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Refill Inks for Inkjet Cartridges: What Works, What Doesn't?

Bottled ink is getting harder and harder to find. My recent search at the local stationary store provided fruitless results. It seems that the whole industry is moving toward disposable cartridges.

I used to have a huge bottle of black Skrip ink for fountain pens. I used it several times for that purpose, but I've used it more for refilling my black inkjet cartridges. It worked well for years, until I used up that bottle recently.

Since then, I have tried several different ink sources. Some inks work ok. Other inks clog up the print head. In this document, I will document what works and what doesn't. Feel free to add your own experience to this document in the same manner. If you just want to share your opinion, please post to the Comments & Discussion thread.

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What Works

AcuJet Inkjet Refill Kit All-In-One AJ-U800

This box of AcuJet Inkjet Refill Kit All-In-One AJ-U800 contains four bottles of black and color ink. Each bottle has a built in syringe, which is nice because you don't have to wash the syringe after each use. The black ink works well in my inkjet cartridges and I didn't have any problems. I haven't tried any of the color inks. However, a box costs between $10 and $20 dollars. It's cheaper than buying a new inkjet cartridge, but not as inexpensive as the Skrip Ink bottle. This box of ink is made by Master Ink Co., Ltd. 25 ml per bottle.

Cosco 2000 Plus Black Refill Ink

This Cosco 2000 Plus Black Refill Ink is a water-based ink for self-inking stamps and felt stamp pads. It's the only ink bottle I could find at the local Office Depot. It has a precision applicator tip that I removed so that I can insert the syringe into the bottle. So far, I've printed many full pages, refilled many times, and the ink has worked fine. This bottle of ink is made by Cosco Marking, Inc. 25 cc (0.9 oz)

Skrip Ink - jet black

I bought this Skrip Jet Black Ink, for a few bucks, a long, long time ago. And I have been using it to refill my black inkjet cartridges. It has worked well, until I've used up the entire bottle. This bottle of ink is made by Sheaffer Eaton Inc. 2 fl. oz. (60ml.)

Universal Inkjet Refill Kit - Black

This box of Universal Inkjet Refill Kit contains three bottles of black ink and a bottle of cleaning solution. Each bottle is fairly small, but each bottle can refill my ink cartridge two to three times. The ink works well in my inkjet cartridges and I didn't have any problems. However, a box costs between $10 and $20 dollars. It's cheaper than buying a new inkjet cartridge, but not as inexpensive as the Skrip Ink bottle. It's available at Walgreens, where I bought it. It does come with a syringe and an ink needle, which I used with the Skrip bottle to refill. This box of ink is made by Ontel Products. 25 ml per bottle.

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What Doesn't

Calli - Blue 011

This Calli Green 011 non-clogging, pigmented, waterproof calligraphy ink seems thin enough that it would work. But it has clogged my print head and, therefore, proves it doesn't work. Maybe it's the waterproof part that clogs. This bottle of ink is made by Daler-Rowney U.S.A. 1 US fl. oz. (29.5 ml)

Calli - Green 031

This Calli Green 031 non-clogging, pigmented, waterproof calligraphy ink seems thin enough that it would work. But it has clogged my print head and, therefore, proves it doesn't work. Maybe it's the waterproof part that clogs. This bottle of ink is made by Daler-Rowney U.S.A. 1 US fl. oz. (29.5 ml)

Higgins Fountain Pen India

This Higgins Fountain Pen India, non-waterproof black ink seems kind of thick. But given that it's fountain pen ink and non-waterproof, I hoped it would work the same way as the Skrip Ink. But it is not the case. It has clogged my print head and, therefore, proves it doesn't work. It's non-waterproof, so I'm not sure why it doesn't work. Maybe the word, "India", has something to do with it. This bottle of ink is made by Sanford. Item 46030 (723). 2.5 fl. oz.

Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic - Hot Mama Red 114

This Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic - Hot Mama Red 114 ink seems thin enough that it would work. But it has clogged my print head and, therefore, proves it doesn't work. Maybe it's the acrylic that prevents free flowing in the cartridge. This bottle of ink is made by Daler-Rowney U.S.A. 1 US fl. oz. (29.5 ml)

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Under Testing

Office Depot 2 pack refill ink - black

This Office Depot 2 pack refill ink is for refreshing pre-inked stamps and pads. It's the only ink bottle I could find at the local Office Depot. It has a applicator tip that prevents insertion of the syringe, but easily comes off. I've just tried to refill the ink cartridge with this ink. The ink is kinda thick as I have a difficult sucking it up with the syringe; I have to really use some force. So even if the ink does work in the cartridge, I'm not sure if I want to deal will refilling with this ink in the future. Nevertheless, I'm going to give it a try. This bottle of ink is made by Office Depot, Inc. Each bottle is 0.35 oz (10 cc).

OfficeMax self-inking refillink - black

This black OfficeMax self-inking refillink is for refreshing pre-inked stamps and ink pads. It's a huge bottle (compared to the others) for only $2.49. I'm hoping this bottle is the holy grail. I haven't tried it yet, because I'm still testing the other inks. This bottle of ink is distributed by OfficeMax North America, Inc. This ink bottle is 2 fl. oz. (59.1 ml). OM96476

OfficeMax self-inking refillink - blue

This blue OfficeMax self-inking refillink is for refreshing pre-inked stamps and ink pads. It's a huge bottle (compared to the others) for only $2.79. I'm hoping this bottle is the holy grail. I haven't tried it yet, because my color cartridge is not empty yet. This bottle of ink is distributed by OfficeMax North America, Inc. This ink bottle is 2 fl. oz. (59.1 ml). OM96487

OfficeMax self-inking refillink - red

This red OfficeMax self-inking refillink is for refreshing pre-inked stamps and ink pads. It's a huge bottle (compared to the others) for only $2.79. I'm hoping this bottle is the holy grail. I haven't tried it yet, because my color cartridge is not empty yet. This bottle of ink is distributed by OfficeMax North America, Inc. This ink bottle is 2 fl. oz. (59.1 ml). OM96484

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