Ink cartridges can cost hundreds of dollars every year, if you print often. You might not realize that you can refill ink cartridges yourself!
Whether you have an old printer or just want to save some money, you can refill printer ink at a much cheaper price than buying a new cartridge.
Here’s how to refill ink cartridges yourself…
If you’re mostly printing things for your own personal use, then it’s a great way to save some money!
Follow these 4 easy steps:
#1 – Remove The Ink Cartridge From The Printer
Most printers have a black and one or more color cartridges. You’ll need to buy ink refill kits that include each of the colors you want to refill.
If you’re short on cash, you can usually get by with just refilling the black cartridge.
#2 – Prepare The Cartridge From The Manufacturer
Find the holes where your ink is filled by the manufacturer. These holes are either on the top or the side of the cartridge.
The manufacturer usually covers the holes with a label.
Lift the label off of the cartridge to see the holes. If you can’t remove the label, use a sharp object — such as a pencil or paper clip — to poke holes in the refill spots.
The goal is to poke a hole where the ink needs to be inserted.
#3 – Fill The Cartridge With Ink From A Refill Kit
The printer ink refill kit comes with black ink and a syringe that you use to inject the ink into the cartridge. Fill the syringe with ink from the bottle.
Helpful tips to refill the ink:
- Ensure that you have no air in the syringe, because you don’t want to inject air pockets into the cartridge.
- After you fill the syringe, insert it into the refill holes.
- Insert the syringe until the tip of the syringe hits the back of the cartridge
You’ll notice that the cartridge is filled with foam. It’s this foam that becomes saturated with ink.
- Squeeze the syringe until the cartridge is filled with ink, but make sure you don’t overfill it and lose ink through the top of the holes.
- Wipe the top of the cartridge with a cloth napkin or paper towel. (Any excess ink on the cartridge can drip onto your paper and ruin the document.)
- Cover the refill holes with scotch tape to avoid leaking.
Repeat these steps for the color cartridge as well. Color cartridges are actually a mix of red, yellow and blue, so you’ll need to refill each of these colors individually.
#4 – Return The Cartridge To The Printer
To confirm that you’ve filled the ink cartridges properly, print a test document. Most printers have test pages you can print in the printer’s property settings.
If you’re using a Windows computer, right-click the printer icon in the Control Panel and select “Properties.” In the main window, click “Print Test Page” to print using black and white and color.
Are There Drawbacks To Refilling Your Own Ink Cartridges?
As with most tips and tricks, you should weigh the pros and cons of this DIY project.
It can be very messy and there is a risk of staining your hands and your work area when you refill printer ink cartridges.
You can wear gloves to avoid staining of your skin. Spread some old rags out and refill the cartridges in your garage or on an old table.
Sometimes, the ink is not as good as normal ink. If you’re just printing off pages for personal reading or forms, you’re probably fine.
If you’re printing photographs or items you want to put on display, the color difference is sometimes noticeable.
More Tips For Refilling Printer Ink Cartridges
- Which Printer Ink Refill Kits Are Best?
- Common Mistakes To Avoid When You Refill Ink Cartridges
- How To Refill Ink Cartridges In Less Than 2 Minutes
I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).