Buyer's Guide - Ink/Toner
Read the following instructions on finding out what kind of ink to purchase, and also instructions on how to correctly use the ink/toner that you buy.
It’s that time again—time to figure out which kind of ink or toner is right for your printer. There are so many different kinds of printers and ink that this can be daunting, but we at DoIT hope to make the process as easy as possible for you. Read the following instructions on finding out what kind of ink to purchase, and also instructions on how to correctly use the ink/toner that you buy.
1. Identify your printer
First, you must identify the brand and model of your printer. Finding the brand name should be pretty easy; there’s usually a large logo on the top or front of the machine. The next step is to find the product name and model number. There are several places that these could be, but they usually are not hard to find either. Here are some photos of common locations on HP printers. Depending on the brand you own, the locations may be different.
In one of the lower corners on the printer.
On the top cover of the product.
If you’re wondering what exactly you should be looking for:
The model number will often be combination of numbers and/or letters next to the product name. As one example, you may have to look for “HP Photosmart 8250” on the printer. This contains the brand (HP), the product line (Photosmart) and the model number (8250). These specifics will be different depending on your product.
2. Find the corresponding ink/toner that is compatible with your printer
Once you know your make and model, you can start finding the ink that is compatible with it. When you are on the Tech Store website, simply look at the title of the product to see if that ink is correct with your printer. To continue the earlier example, if you have the HP Photosmart 8250 printer, and you were looking to replace your black ink cartridge, you would know to get HP 02 Black Ink Cartridge for Photosmart 8250 (C8721WN) because the brand, product line, and model number in the product title all match the ones on your printer. Otherwise, you can go to your manufacturer’s website and look up your model from there, or we are available at the Tech Store if you need further assistance.
3. Install the ink/toner that you have bought
Because all printers are so different, it is recommended that you again consult your manufacturer’s website or the guide that came with the printer to see how to install your ink. Often, there will be a slot on the front (near the paper feeder) or top (near the buttons) of the printer that, when opened, will reveal your cartridges. Take the old cartridges out. Remove all the wrapping and security tape from your new cartridges and insert them into the printer as directed.
How to correct your ink/toner if something goes wrong
Do your cartridges have ink, but you keep getting error messages or have poor quality prints anyway? There could be something wrong with the cartridges themselves. Go through this brief troubleshooting guide for simple possible solutions to the errors. If, after checking these steps, you still receive error messages, unfortunately you may have to completely replace your cartridges
- The cartridge may be clogged.
If you find that your prints are uneven in tone, your toner may be clogged up in some part of the cartridge. This would especially be likely in you are sure that you have just recently replaced the toner. To try to solve this issue, remove the cartridges and shake them gently to attempt to loosen the clog. Then, put the cartridge back in. If you get any printer ink or toner on your hands during this process, wash your hands thoroughly.
- The cartridges heads need to be cleaned.
If the heads of the cartridges are smudged, then the ink will not be able to flow out of the casing. To clean them, carefully remove the cartridges. Then, with a clean, slightly damp cloth, wipe down the print heads. Wipe them down in a front-to-back motion, and not a side-to-side motion, and also do not use the same section of cloth more than once on the cartridge. Doing either of these things can cause cross-contamination. After allowing the cartridge to dry, put them back into the printer.
- Print out a test page to try to further identify the problem.
You may notice on the test page that one of your colors is missing or misaligned. Use the information you get from the test page to make a decision about where the problem is happening in your printer. If you need help analyzing the test page, check your device’s manual or bring the page to a Tech Store consultant.
- Finally, replace your cartridges.
If none of these suggestions got your printer working, then unfortunately you will probably have to replace your ink or toner cartridges. Check the beginning section of the guide to find out what cartridges are right for your printer model.