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Ink Knowledge Base & FAQs

Remanufactured cartridges

Remanufactured cartridges have been recycled to meet or exceed original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications. The recycling process involves disassembling, inspecting, cleaning, reassembling, and filling the cartridge with ink.

Compatible cartridges

Compatible cartridges are non-OEM new cartridges. These types of cartridges are not recycled and are instead manufactured by a third-party factory to OEM specifications. Each printer cartridge is carefully researched, manufactured, and tested.

Are these name-brand or generic cartridges?

Our complete line of printing products includes both name-brand (OEM) and generic cartridges. OEM ink and toner cartridges come with the quality and reliability that you have come to expect from the manufacturers of these products. The generic ink and toner cartridges that we offer are also of the highest quality and perform just as well as OEM cartridges while costing a fraction of the price.

What does OEM mean?

OEM is an abbreviation for original equipment manufacturer. When you see a product on our site that says OEM, it is one of the name-brand cartridges from Canon, Hewlett Packard, Lexmark, Brother, Epson, etc.

Safety clips

Some of our inkjet cartridges, particularly those for HP and Lexmark printers, are shipped in a protective plastic clip. This may cause the cartridge to appear as if it won't fit inside your printer.

Please remove the shipping clip. After removing the clip, the cartridge will look exactly the same as your original cartridge.

Cartridge safety clips

Circuitry on cartridges

The circuitry that is seen on some cartridges (such as HP or Lexmark) is the ink delivery system or printhead. This mechanism is a system of nozzles used to push ink onto the paper.

Cartridge circuitry

Tape on cartridges

An adhesive tape can be found on some models of inkjet cartridges. The tape may be one of several different colors and is used to protect the printhead during transportation. Please remove the adhesive tape before installing the cartridge in your printer. Please do not use any other type of tape to protect the printhead of your cartridge when you remove it from the printer. Sticky tape will push the glue resin into the nozzles of the printhead, thereby clogging them.

Ink Cartridge yellow or orange tape


The printhead is the most critical component of your printer. It is used to deliver the ink to the page that you are printing. Don't touch the printhead with your fingers. Your printhead is a consumable that can deteriorate over time, much like the brakes on your car. It requires proper installation and ongoing maintenance to ensure the long service life of your printer. Most print quality problems are a direct result of improper care of the printhead. Proper installation and regular attention are the keys to maximizing the life of your printhead.


Printhead nozzle

Nozzles, or "jets", are located on the printhead. There may be anywhere from 48 to 320 nozzles on any printhead, and each of them is smaller than human hair.

Each nozzle is connected electronically to a heater (resistor) that actually heats and cools the ink inside the cartridge. When the ink is heated, a bubble is formed. When the heat is removed, the bubble bursts and sends dots of ink through the nozzles and onto the paper in the printer.

This happens very quickly, creating dots that form print characters on the page at a rate of up to 6,000 drops per second. That is why you should never touch the nozzle or print head assembly with your fingers.


How do I install ComboInk cartridges?

You install each cartridge the same way that you would install an OEM cartridge. A cartridge is individually wrapped in foil or a plastic bag and often has a tab on top, which you remove when installing the cartridge (just like an OEM cartridge). We recommend that you use the head cleaning or nozzle cleaning utility that comes with your printer to clean the printer heads before replacing a cartridge. You should do this EVERY time you replace any cartridge, whether OEM or compatible. On most computers, go to Control Panel - Printers - Properties - Utility.

How long will they last on my shelf?

Our cartridges are fresh from the factory every month and have a tested shelf life of at least 20 months.

Will I get the same quality printing?

Yes, we guarantee that you will achieve the same printing results. Many of our customers use our products for their businesses. From real estate and legal professionals to graphic designers and photographers, they demand the highest quality printing and the strictest color matching.Our factory is also ISO-9001 Certified, which is one of the most comprehensive universal standards for a quality assurance system that is accepted around the world. This means that an outside assessor has determined that our products and services consistently meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

How can I extend the life of my cartridge?

Keep the cartridge in the original packaging out of direct sunlight until you're ready to use it. Air absorption and ink evaporation can lead to a damaged cartridge and a change in ink chemistry. You should also shut down your printer when not in use. For tips on maintaining print quality, head over to our Troubleshooting page.

Will these cartridges void my printer warranty?

No, using a compatible or remanufactured cartridge WILL NOT VOID YOUR WARRANTY. Major printer manufacturers make their profits from selling their ink and toner cartridges at high prices while selling the actual printers at or below cost. So when you use our cartridges, you are cutting into their primary profit source. Because of this, they threaten to void your warranty if you use compatible or remanufactured cartridges. They are simply trying to protect their own interests. However, it is ILLEGAL for them to do so. According to the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act (United States Code Annotated Title 15 Commerce Trade Chapter 50, Consumer Product Warranties 15 Sections 2302), the use of a remanufactured or compatible cartridge does not void your printer's warranty. We have sold many cartridges and never had an incident where a customer's warranty was voided from using our products.

Finding cartridges for your printer

You can search for your ink by the type of printer you have. Choose the brand of your printer, and then click on the model number of your printer. You should see a list of compatible cartridges displayed on the screen.

Please call our toll-free at 1-833-786-1266 if you are still unable to find the right cartridges for your printer.

Average savings

You'll save quite a bit of money using our cartridges. Typically, buying a compatible or remanufactured cartridge saves you about 50-75% the cost of a new OEM cartridge. This usually amounts to between $15 and $30 every time you purchase our product. In addition, high-volume orders will often reduce the unit costs (especially using our Build a Combo feature). Check out the savings for your printer, and explore different quantities to find the best price for your desired product.

Eco-friendly remanufacturing process

Remanufactured ink cartridges are the greener printing solution for your home or office. Compared to the original process of creating a new name-brand cartridge, remanufactured cartridges cost far fewer resources and prevent unnecessary waste in landfills. Visit our Eco-Friendly Ink page to learn how. And consult our Recycling Guide to find out how to recycle your cartridges.

Did you know?

150,000,000 lbs is the average weight of ink cartridges left in landfills every year.

80% of cartridges are thrown away each year (over 350 million cartridges).

450-1000 years is how long it takes for one cartridge to fully decompose in a landfill.

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