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Ink Expires?? Another long one.....


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I'm wondering what y'all know about ink expiring....here we go again...lol (but crying REALLY loud!!)

SO, back in June, I placed the order below via Walmart.com - it was a big investment considering my printer still doesn't have ink in it and was still in the unopened box when I ordered all this crap.

CALCA 23.6" x 328Ft DTF Transfer Film Roll
5 Bottles of 1L DTF Inks ( C M Y K W ) &
11 Lbs DTF Hot Melt Powder (Bundle) $512.63
and 1 additional Liter of White Ink. $67.13
 
The bottles are still sealed because I have been in the slow process of converting and setting up my printer.  Today I was finally ready to put the ink into into my CISS system and upon looking at the bottles of ink, they all state they have a 12 mo. shelf life. I did not know this because the ad on Walmart.com makes no mention of this.  I do not know if the dates stamped on the bottles are the dates of expiration or manufacture.
 
This is of major concern because the 2 bottles of white have a date of 11/25/2021 and the four colors are dated 03/07/2022.  This means, that either all of the ink was ALREADY expired when it was sent to me, or I have ONLY 3 months to use up the 2L of white and 7 months to use up the colors, IF the dates stamped are the date of manufacture.
 
Considering the size of the bottles, this is a MAJOR problem.  I have not even printed my first print.   It did not occur to me to check for a date when the order arrived, or that I would even need to be concerned about expiration because I have 10 y/o sublimation ink that still works. 

 

This was a MAJOR investment for me and now, I don't think I can use even a 1/4 of the product before it expires - or at all if it is already expired and it's probably too late to get my money back.
I have not contacted Walmart yet.   I wanted to allow Calca the opportunity to resolve this matter first.  I am having a lot of trouble finding the actual Calca website, even tho they are listed as the Seller on Walmart.com.   I can only write 1000 characters via Walmart.com and that is simply not enough.  I found a few websites that the Internet point to when I look for the manufacturer, but emailing the Chinese website the email was returned, but there was a link to the US website.  I'm gonna try to call China! Their phone number is listed along side my order. *smh really hard*
 

 

 
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3 hours ago, Andria said:

I'm wondering what y'all know about ink expiring....here we go again...lol (but crying REALLY loud!!)

SO, back in June, I placed the order below via Walmart.com - it was a big investment considering my printer still doesn't have ink in it and was still in the unopened box when I ordered all this crap.

CALCA 23.6" x 328Ft DTF Transfer Film Roll
5 Bottles of 1L DTF Inks ( C M Y K W ) &
11 Lbs DTF Hot Melt Powder (Bundle) $512.63
and 1 additional Liter of White Ink. $67.13
 
The bottles are still sealed because I have been in the slow process of converting and setting up my printer.  Today I was finally ready to put the ink into into my CISS system and upon looking at the bottles of ink, they all state they have a 12 mo. shelf life. I did not know this because the ad on Walmart.com makes no mention of this.  I do not know if the dates stamped on the bottles are the dates of expiration or manufacture.
 
This is of major concern because the 2 bottles of white have a date of 11/25/2021 and the four colors are dated 03/07/2022.  This means, that either all of the ink was ALREADY expired when it was sent to me, or I have ONLY 3 months to use up the 2L of white and 7 months to use up the colors, IF the dates stamped are the date of manufacture.
 
Considering the size of the bottles, this is a MAJOR problem.  I have not even printed my first print.   It did not occur to me to check for a date when the order arrived, or that I would even need to be concerned about expiration because I have 10 y/o sublimation ink that still works. 

