How to Refill Printer Ink Cartridges and Save Money on Printing

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Ink cartridge manufacturers commonly counsel against refilling ink yourself, but that doesn't mean it isn't possible. For anyone consenting to walk a small clip and put up pinch inky fingers, refilling printer cartridges is simply a awesome measurement to trim down printing costs.

Here's everything you request to cognize astir refilling printer ink cartridges, including what you need, really to do it, and nan pros and cons of this elemental spot of printer DIY.

Can All Printer Cartridges Be Refilled?

Almost each modern inkjet cartridges tin beryllium refilled, but immoderate are much difficult to apical up than others. Both ink vessel and people caput cartridges tin beryllium refilled, but nan ink vessel type is mostly nan easiest. They are often designed to beryllium refilled and are little apt to beryllium damaged during refilling and create problems afterward.

Ink-cartridge-typesImage Credit: Canon

The capable holes for nan cartridge will beryllium covered by a label, a removable integrative plate, aliases sealed pinch a non-removable cover. For example, HP cartridges commonly person unfastened refill holes nether a label, while Canon cartridges often request drilling to unfastened nan holes.

Most modern ink cartridges characteristic a spot that communicates pinch nan printer to fto it cognize really overmuch ink remains inside. The spot connected immoderate cartridges tin beryllium reset aliases overridden, but connected others, it will request to beryllium replaced if you want to beryllium capable to cheque ink levels.

The spot connected immoderate ink cartridges will forestall nan printer from utilizing nan refilled cartridge altogether. A speedy hunt online for "[name of cartridge]" and "chip reset" should supply answers.

What You'll Need to Refill an Ink Cartridge

Now that you person decided to effort refilling your quiet ink cartridges, it's clip to make judge you person everything you request for nan task.

Replacement Inks

You tin bargain ink refill bottles individually, but they are much commonly disposable arsenic a set. This will see a vessel of achromatic ink and 1 vessel each of Cyan, Yellow, and Magenta ink for nan colour cartridge. For a colour cartridge to activity correctly, it will request each 3 colored inks filled.

A Syringe aliases Needle-Nozzle Bottle

You will request a syringe aliases vessel pinch a bladed needle nozzle to inject nan ink into nan cartridge refill holes. If you bargain a kit, nan bottles will either person pre-fitted needle nozzles aliases syringes will beryllium supplied. If only 1 syringe is supplied, lavation and barren it betwixt each colour refill.

Small Drill aliases Screw

To unfastened nan capable holes connected a sealed ink cartridge, you will request a mini drill bit, a screw, aliases different sharp-pointed tool. The spread should beryllium small, truthful a 2mm drill spot is perfect. At slightest 1 of these options is often included pinch an ink refill kit.

Plastic aliases Latex Gloves

Gloves are not essential, but handling and refilling ink cartridges tin beryllium messy. One aliases 2 gloves are often included successful ink refill kits, but if not, you tin usage immoderate integrative aliases latex disposable gloves.

How to Refill Printer Ink Cartridges

Carefully region nan ink cartridge from your printer, pursuing nan manufacturer's instructions. Even quiet cartridges tin leak a mini magnitude of ink erstwhile handled, truthful usage a disposable mitt and spot nan removed cartridge connected a expanse of printer insubstantial aliases a insubstantial towel.

Expose nan filling holes successful nan cartridge. That will either impact peeling disconnected a label, unclipping a integrative cover, aliases drilling mini holes into nan apical of nan cartridge. Ink vessel cartridges whitethorn person a dedicated capable larboard connected nan top.


A achromatic cartridge will only person a azygous ink reservoir, but colour cartridges will person three. If you are drilling holes and nan ink reservoir positions aren't marked, hunt online for "[cartridge name] refill holes" to spot wherever you request to drill.


You tin find which ink reservoir holds which colour easily. Twist a portion of room insubstantial into a bladed constituent and flick it into a hole. Unless nan cartridge is wholly dry, a mini magnitude of colored ink will beryllium visible connected nan paper.

If refilling ink vessel cartridges, each cartridge will clasp a different color. There will beryllium 1 for Yellow, 1 for Cyan, etc. These will evidently each only request 1 spread exposed aliases drilled.


Load immoderate ink into your syringe aliases take a refill bottle. Insert nan needle nozzle into nan correct spread and cautiously inject nan ink. You will astir apt consciousness a flimsy resistance, which is nan soul ink sponge. Don't capable nan reservoir excessively quickly, and extremity adding ink erstwhile it is visible wrong nan hole.


Repeat this process for each ink colour you want to refill. When each ink tanks are full, swipe distant nan excess ink from nan apical of nan cartridge.

Some cartridge refill kits see mini stickers for resealing nan holes. You tin besides usage nan original explanation if it peeled disconnected successful 1 piece, but if that isn't an option, usage a portion of Scotch aliases masking tape.


Testing Your Refilled Cartridges

Stand your refilled cartridges upright connected a expanse of room insubstantial for a fewer hours. This allows nan ink to soak into nan soul sponge and is peculiarly important if nan cartridge has been quiet for a agelong time. It will besides fto you make judge nan cartridge isn't leaking.

Install nan cartridge successful nan printer and print a trial page. If nan trial page is faded aliases colors are missing, tally a nozzle check, nozzle cleaning, and people caput alignment. Once this is done, people different trial page to spot if nan problems persist.

Remember to reset, override, aliases switch nan ink show spot if your cartridge requires you to do so.

The Pros and Cons of Refilling Ink Cartridges

The main benefit of refilling ink cartridges is nan financial savings you will make. A achromatic replacement cartridge tin costs betwixt $8 and $30, and colour cartridges somewhat more. A refill kit tin beryllium picked up for arsenic small arsenic $10 and could see capable ink to refill each cartridge 3 aliases 4 times.

We could besides reason that refilling a cartridge respective times is much environmentally friends than throwing it distant and buying a caller one.

The downsides of refilling ink cartridges are that it takes time, tin beryllium fiddly, and is often rather messy nan first clip you effort it. You person nary guarantee nan cartridge will activity aft refilling, particularly if it has been unused for a agelong time. And nan much you grip a people caput style cartridge, nan much apt it is to beryllium damaged.

Save Money by Refilling Printer Ink Cartridges

Despite printer cartridges becoming much technologically advanced, refilling them has ne'er been cheaper aliases easier. Refill kits are wide available, and nan inks they see tin beryllium arsenic bully arsenic nan originals. The process isn't difficult and is worthy trying if you want to prevention money connected your printing costs.

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