Simple Steps for Refilling Your Empty Ink Cartridges
Usually, ink and toner is the most expensive aspect of any office supply budget. Those who are looking to spend less on printer ink would be wise to try refilling their own and testing the results. However, if you’re looking to print high-quality photos for posterity or professional presentations, you may wish to use compatible or OEM ink. The quality of a personally refilled cartridge is excellent for simple text documents – school reports, concert tickets, boarding passes and similar simple text documents. However, it will lack the quality necessary for high-resolution images and graphics.
Below are simple steps for personally refilling your empty OEM (printer brand) cartridges.
- 1. Have the necessary supplies at the ready: an ink refill kit, a roll of paper towels, gloves and clear scotch tape on a flat surface, such as a table or a desk.
- 2. Wearing protective gloves, remove the empty ink cartridge from your printer and place over a twice-folded paper towel.
- 3. Read the instruction manual included for refilling your particular type of cartridge, as the below is a general guide that may not be applicable to all cartridges.
- 4. Locate the fill holes on the top of the cartridge. You should be able feel small indentations by rubbing your finger across the label. Some cartridges have more than one hole, but only one leads to the ink reservoir that you will refill. This particular hole will have a sponge in it.
- 5. Use a sharp pencil or pen to pierce the refill holes in the top of the ink cartridge. Or, you can take the top label off with a knife or screwdriver.
- 6. Insert the long needle that comes with your kit deeply into the correct hole, making sure to penetrate the foam down into the bottom of the cartridge. Be careful not to push air into the foam cartridge while refilling, as this can cause an air pocket to form that can prevent the ink from reaching the print head.
- 7. Carefully add the ink so as not to over-fill.
- 8. Stop as soon as you see a little ink oozing out of the hole. Slowly release the air by pulling back on the syringe which will suck a little ink back out of the cartridge, then remove the needle completely.
- 9. Carefully dab the cartridge contact on a paper towel.
- 10. You can cover the hole with the seal dots included in the kit, or you can simply use clear scotch tape. Some believe that scotch tape actually work better than the seal dots provided.
- 11. Repeat steps for each separate color
- 12. After each refill, carefully blot the cartridge printhead down onto the folded paper towel. Do this until it stops bleeding. For the color cartridge, you should see an even streak of all three colors showing on the towel.
On average, you can generally refill your cartridge 2 to 6 times. Make sure you are refilling an OEM (printer brand) cartridge. Also, for best results, try to refilling your OEM cartridge while it still has a little ink in it. This will prevent ink from drying in the printhead between refills.