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How much money will I save by refilling my cartridge?

Refilling provides an average of a 30-40% savings versus the cost of buying an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) cartridge. Your savings depends mostly on how long the cartridge has been on the market and the current market price of the OEM cartridge.

How long will it take to refill my ink cartridge?

In general, refilling a cartridge in-house takes at least an hour. That time may be longer or shorter depending on the cartridge and our current work load. For many of our most common cartridges, we keep a stock of ready-to-use refills that we can swap for your empty at the refill price. Your empty cartridge must be in working order and not overly dry in order to receive an immediate refill swap. You are always welcome to request that we fill your same cartridge as well–just make sure you can leave it with us for at least an hour.

Why does my ink cartridge read as empty?

Most refilled cartridges will not provide accurate ink level readings because we cannot reset the cartridge electronics to read as full again once the original ink has been depleted. Simply use the cartridge until it will no longer print and then bring back the empty for refill.

Why doesn’t my ink cartridge fit in the printer?

Ink cartridges come in a black clip and have a blue protective strip across the print head. Make sure that both of these items have been removed before inserting the cartridge. DO NOT remove the copper electronic strip! Also, make sure you are inserting the cartridges in the correct slots in the printer. In the event that you have inadvertently received the wrong cartridge for your printer, Montana Ink & Toner will correct the error at no charge.

Do I get as much ink as a new cartridge?

We fill all cartridges as close as possible to the original manufacturer’s weight. On cartridges we cannot fill to that weight, we adjust the price accordingly.

Why don’t my colors look right?

Reason 1
The cartridge has become contaminated, meaning the three individual ink colors have gotten mixed together inside the cartridge. Be sure to transport and store tricolor cartridges upright at all times.

Reason 2
One of the cartridge’s three colors has run out before the others or its nozzle has become blocked.

What is the difference between an OEM, a compatible, an outsourced, and a refilled cartridge?

Stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. This is a new cartridge. Although OEM cartridges will show you your ink levels, they will also be your most expensive option. Cartridge manufacturers also require that you contact them directly if the cartridge is defective–we cannot take returns on defective OEM products.

A generic cartridge from an independent manufacturer. Many compatible cartridges cannot be refilled, but they will be cheaper than buying OEM. Compatible cartridges are covered under our 90-day guarantee.

An OEM cartridge that has been refilled by an independent manufacturer. Most outsourced cartridges can be refilled and will be cheaper than an OEM cartridge but more expensive than a refill. Outsourced replacement cartridges are an excellent alternative to buying OEM when your empty ink cartridge is dried out, has bad electronics, or for some reason cannot be refilled. Outsourced cartridges are also covered under our 90-day guarantee.

Cartridges filled or remanufactured in-house by Montana Ink & Toner. This is usually your cheapest option. On many cartridges, we carry a stock of in-house refills and can swap out your empty to save you time. We are also happy to refill your same cartridges on request–this can take an hour or more depending on the type and condition of your cartridges and our current volume of orders.

Before Refilling

Bring your ink cartridges for refill as soon as possible after the ink runs out
– Leaving a small amount of ink keeps the cartridge hydrated
– Cartridges that sit empty will dry out

Keep empty cartridges upright during storage and transport
– This keeps remaining ink next to the print head and prevents drying and contamination (mixing of colors)

Do not place tape over the cartridge print head
– The tape’s adhesive clogs the print head and removal can damage electronics
– Transporting cartridges in a plastic bag will keep ink off your clothes and hands without damaging cartridges

We may refuse to attempt cartridges that have not been cared for properly

Filling Cartridges

May take an hour or more depending on the cartridge type, size of the order, condition of the cartridge, and our current volume of orders

We will not attempt every cartridge, nor will we be successful in every refill attempt
– We do not charge for attempted cartridges that do not work out
– We carry many cartridges in a compatible or Montana Ink & Toner brand that may save you money versus new cartridges

We keep orders for 30 days. After that, they become property of Montana Ink & Toner
– We do make reminder phone calls

After Refilling

Keep cartridges upright during transfer and storage
– This keeps the ink next to the print head and prevents contamination (mixing of colors)

Do not expose cartridges to extreme heat or cold
– Ink will expand inside the cartridge and leak, and previously heated/frozen cartridges will perform poorly

Remove the clip and protective tape before inserting cartridge
DO NOT remove the copper-colored electronic strip from the front of the cartridge! Your cartridge will not work, and we do not honor the warranty on cartridges with missing or damaged electronics

When reinstalled, most refilled cartridges will still read as low ink or have inaccurate ink levels
– Press the printer’s OK or Cancel button to dismiss any ink level warning or counterfeit cartridge warnings and print as normal
– Use the cartridge until print quality starts to decline, then bring it back for a refill

For best results, use refilled cartridges within 90 days of purchase

What is the difference between a refilled and a remanufactured laser cartridge?