 

This was a MAJOR investment for me and now, I don't think I can use even a 1/4 of the product before it expires - or at all if it is already expired and it's probably too late to get my money back.
I have not contacted Walmart yet.   I wanted to allow Calca the opportunity to resolve this matter first.  I am having a lot of trouble finding the actual Calca website, even tho they are listed as the Seller on Walmart.com.   I can only write 1000 characters via Walmart.com and that is simply not enough.  I found a few websites that the Internet point to when I look for the manufacturer, but emailing the Chinese website the email was returned, but there was a link to the US website.  I'm gonna try to call China! Their phone number is listed along side my order. *smh really hard*
 

 

 

In general I would order from somewhere like DTFSUPERSTORE.com. 
 

you want a reliable consistent US supplier that won’t send expired inks and has the purchasing power to demand a quality product. A US based company would also usually stand behind their products. DTF ink is pigmented ink, sublimation altogether is absolutely nothing like DTF and shouldn’t be considered as such. Sublimation ink is dye based and contains no solids, the main issue with old sub ink is discoloration and getting dull colors. Old DTF ink coagulates and destroys ink systems and printheads. 
 

if you haven’t been shaking your white ink daily and your cmyk ink a few times a week it’s likely not any good for that reason as well. 
 

The ink can make or break the entire process and can immediately destroy your printer. The ink is literally the only part that makes it any different than just using a regular printer. You will have to clean many parts daily, shake inks and other things you don’t have to do with dye based ink. 

 

what Epson conversion are you using that uses 24” wide film?

 

Edited by johnson4
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I don't have a 24" printer, that was just part of the deal when I ordered the bundle so I figured I could cut it to the size I needed. I have the XP-15000.  I'm a long way from being fancy enough that I have to make long runs off of a roll....lol....hell, I haven't made a run at ALL yet.   I have not put ANY ink into ANYTHING yet.  I did fill empties with cleaner tho, since I had originally put in the OEM carts.  I'm in the middle of going around with the company now.  I even called some Chinese guy in CA who is the the US distributor for this manufacturer - but I don't know for sure if he is the seller.  He says those dates are "manufactured" dates and not "expiration" dates.  Now, I've sent off about six emails with pictures, one of which came from the seller from Walmart.com, which I am pretty sure is the same Chinese guy I talked to, but who the hell knows.  Only thing I know for sure is that I bought as much as I could as inexpensively as I could and it all STILL cost me $611....and I'm still paying on it because I used Affirm.  I had no clue that the crap would expire.  I have 11 lbs of hot melt powder that I can't see myself every using up....and it expires after 2 years.   I couldn't afford the ink off of DTFSuperStore, no more than I could afford to buy AcroRip from them....you know where I got it.  Well, I probably could've afforded their ink if I had purchased tiny bottles, but I got this impression that this DTF printing uses a TON of ink, so I wanted to make sure I had a lot.   I get what you are saying about the ink sitting around, BUT we both know they do not walk thru the warehouses of these manufacturers and shake bottles all day every day!  This is the website in CA that I called today.  I was gonna call China, but I reached CA first.  https://www.sign-in-global.us/ 

I'm tired.  ANOTHER weekend accomplishing VERY little for my business.  The printer IS ready, the CISS is in place and all....it just needs ink.  I've only been trying to get this all going since JUNE.   It's because I spent $500+ on this Sawgrass 500 and another $500 on a role of EasySubli only to realize I really do not like the way the EasySubli feels on the shirts and I do not want to only do light colored polyester shirts.  Then I saw DTF!!  I'm still sublimating...just not on fabric.  I've printed some beautiful Latte Mugs.  I'll keep it up until I run out of ink in the SG and can't afford $177/each for new carts!!    Maybe someone will figure out a way to non-OEM them by then.  Gotta work tomorrow so I'm going to bed.  Goodnight!

~Andria

 

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2 hours ago, Andria said:

I don't have a 24" printer, that was just part of the deal when I ordered the bundle so I figured I could cut it to the size I needed. I have the XP-15000.  I'm a long way from being fancy enough that I have to make long runs off of a roll....lol....hell, I haven't made a run at ALL yet.   I have not put ANY ink into ANYTHING yet.  I did fill empties with cleaner tho, since I had originally put in the OEM carts.  I'm in the middle of going around with the company now.  I even called some Chinese guy in CA who is the the US distributor for this manufacturer - but I don't know for sure if he is the seller.  He says those dates are "manufactured" dates and not "expiration" dates.  Now, I've sent off about six emails with pictures, one of which came from the seller from Walmart.com, which I am pretty sure is the same Chinese guy I talked to, but who the hell knows.  Only thing I know for sure is that I bought as much as I could as inexpensively as I could and it all STILL cost me $611....and I'm still paying on it because I used Affirm.  I had no clue that the crap would expire.  I have 11 lbs of hot melt powder that I can't see myself every using up....and it expires after 2 years.   I couldn't afford the ink off of DTFSuperStore, no more than I could afford to buy AcroRip from them....you know where I got it.  Well, I probably could've afforded their ink if I had purchased tiny bottles, but I got this impression that this DTF printing uses a TON of ink, so I wanted to make sure I had a lot.   I get what you are saying about the ink sitting around, BUT we both know they do not walk thru the warehouses of these manufacturers and shake bottles all day every day!  This is the website in CA that I called today.  I was gonna call China, but I reached CA first.  https://www.sign-in-global.us/ 

