Inkjet printers have become very cheap, this is as far as the printer goes. Consumables like ink catrdiges have remained at high price levels, allowing printer manufacturers to survive. Users have found cheaper substitutes for replacing ink catridges.
There are a few options here, one of the popular ways to get more mileage out of printer catridges is to get the refilled. Such services are very popular in many Asian countries. You are sometimes sold a plastic bottle of the ink and a plastic syringe, feel free to refill the cartridge yourself!!!!. Another option is going for a fake catridge, this means that you get the brand label on the catridge pack but it is not a genuine product. The law is after such manufacturers but it seems that the law is far behind in catching up with them. Another popular offering is ink catridges is products made and labelled by third party manufacturers. They do not infringe on copyright issues and are therefore openly sold even in reputed I.T outlets.
The problem faced by many users is where the printer prints the document with bad colors, very light colors or fine lines throughout the document. Tell the computer technician about this and they will be quick to ask you whether you are using a genuine ink catridge! While it is true that the quality of the ink catridge could affect the printing quality, a simpler explanation can sometimes be found. Below is an explanation and a possible solution too.
Take the ink catridge out of the printer, notice that there are elongated spindles on the printer that go through corresponding holes in the printer catridge. These will remain fixed to the printed even after the ink catridge is taken off. At the tip of these spindles are several tiny holes, this is where the problem is most often observed. The holes seem to get clogged with dust or proably residue from dried ink. Cleaning these would in many cases solve the problem, if you take your printer to the service center discuss about this possibility and get the spindle cleaned. Do this before you pay a big bill for repair, a new printer or a 'genuine' ink catridge. The clog holes block the passage of fresh ink, this sometimes causes the ink to spill out of the ink catridge and into the printer.
While we do not assure you of success in every case, this is what we have learnt to smartly do in our office. Put some acetone (we use nailpolish remover!!!!) in a refillable perfume spray bottle. First, take the ink catridges out of the printer. Turn the printer off and take off the power connection from the socket. Look for the spindles and notice the tiny holes at the tip of each spindle. If you cannot notice either the spindles or the holes, forget trying any home remedy and take the printer to the service center. If you are lucky enough to notice the spindles and the tiny holes, spray some of the acetone on the spindles. With a soft cloth or earbuds, gently rub the tips of the spindles near the tiny holes. Spray a little more acetone and then put back the ink catridges. Now turn on the printer and try to print, use some rough paper as the first few prints might appear messy. A few printed pages later, you should be seeing a drastic improvement in print quality.
Important: The above process is recommended for users with fairly sound knowledge of computers and printers. The process is something that we have tried and found to be successful, it is not endorsed by any ink jet printer manufacturers.