Help me save my HP #57 cart, its not printing correctly after refill



I have a HP 6657 (#57 tricolor) cartridge, which has been refilled once
(ONLY ONCE) successfully. The first refill worked perfectly, no issue's

When I tried to refill it again, I started getting massive banding. So I
tried to clean the print heads, though as I see it now- they do not need
cleaning- even now. I ran the jets under water, I let the cartridge sit in
a tiny level of hot water for a few minutes (enough to cover the jets only),
I tried using the head cleaning that came with my ink refill kit, paper
towels to wick the ink from the jets and many cleaner pages, primer pages,
etc. All of which worked (I guess), since I am able to get ink from the
cartridge, but not in high quality mode.

If I print to NON-PHOTO ink jet paper, the cartridge seems to print ok. But
when I try to print in normal/best quality to glossy photo paper, I get
banding after 1 min or less of printing. I printed my wife some business
cards, on "other inkjet paper" setting, in best mode- 100% perfect. I tried
printing a photo on premium glossy photo paper best mode, and got severe
banding :(

I'm at my wits end with this cartridge. I'm stunned to see it print to
plain/other inkjet papers- but not to photo paper correctly.

Can anyone give me some advice, before I trash this cartridge?

Steve B

Perhaps air can't get into the top vents fast enough when there's a high ink
flow on photo prints, causing a partial vacuum. Did you re-use the original
label replaced in it's original position exactly, or if you did could there be
dried ink under it blocking the narrow grooves?


This was the cartridge I removed the label from, and it tore in the process
I replaced the label with an exact match in size of scotch tape. Leaving the
tips (well- half)
of the air vents uncovered to allow air to flow into the ink chambers. But
I thought of that too- so I
ran the cartidge with NO tape on the top at all- same results.

The strangest part is it will print (or seemingly print) fine, but not in
photo mode.

Steve B

Right. I had a few problems with #57 and #58 cartridges myself until I found a
good refill workflow. I wasn't printing photos when I had these problems, but
ink flowed for a while and then got patchy, and once stopped altogether on cyan
#57 so it's similar to yours. I think the worst enemy of these cartridges is
printing or running cleaning cycles too soon after a refill, so nowadays I
always refill then wait 10-30 mins for ink seepage to slow down, a dab or two on
tissue then put it in the printer and wait several hours before doing anything
else now, and have had NO problems at all since doing this.

Anyway, things to try to resurrect the dead or dying......
First, refill again and let the cartridge have a good rest (overnight, in the
printer) before doing any printing or cleaning cycles.
Try a test print again. The 43-Tap test print if it works on your printer is a
good one as it uses hardly any ink. (Hold Power button, then Cancel x4, Page
Feed x3, release Power). If it's still patchy, run one cleaning cycle and if it
improves run more cycles, but if it doesn't improve then try the hot water dunk.
My worst blockage ever took one hour of very hot water (being renewed several
times to keep hot), and it's worked fine ever since. 10 minutes didn't work.
Again though, once you get a perfect test print I would then let the cartridge
have an overnight rest to enable internal pressures to equalise before doing any
serious volume of printing.
By the way, the cleaning cycles are different and get stronger if you let them
continue one after the other rather than exiting and running again.

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