I'm tired.  ANOTHER weekend accomplishing VERY little for my business.  The printer IS ready, the CISS is in place and all....it just needs ink.  I've only been trying to get this all going since JUNE.   It's because I spent $500+ on this Sawgrass 500 and another $500 on a role of EasySubli only to realize I really do not like the way the EasySubli feels on the shirts and I do not want to only do light colored polyester shirts.  Then I saw DTF!!  I'm still sublimating...just not on fabric.  I've printed some beautiful Latte Mugs.  I'll keep it up until I run out of ink in the SG and can't afford $177/each for new carts!!    Maybe someone will figure out a way to non-OEM them by then.  Gotta work tomorrow so I'm going to bed.  Goodnight!

~Andria

 

While I agree with you, I first hand have experienced the negatives multiple times when not shaking the inks correctly and have lost multiple printers over it. There is heavy pigment in them, mainly the white. It settles over time to the bottom, coagulates and never goes into a suspension the same again. This is where the clogging comes from, the ink settles at a much faster rate and separates the carrier once the above has happened. CMYK is much less susceptible but should still be shaken because as well, I’ve paid the price for the experience. I do white daily, sometimes every other day. Cmyk at least once a week. It’s the same reason you can’t leave it unshaken in a printer for extended periods. With a little time, problems slowly show themselves.
 

this is step one in maintenance, not underestimating the importance of the small things. I lost most of my money here. 

for a price comparison DTFSS for 4 cmyk liters, 2 white liters is $330. Add in a $135 roll of film and $125 for 11lb of powder, you are at $590 plus shipping so you probably saved about $100.

 

hopefully you get it situated though, we all have our opinions and beliefs but what works for you is what works for you. As I’ve said I’ve spent thousands in mistakes, so I can’t really say much except what I’ve experienced first hand. It’s going to be a long bumpy road, even when that first good looking print rolls out. 

 

 

 

Edited by johnson4
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Well, and it would be REALLY silly for me to try and find a way to finance a big, fancy DTF printer when I have never even tried one out.  I have to start somewhere.  I wasted so much money trying to get into Sublimation about 10 years ago, I purchased what I thought was a great deal, it was an already converted printer w/CISS and my heatpress (with multiple attachments) some small bottles of ink, a few polyester blanks and paid over $600....I still use the heatpress.....I ended up chucking the printer in the trash because it sat for so long I "assumed" it was shot, if only I knew then..... up until recently, I had no idea how easy it is convert nearly ANY Epson printer - So, I did it again, but this time because I learned I could do sublimation and was no longer limited to JUST polyester and light colors...like always, I got over-zelous bought $500/worth of EasySubli from Conde and I paid some joker $600 for an already converted Epson 2720 (or 2728?) with a CISS system installed and some little bottles of ink and got really excited...until I learned that printer retailed for about $70....it did print nice subs, though...better than the Sawgrass SG500....I'm sad that I sold the Epson ET and purchased this Sawgrass....it prints lovely on mugs and using reg sub paper to print on Light colored, polyester, but I'm not as impressed with the EasySubli as the people in the videos made me think I would. Also, it is heavy on the shirts.  And then there's the fact that I don't know how I am going to afford the ink carts when it comes time to replace them.  They accidentally sent me the larger carts, so that was a bonus, but other than that, I haven't even been able to SALE the SG500.  My first intention was to get the ET-15000 (like ANYONE could find them) convert it and sale the Sawgrass.  I found the XP15000 and decided it would be better since it was photo quality and was going to convert it to Sublimation.....then, I saw DTF.  On the UPside....my options are still open...I could still do Sub with the XP...but I really don't want to.   Ok, I getta log on for work.  Have a good day!

