About 2 years ago my father bought me an Interactive Media Sales, LLC (IMS) Ink Refill System. It sounds sophisticated, but it was just a simple set of squeeze bottles with ink to refill my ink cartridges. The first couple of times I used it, it was a little messy, but I quickly got used to how much ink to put in, and how best to do it. In the last 2 years, I’ve only purchased 1 set of cartridges for my hp deskjet 990cxi printer, and that was only because we were doing something very important and I wanted to make sure that the cartridges were good.
I believe the refill kit cost $30 CDN at the local Costco, and has saved me probably hundreds of dollars worth of ink cartridges.
One way that I have been lucky though, is that at my place of work, they have several different printers that use the same ink cartridges. I’ve asked people when they are empty to give them to me. I have a collection of probably 30+ empty ink cartridges that I can try if it seems like a print head is dead. I don’t really have to mess with trying to clean the print head. I just toss the cartridge and try another one.
Anyway, the moral of the story is, don’t be afraid to try refill kits. This one has worked great for me.