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Bulk Ink Refill Instructions

Updated December 6, 2007

Lexmark 12A1970 Black Cartridge

and others from Brother, Compaq, Dell, Lexmark, Sharp, Xerox, and others.
All of the new Lexmark black cartridges used in Z-series and X-series printers have a similar design and can use these instructions. In addition, the following cartridges can use these instructions.
  • Brother IN-700 Black Cartridge
  • Compaq 337709-001 Black Cartridge
  • Compaq 33714-001 Black Cartridge
  • Dell 310-3540 (X0502)(7Y743) Black Cartridge
  • Dell T0529 Black Cartridge
  • Dell - Several other Dell cartridges
  • Lexmark #16 10N0016 Black Cartridge
  • Lexmark #17 10N0217 Black Cartridge
  • Lexmark #23A 18C1623 Black Cartridge
  • Lexmark #28A 18C1528 Black Cartridge
  • Lexmark #41A Black Cartridge
  • Lexmark #70 12A1970 Black Cartridge
  • Lexmark #71 15M2971 Black Cartridge
  • Lexmark #75 12A1975 Black Cartridge
  • Lexmark #55 16G0055 Black Cartridge
  • Lexmark #50 17G0050 Black Cartridge
  • Lexmark #82 18L0032 Black Cartridge
  • Lexmark #34 18L0034 Black Cartridge
  • Xerox 8R7881 Black Cartridge


ACSI Bulk Inks sells ink in pint bottles to refill these cartridges.
  • Pigmented Black -- ACSI WJ1010 (preferred)
  • Pigmented Black -- ACSI WJ1003 (alternate)
  • Dye-based Black -- ACSI WJ106 (economical but non-water resistant)
Click Here to order.


The ink in this cartridge is retained because the cartridge has an internal sponge.

Step 1) Put the cartridge on some paper towels in an area where you can tolerate a spill.

Step 2) Using a 1/16 inch drill, drill a hole on the top, lower flat surface -- 1/3rd of the way from the edge. Make the hole about where the letter "E" in LEXMARK is molded into the top surface. (For Compaq cartridges, look for the "O". For Dell, look for the "E". For Xerox, look for the "E".)

TIP: You may take a large paper clip, unbend it, and heat it in a flame to melt a hole instead of using a drill.

Step 3) Keeping the cartridge on paper towels, take a syringe bottle and fill it 1/3 to 1/2 full of ink -- about 10-15 ml.

Step 4) Insert the needle fully into the hole. Get the tip of the needle to the bottom of the cartridge. Inject the ink very S-L-O-W-L-Y and watch until the sponge is saturated. You must get the needle deep into the hard sponge.

Step 8) It is not necessary to reseal the hole.

Step 9) Set above a paper towel for an hour as a drip precaution. Expect a few drips. Do not allow the cartridge to touch the paper towel at this point, since the towel will draw out the ink.

Step 10) For best results, let sit overnight before using. Tape over the vent hole if you plan to store for several days to prevent drying out of the ink.

To Clean the Printhead

  1. Only clean the printhead if you get poor print quality or no print.
  2. Be sure that you don't have an air bubble problem.
    • If cleaning the printhead causes the situation to get worse rather than improve, you probably have an air bubble problem.
    • If you have an air bubble problem, you need to re-inject some ink very deep into the cartridge.
    • It can also be useful to put a single drop of isopropyl rubbing alcohol deeply into the cartridge.
  3. Follow the directions in the printer manual to run the cleaning routine.
  4. If this doesn't work, take the cartridge to the nearest hot water faucet.
    • Turn on the hot water. Let it get hot.
    • Put only the printhead portion (where the ink comes out) under the hot water for 2 to 3 seconds
    • Dry off the cartridge using a soft tissue.
    • Re-insert the cartridge into the printer.
    • Run the normal cleaning routine a few times.
    • You may repeat this hot water routine a couple of times.
  5. If this doesn't work, you may wish to rinse out the entire cartridge by injecting the cartridge repeatedly with warm water. After rinsing, suction out as much water as possible with a syringe, then dry out the cartridge in a food dehydrator or by putting in front of an air conditioning or heater vent for 12 to 24 hours.
  6. If this doesn't work, soak only the printhead in simmering water for up to 2 hours. You may add up to 50 percent ammonia for really tough clogs.

To Clean Your Sink

The ink is water-soluble. Use plenty of soap and warm water. You may also need to use Comet or a similar cleaner if the stains persist.

To Clean Your Hands

On hands, the best substance to use is Ink Be GoneTM, a specially developed hand cleaner available from ACSI Bulk Inks. (To place an order, Click Here.)

To Place An Ink Order

You can telephone us at 1-888-728-2465 (USA Tollfree) or 1+740-374-9949. You can also Order Online or by other ways including by Fax, or by Postal Mail, or by EMAIL.

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Contact us at 1-304-622-5086 or email us at Order Email.
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