Many internet dealers can sell their products very cheaply for two reasons. They either build a compatible cartridge from inferior, one-time-use materials or they refill an OEM cartridge using drill-and-fill methods. With drill-and-fill, a hole is drilled in the cartridge casing, the old toner is dumped out, and new toner is dumped in. Montana Ink & Toner, on the other hand, remanufactures your cartridge. We disassemble the cartridge, discard old toner, clean the cartridge, replace any worn parts, fill the cartridge with new toner, reassemble the cartridge, and perform a test-print if possible.

Do I get as much toner as a new cartridge?

Our toner comes in pre-measured bottles that are filled according to the original manufacturer’s specifications. A remanufactured laser cartridge should have a page yield comparable to an OEM product.

Why is there toner on my pages or inside my printer? Is my cartridge leaking?

Residual toner on the inside of the printer is a product of normal printer use. A leaking cartridge will leave toner on the papers you are printing. With laser cartridges, this often means that the waste bin is full. The waste bin holds toner that is left over after a page is printed. Bring any leaking cartridge back to Montana Ink & Toner as soon as possible, and we will empty the waste bin and check the cartridge at no charge. Montana Ink & Toner also cleans printers for a nominal fee.

How long are my cartridges good?

Montana Ink & Toner guarantees its cartridges for 90 days with a valid receipt. The longer you store ink cartridges without using them, the more likely they are to become dry and unusable. To maximize cartridge quality, try to only keep cartridges on hand that you will use within 90 days, keep all cartridges upright, and avoid extremes of heat and cold when storing and transporting cartridges. We will always do our best to get your cartridge working, even if it is beyond our 90-day guarantee.

Cartridge storage

Store in a cool, dry place

DO NOT leave laser cartridges anywhere where heat can reach excessive levels–toner is heat-activated and plastic cartridge components can warp if overheated

Certain parts of laser cartridges are light-sensitive, so it is always a good idea to store cartridges inside their box or bag when not in use

Always store in a horizontal position

Before inserting cartridge

Remove silver bag

Rock cartridge back and forth to distribute toner

After removing empty cartridge

Place back into silver bag

Store in a cool, dry place

Return to Montana Ink & Toner or ask about our free business pickup and delivery

Important TIP! Please do not write on your laser cartridge boxes. Instead, bring them back to Montana Ink & Toner and we will re-use them for your next refill!
Will using refilled cartridges void my printer’s warranty?

Printer manufacturers cannot legally require you to purchase their products, and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act prohibits them from making their warranty conditional on the use of their own brand of cartridges. If a manufacturer threatens to void your warranty, get their statement in writing.

I installed my cartridges and now my printer won’t work. What should I do?

It is highly unlikely that a properly installed cartridge will cause damage to a printer. You are welcome to call or bring your printer to the store if you are having difficulty, and Montana Ink & Toner staff will troubleshoot your problem. Don’t forget to bring your cartridges and power cord, as well.

Why doesn’t my printer recognize my cartridge?

Reason 1
Your cartridge’s electronics may have malfunctioned, which can happen any time without warning. Montana Ink & Toner’s 90-day warranty covers electronic malfunction—just bring your cartridge back with the receipt and we will replace it.

Reason 2
Recently, printer manufacturers have been issuing automatic updates that cause refilled cartridges to no longer work. Once you install these updates, you cannot go back to the old firmware configuration. To avoid this problem, do not accept updates from your printer manufacturer. Customers can occasionally get around these updates by buying a set of OEM cartridges and then having Montana Ink & Toner refill that same set of cartridges. Since the printer has already recognized the cartridges, it will often accept them.

I think my printer is broken. Can it be fixed?

Often, the problems causing a printer to malfunction are minor and easy to fix. Printers that have not been cleaned on a regular basis will eventually experience problems. We recommend your printer be cleaned about once every six months, depending on frequency of use. Montana Ink & Toner does printer cleaning and repair by appointment.