Recycled ink cartridges: The (right) mixture makes the difference!

Why it is essential to pay attention to quality when refilling ink cartridges.

Recycling is an elastic term. Particularly in the field of printer inks, companies that want to make quick money with cheap ink often use it to decorate themselves - at the expense of customers who later get annoyed with inferior prints and smudged colours. A saving that is not worth it! But what actually makes good recycled ink cartridges?

Recycling is more than just refilling.

Rinse out empty original cartridges, fill in new ink, that's it! This is how some people imagine the third-party recycling process. But that's how easy it is for cheap companies from the Far East to make themselves, which fill in inferior inks and thus always cause frustration with the buyer.

Last but not least, they put the entire industry in a bad light. Serious European suppliers also rely on the highest quality for refilled original cartridges: it is the details that matter when it comes to the composition of the ink liquid. The mixing ratio, chemical composition and type of ink must be individually matched to the cartridge type so that there are no nasty surprises when printing. The specialists also differentiate between pigmented and non-pigmented ink for alternative cartridges.

What is dye ink?

Non-pigmented ink is water-soluble and is called dye ink. Here the water serves as the carrier liquid: tiny colour molecules are chemically dissolved in it. When printing with dye ink, the ink dissolved in water penetrates deep into the paper. When the sheet dries, the water evaporates, but the ink particles remain.

The fact that these color particles are so small is the great advantage of dye inks: It enables fine colour tones and smooth transitions on the prints, because the colour pixels are distributed evenly on the paper. Because this ink can also penetrate completely into coated paper, dye ink is very popular for photo prints on glossy paper: the colours glow and the glossy effect is retained. For this reason, many inkjet printers are developed exclusively for dye ink.

The disadvantages of water-soluble ink are that it smudges faster and is not as UV-resistant as pigmented ink. Therefore, it is less suitable for document-proof printouts.

What is pigmented ink?

Other ink cartridges are made exclusively for pigmented ink. This ink owes its name to the small color globules used in it - the pigments. In contrast to the colour particles of dye-ink, they are insoluble: they are used in liquid ink but do not dissolve in it. Since the pigment beads must float in the carrier medium and must not settle or clump, the production of pigmented ink is more complex than that of water-soluble inks. Pigmented ink is therefore usually more expensive.

Pigmented inks have certain advantages: If normal printer paper is used, the print image is usually pleasingly sharp and precise. This is because the pigments adhere well to this surface. At the same time, pigments are particularly UV-resistant: They do not bleach out so quickly, are strong and stable in color.

Prints with pigment inks are very durable and do not smudge when they come into contact with water - for example, when you walk over the printout with a highlighter. That's why they are also particularly suitable for paper that is resistant to documents.

Which ink you use depends on your printer.

Serious suppliers of recycled inks adhere closely to the recipe of the originals when producing the printer ink. This is because they have been specially developed for certain printer types. It is crucial that the print head matches the type of ink: If, for example, pigment ink is used in a printer designed for dye ink, the print head can be permanently destroyed.

Since dye ink is cheaper and is usually suitable for printers that are actually designed for pigment ink, many manufacturers of compatible cartridges only use dye inks. With other providers like one sets for some cartridge types on a thought out mixture, which connects the advantages of both systems.

This is how some of the original manufacturers do it today: Canon, for example, offers printers in which five ink cartridges are integrated. Four of them are dye inks, while the second black cartridge is filled with pigment ink - it is activated when printing on plain paper. This ensures that the optimum ink mixture is always used for both photo prints and black-and-white documents.

Good ink needs the perfect mixture - and a reliable supplier.

It becomes clear how decisive the ink formulation is for colour mixing and thus for the print result. To ensure that recycled ink cartridges are in no way inferior to the originals, there is much more: trustworthy dealers should carefully select the producers of their alternative inks and regularly check the production processes. Ecological aspects, recycling processes and the environmental balance sheets of the producers should be transparent and comprehensible. This also includes fair dealings between dealers and suppliers in every respect.

Only those who regularly ensure quality standards deserve the trust of their customers.

One of the most important characteristics of reputable suppliers is that the ink liquid for recycled ink cartridges is continuously checked by DIN guidelines laid down throughout Europe. Prindo has its products tested according to STMC DIN and DIN 33870: This ensures that the adhesion of the inks and toners on the paper and also the mileage, the degree of darkness and the print image correspond to the original in all important disciplines. This also ensures that the composition of the ink matches the print head perfectly.

Suppliers like Prindo rely on resource-conserving processing and high-quality ingredients for their inks. The result is a genuine and, above all, trustworthy alternative to the original - one that also makes enormous savings possible: Between 50 and 80 percent lower costs per page are an argument that is perfectly compatible with protecting the environment and your own printer.