~Andria

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17 hours ago, Andria said:

Well, and it would be REALLY silly for me to try and find a way to finance a big, fancy DTF printer when I have never even tried one out.  I have to start somewhere.  I wasted so much money trying to get into Sublimation about 10 years ago, I purchased what I thought was a great deal, it was an already converted printer w/CISS and my heatpress (with multiple attachments) some small bottles of ink, a few polyester blanks and paid over $600....I still use the heatpress.....I ended up chucking the printer in the trash because it sat for so long I "assumed" it was shot, if only I knew then..... up until recently, I had no idea how easy it is convert nearly ANY Epson printer - So, I did it again, but this time because I learned I could do sublimation and was no longer limited to JUST polyester and light colors...like always, I got over-zelous bought $500/worth of EasySubli from Conde and I paid some joker $600 for an already converted Epson 2720 (or 2728?) with a CISS system installed and some little bottles of ink and got really excited...until I learned that printer retailed for about $70....it did print nice subs, though...better than the Sawgrass SG500....I'm sad that I sold the Epson ET and purchased this Sawgrass....it prints lovely on mugs and using reg sub paper to print on Light colored, polyester, but I'm not as impressed with the EasySubli as the people in the videos made me think I would. Also, it is heavy on the shirts.  And then there's the fact that I don't know how I am going to afford the ink carts when it comes time to replace them.  They accidentally sent me the larger carts, so that was a bonus, but other than that, I haven't even been able to SALE the SG500.  My first intention was to get the ET-15000 (like ANYONE could find them) convert it and sale the Sawgrass.  I found the XP15000 and decided it would be better since it was photo quality and was going to convert it to Sublimation.....then, I saw DTF.  On the UPside....my options are still open...I could still do Sub with the XP...but I really don't want to.   Ok, I getta log on for work.  Have a good day!

~Andria

Absolutely, I was and still am an avid DIY’er. 
 

i only have two “ store bought” printers and one was garbage. 
 

all I’m saying is it’s going to cost you to learn and make mistakes, and it will happen. 
 

i have seen so much bad advice on FB I left those groups entirely. We all learn and grow, but swearing by an untested “answer” and convincing a stranger they should do X or buy X without any detailed reasons is non-sense. If I recommend  X I can tell you why. With the “ why” you can decide for yourself and if my “ why” includes long term success and what “long term” is to that person. That and all the negativity and people who dont put any effort into anything and expect answers that will Make them rich overnight without any work.
 

anytime you see a video nowadays- it’s only there for profit reasons on their part the majority of the time. Views or by selling something. I have seen wayyyy too many dumb videos or affiliated videos hiding the negatives. First hand experience always trumps everything else, which unfortunately costs money. 
 

I only know that because I found my own way and made my own mistakes. If you do the same it’ll cost a bit upfront, and a lot of time, but yes it’s absolutely worth it if you pull through and don’t majorly rely on strangers advice for every step. 
 

that’s why so much money has been lost on my side, but in return that has turned into experience. 
 

i would not recommend starting out by taking out a loan for a $20,000 machine. But if you want full success with the least cost, it’s the way to go in the long run after getting your feet wet.  Free support and advice that is bound by the seller, well it’s usually accurate and helpful and can boost the experience/ drop the learning curve time. 
 

if not, you are destined to at least a few months of headaches, broken machines and reinvesting. But it pays off if you don’t give up and figure it out. When I hear I can’t afford X and it’s basically the bare minimum, I always point out that it doesn’t stop there and you will need additional funds to keep going before turning much, if any profit. 
 

the main thing is properly maintaining the ink and keeping the machine properly cleaned without letting the machine sit for days at a time. Learning this is the most expensive part, aside from finding yourself in the constant need for “ another” device or machine. Everything else can be learned quickly.

