to 40%. It really is that simple!
Unlike other re-fillers, we have invested heavily in the highest spec Swiss refilling and testing technology. Our cartridges are refilled to the absolute maximum ink capacity, which is often far more than the Originals contain.
Did you know?
1Ink evaporates over time
Most inks are primarily water-based and will evaporate over time if left unused. This will happen even quicker if you keep your printer in a warm location (e.g. above or near a radiator). If you’re a very light user, you may never get to use all the ink in your cartridge as it will simply evaporate over time.
2Infrequent use can cause ink to dry out
If your printer is used very infrequently, ink can dry out and crystalise in the printhead of your cartridge. If you don’t print for months on end, you can expect the print quality to have deteriorated the next time you go to print. The likelihood is that there is still ink in your cartridge, but the printhead is blocked because ink has crystalised.
3Tri-colour cartridges cause ink wastage
If your printer takes a tri-colour cartridge (e.g. HP 300/301/342/343 or Canon CL-511), this means the cartridge is only as good as its lowest ink. For example, if you print a photo of a lemon, your tri-colour cartridge will use a lot of its yellow ink, but not the magenta (red) or cyan (blue). Once the first of the 3 colours in your tri-colour cartridge runs out, the print quality will begin to deteriorate and your cartridge will need to be replaced or refilled. This means that in effect you will never get to use all the ink in your tri-colour cartridge.
4High page-coverage items use more ink
Some lower capacity cartridges can be easily emptied by printing just a couple of high page-coverage items so please be careful!
It’s annoying folks, but the old adage “use it or lose it” very much applies.
Our advice is not to store your printer in a very warm location and to use the ink within a year of purchase.
1Print something small every couple of weeks to prevent ink drying out
2Leave your printer turned on, which allows it to perform self-cleans (applies to Brother printers)
3If quality deteriorates, perform a manual printhead clean as per your printer instructions
4If the problem persists, bring your cartridge/printer to The Cartridge Expert for inspection
5Choose a printer that takes 4 separate cartridges; one for the black and one each for the 3 colours (cyan, magenta and yellow). All our Brother printers fit this description. See our home printer range for more details.
6Be careful of printing items such as photos, crosswords, children’s drawings, documents with big thick lettering, photocopies of small items that leave black around the side of the page.
If you’ve signed up to one of our all-you-can-eat printer and ink deals, you don’t need to worry because you receive unlimited ink with your printer.
Every year millions of empty printer cartridges are needlessly thrown away into landfill sites.
If the empty cartridges the people of the world throw away each year were stacked end to end they would be able to circle the earth – that’s over 38,400 kilometers!
More than 1.1 billion inkjet cartridges are used annually around the world – laid end to end this would be 129 times as long as the great wall of China.
Approximately 3.5 liters of oil are required to produce each new laser printer cartridge and 90 ml of oil is used to produce each inkjet cartridge. That’s nearly 10 million liters of oil used to produce the worlds inkjet cartridges per year alone.
The plastic used in a typical cartridge is made of engineering grade polymers and is expected to take up to 1000 years to decompose
How we make a difference at the cartridge expert
We would like to think that every aspect of our business operates in a manner that has a positive effect on the environment.
90% of the inkjet cartridges that we supply are refilled or remanufactured cartridges.
Although a small percentage of our laser cartridges are remanufactured, we do offer a collection and recycling service for business customers which ensures their empty cartridges are not ending up in landfills.
We recycle all our own waste with the help of Greenstar.
Can my cartridge be refilled?
The vast majority of inkjet cartridges can be refilled. And if it can’t be refilled we can probably supply a generic replacement. There are thousands of different printer cartridges on the market so the quickest way to find out is to call us directly and give us the make and model of your cartridge and we’ll be able to tell you straight away.
I bought a printer recently but didn’t realise the cartridges would cost so much, can you help me?
Firstly, sorry for your troubles. This happens all the time and it’s not your fault. Most sales assistants aren’t concerned with your running costs, only the functionality of the machine and the unit price. The good news is, we can most likely refill your cartridge for a fraction of the cost of buying a new one.
I recently bought a new printer but the cartridges only printed 20 to 40 pages. Is there a problem with my cartridges/printer?
