How to refill your printer ink cartridges – Step by Step Process
Most printer vendors warn consumers against refilling and reusing empty printer ink cartridges. Even though you can save on ink costs (up to 50%) by opting for refilled/re-manufactured and compatible ink cartridges, printer manufacturing companies want you to purchase a brand new replacement ink cartridges. After all, printer vendors are known to generate a bulk of their revenues by selling expensive replacement ink cartridges.
What to Do With an Old Printer Ink Cartridges –
1. You can recycle old ink cartridges in exchange for a discount or charity donation.
2. You can have the old ink cartridge refilled at a local office supplies store.
3. You can purchase an ink refilling kit and refill the ink cartridge at home.
What Do You Need For Refilling an Old Ink Cartridge?
Most printer ink cartridges are refillable; it is possible to save money by replacing the ink at home.
Here are the things you need for this DIY (do-it-yourself) project:
- Printer ink bottle(s)
- A syringe with injection needles (30 cc)
- Pair of disposable gloves (plastic)
- Paper towel or a spare piece of cloth
- Knife and a thumb drill (or a sharp pencil)
You can also purchase new compatible and re-manufactured Canon printer ink cartridges online for your Canon inkjet printer or for any other brand cartridge you are using. All of these items (except basic tools) are generally provided in such kits and they are made for different types of printers. The amount of ink in the bottle(s) and the material will depend on the number of ink cartridges that you need to refill.
If you’re not buying the refill kit at your local office supplies store after having shown them an old ink cartridge that you want to refill, make sure that you know your printer ink cartridge well and find the right ink bottle or the refill kit.
How to Refill a Printer Ink Cartridge?
The exact instructions for refilling an ink cartridge will vary across printers’ make and model. Here in this post, we will provide you with a general, step-by-step guide that can help you easily refill most printer ink cartridges:
- Detach the ink cartridge: Put on the gloves; gently open the printer and remove the ink cartridge. Generally, pressing down the ink cartridge knocks it out. Use the paper towel to wipe out any ink leakage. Do not pull on the cartridge directly; avoid excessive use of force. Glance through the owner’s manual if you can’t figure out a way to remove the ink cartridge.
- Find the refill holes: These are usually covered by the stickers across the top. You can feel these holes by running your thumb across the label. Peel back the sticker on the printer ink cartridge with the help of a knife or a sharp, pointed object. An ink cartridge may have one, two or more holes. The hole leading to the ink reservoir will most likely have a sponge in it.
- Puncture the hole: Use the thumb drill (or a sharp pencil) to puncture the refill holes. Push the syringe or a toothpick into the holes to identify the specific color markings if an integrated ink cartridge uses color inks in addition to the black ink.
- Fill the syringe with the right ink: Check if the needle can be inserted smoothly through the sponge, down into the bottom of the cartridge. You may have to widen the hole a bit with a screwdriver (or thumb drill) if the needle is wider. Dip the tip of the syringe into the ink bottle. Fill the syringe with the ink with the help of the plunger; some syringes have a pump for this purpose. Make sure there are no air bubbles inside the ink in the syringe.
- Inject the ink: After inserting the syringe into the refill hole, gently fill the ink chamber with ink. Stop as soon as you notice tiny droplets of ink oozing out of the hole. Slowly pull back the syringe.
- Wipe off the ink cartridge: Use a paper towel to remove any traces of ink left on and around the refill holes. Make sure to wipe off the tiny sensors on the ink cartridge. Apply the tape on top of the ink cartridge (this is where the original cartridge label was placed) to prevent ink leaks. Gently piece through the tape over the refill hole that you’d earlier drilled. This helps provide the necessary ventilation.
- Insert the ink cartridge: Now that you’ve successfully refilled the ink cartridge, insert it back into the printer. If there are multiple ink cartridges, make sure to insert each one into the right slots.
Run a test print to make sure that the printer is working correctly. You may also follow standard printer maintenance guidelines. It is a good idea to print something immediately after inserting the refilled ink cartridge, just to get the ink flowing. If your printer displays an error message that indicates ‘empty ink cartridges,’ you may need to ‘reset’ it.
A printer ink cartridge cannot be refilled indefinitely. Eventually, you’ll have to buy a new ink cartridge. But it is always possible to save on ink cartridges.