Edited by johnson4
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Ok, so good news.  The guy agreed to replace the two liters of White Ink ASAP. And for me, it's lesson learned:  Don't buy so damned much ink at one time!  I was just under the impression that it uses a LOT of ink to do DTF.  Even just my temp install of the OEM carts, there was a LOT of waste in the bottom of my waste jug.   Hey, here's an important question for you: How do we dispose of the ink in the waste tank?   Environmentally speaking? 

 

Thanks!

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2 hours ago, Andria said:

Ok, so good news.  The guy agreed to replace the two liters of White Ink ASAP. And for me, it's lesson learned:  Don't buy so damned much ink at one time!  I was just under the impression that it uses a LOT of ink to do DTF.  Even just my temp install of the OEM carts, there was a LOT of waste in the bottom of my waste jug.   Hey, here's an important question for you: How do we dispose of the ink in the waste tank?   Environmentally speaking? 

 

Thanks!



you would reach out to a local waste center and ask. Me personally I dry them out and throw the dry solids in the trash for DTF ink. 
 

for one liter of white ink I can generally get about 500 feet of transfers depending on coverage. About a roll and a half of 13” film. 

Edited by johnson4
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  • 2 weeks later...

I tried to send this to you directly, Mr. Johnson4, but it said  you couldn't receive messages?  Or, maybe you are tired of me being a pest and blocked me??  😢

It's ok...I"ll try here:

Hey There!  It's been a while.  Finally got my new bottles of white ink, so THAT'S good.   I'm going ask you something that at first glance, may seems STUUUUUUPIID, but here goes anyway...this has to do with that "trial and error" thing you spoke of.  haha  My CISS system has been set up for a very long time, today is the first day I put ink into it.  Now, all the cart's pads have ink on them, with the exception of yellow - it's dry - go figure - so yea, I'm not printing YET, but as I briefly reviewing my connections (Cause I gotta get to bed!) I was thinking about the dampers....of course they come with no instructions, but I would ASSUME, that the arrows indicate the ink flow and therefore should be point away from my tanks and up into the lines, no?  Now, when I primed the carts, I made sure I followed a video and made sure the empty part of the tank was filled before the sponge and then I made sure I pulled out a bit of ink to ensure it was full.   I run a test from the printer's properties and all I get are tiny black dashes that look like they are going in a diagonal. I suddenly decided to attach a pic.  Any ideas??  I pulled the carts for now and put the cleaner carts back in because I'm not going to have to time work on this again until next weekend.   Any ideas?  I am NOT adverse to starting over with a new CISS system because I did put the inks in wrong order the first time (ONLY in the main holding tank - nothing went thru the lines, but DID seep thru the dampers, which I also cleaned).  After everything was cleaned and thoroughly dried. I tried again.  That was yesterday.  I only attempted a print today - that when I realized, I have no idea how to "increase my bounding box"!!  Shit.  Anyway, the pic I attached is just a print head check. I haven't tried putting the OEM carts back in and seeing if it works....but I can....😔  It  you some MORE wisdom to share, it would sure save me a few more grey hairs!

 

Thanks!!

Andria

print test.jpg

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7 hours ago, Andria said:

I tried to send this to you directly, Mr. Johnson4, but it said  you couldn't receive messages?  Or, maybe you are tired of me being a pest and blocked me??  😢

It's ok...I"ll try here:

Hey There!  It's been a while.  Finally got my new bottles of white ink, so THAT'S good.   I'm going ask you something that at first glance, may seems STUUUUUUPIID, but here goes anyway...this has to do with that "trial and error" thing you spoke of.  haha  My CISS system has been set up for a very long time, today is the first day I put ink into it.  Now, all the cart's pads have ink on them, with the exception of yellow - it's dry - go figure - so yea, I'm not printing YET, but as I briefly reviewing my connections (Cause I gotta get to bed!) I was thinking about the dampers....of course they come with no instructions, but I would ASSUME, that the arrows indicate the ink flow and therefore should be point away from my tanks and up into the lines, no?  Now, when I primed the carts, I made sure I followed a video and made sure the empty part of the tank was filled before the sponge and then I made sure I pulled out a bit of ink to ensure it was full.   I run a test from the printer's properties and all I get are tiny black dashes that look like they are going in a diagonal. I suddenly decided to attach a pic.  Any ideas??  I pulled the carts for now and put the cleaner carts back in because I'm not going to have to time work on this again until next weekend.   Any ideas?  I am NOT adverse to starting over with a new CISS system because I did put the inks in wrong order the first time (ONLY in the main holding tank - nothing went thru the lines, but DID seep thru the dampers, which I also cleaned).  After everything was cleaned and thoroughly dried. I tried again.  That was yesterday.  I only attempted a print today - that when I realized, I have no idea how to "increase my bounding box"!!  Shit.  Anyway, the pic I attached is just a print head check. I haven't tried putting the OEM carts back in and seeing if it works....but I can....😔  It  you some MORE wisdom to share, it would sure save me a few more grey hairs!