No there’s nothing wrong with your printer. The cartridges that came with your printer were most likely “starter cartridges”. The big printer manufacturers only put 10-20% of the normal volume of ink in these cartridges. The idea is that these cartridges it will get you up and running but their real aim is to get you to buy new original cartridges as soon as possible.
Does the ink supplies indicator on my printer work?
Ink supply counters are notoriously inaccurate, insofar as they will often indicate you are nearly out of ink when you have half a tank or even more remaining. . This is a deliberate ploy on the part of the big printer manufacturers to get you to replace your ink earlier than necessary. Our advice is to continue printing until you notice actual deterioration in print quality. At this point you should remove your cartridge and bring it into the cartridge expert as continuing to print could damage your printer or your cartridge. We can also advise you on how to override ink supplies indicators on your printer to ensure a message does not continuously appear on your screen about low ink levels.
Can you refill Dell®™ cartridges?
As a rule, the answer is yes. There are a couple of the newer models which can’t yet be refilled. Give us a call on 010 621 9740 to confirm.
Can you refill Kodak or Advent cartridges
Yes and yes. Give us a call first to confirm prices.
How many times can a cartridge be refilled?
There are two types of cartridges – ink tanks and print-head cartridges. Print-head cartridges can be refilled on average 3 times, but ink tanks can be filled a lot more than that. Like any working part, wear and tear does eventually take its toll. the cartridge expert perform electronic tests before refilling and print quality tests after refilling using the highest spec Swiss refilling technology on the market. If there is a problem the customer is always informed. In this event we usually have replacement cartridges in store so you will always be able to print.
How long does it take to refill a cartridge?
It really depends on your cartridge. Many cartridges can be done within minutes while you wait but the average wait time is about half an hour. After a quick pre-test we can give you an exact time. If you are in a serious rush please drop us a line before you leave the house and we can make arrangements to get you in and out as quickly as possible.
Is the print quality from a refill as good as a new cartridge?
If the cartridge is refilled and tested in the right manner, with the right ink and the right packaging, then the answer is yes. But we must qualify this by saying that not all refills are equal. Many high street re-fillers do not use high-tech refilling or testing machinery and ultimately produce a substandard product. If you’ve had a bad experience before please give us the opportunity to change your perception.
Is there any downside to refilling?
There are some types of cartridges that we can successfully refill, but it’s impossible for us to electronically re-set their ink counter. This is a feature of HP, Dell, Lexmark and Canon print-head cartridges. The result is that your cartridges will work in the exact same way as an original, with the exact same quality and for just as long (and sometimes longer) but the ink-counter will continue to display the message that your ink is low. This can be an inconvenient trade off but most of our customers don’t mind given the huge savings they are making by refilling.
Do refills last as long as new cartridges?
Absolutely! In fact in many cases we put more ink in the cartridge than you’d get in an original.
Do you recycle cartridges?
The cartridge expert is not a recycling facility but we will always take in cartridges that we can refill and reuse. Please drop us a line to discuss what cartridges you have.
Do you repair inkjet printers?
Yes we do. If you’re having an issue with your inkjet printer, please feel to bring it in to us and we will have a look free-of-charge.
Our number one priority when it comes to printer supplies is to achieve the lowest price, while still assuring the highest quality. Where cartridges refilling isn’t possible, we often recommend using compatible or remanufactured ink and toner.
Our high quality ISO certified compatible inks and toners can save you up to 60% versus original brand supplies.
At The Cartridge Expert, we sell the following types of toners:
1Compatible Inks & toners: A completely new ink or toner made entirely out of new components, but manufactured by a company other than the one that produced the original
2 Remanufactured Inks and toners: An ink or toner that has been re-built from virtually new components. In most cases only the plastic housing is reused. This is a more environmentally friendly alternative but can be more expensive than a compatible ink or toner.
We understand the real cost of down-time. If a customer uses one of our non-OEM cartridges and has a problem, we most likely won’t be hearing from them again. For this reason, we mean it when we say we are 100% committed to quality.
When you buy a non-original toner cartridge from us, we guarantee that:
- The cartridge will be ISO9001 quality certified
- In the unlikely event of a quality issue, we will replace the cartridge immediately, free of charge and without fuss