 

Thanks!!

Andria

print test.jpg

Did you do 2-3 head cleans after the carts were soaked? That is correct on the arrow. Use a syringe and put the orange cap on the ink cartridge bottom, and suck “ air” from the yellow cartridge fill port to see if ink easily flows in. If not, there’s a problem. If it requires heavy suction, there’s a problem. 
 

The ciss should be several inches higher than the printhead at the Ink level, not just the ciss. If you have dampers it’s pretty much a must. I run mine about 5-6 inches higher than the printhead with the in-line dampers, but that’s me and my setup, your results may vary so be sure to test. 
 

just a warning- if you can only use this printer on the weekends you likely shouldn’t use a CISS with it, especially that printer. 
 

i didn’t block anyone, I’m actually not sure if I know how to do that. My inbox is probably full. 

Edited by johnson4
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Of course I was kidding about the blocking!  ;-)  I'm sure your inbox IS full.  So, yes, I filled the carts exactly as you explained, but I'll check the yellow again and see if there is a bubble somewhere.  I did "suck it" (lol) until ink came into the syringe, and of course, did not put it back in into the cart, I put it back into the yellow tank.  I mounted the the dampers on the side of the CISS, and the CISS is on the side of the printer with heavy duty velcro and the bottom of the tanks is three inches from the bottom of the printer - so I'll try raising it even higher.  It's not that only plan to print on weekends, it's that I only have weekends to work on all this troubleshooting.   I work from home and have a good four - six hours (depending on when I drag my butt out of bed) in the mornings that I can print.  I DID only ONE head clean, so I'll try that as well.  I'm going to try it here in a few minutes.  Thank you, as usual SOO much for your advice.  I'll get on it here in a few.

~Andria

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I had a thought, but I'm thinking perhaps there is a reason no one has speaks this:  The empty carts I received from Aliexpress are crap.  Despite having my dampers in place, it seems as tho there is just WAYY too much ink leaking out of carts.   Is there any reason why I can't remove the chips from the OEM carts, clean them out, drill the holes needed, and use those instead??  Is the DTF ink too think?  Even if just the white is too thick and needs these other carts, I was thinking I could use those crap carts for the white ink, the converted OEM carts for the remaining colors.   Any thoughts or experience with this??  TY!!

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7 hours ago, Andria said:

I had a thought, but I'm thinking perhaps there is a reason no one has speaks this:  The empty carts I received from Aliexpress are crap.  Despite having my dampers in place, it seems as tho there is just WAYY too much ink leaking out of carts.   Is there any reason why I can't remove the chips from the OEM carts, clean them out, drill the holes needed, and use those instead??  Is the DTF ink too think?  Even if just the white is too thick and needs these other carts, I was thinking I could use those crap carts for the white ink, the converted OEM carts for the remaining colors.   Any thoughts or experience with this??  TY!!

People do that yes, I haven’t. I did find the aftermarket’s for this printer are poor fitting as well. 

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I saw ONE video on it by Hangry Muscle and it looked like a pain in the ass!  He was sucking the ink out of the cart from the screen in the bottom and THEN, spent 45 mins doing this repeated with water until it ran clear....I'm like HELL NO! I might try to drain the ink out of them and if works it works, if it doesn't screw it.  He kept saying something about a "bag" inside the cart...I dunno.

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