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How to Refill an Ink Cartridge


Instead of tossing out the cartridge and buying an new one, one way to save money and help the environment is to refill the cartridge. Cartridge refilling is a manual process.

Types of Cartridges

The cartridges either have a sponge full of ink or have a vacuum. The goal when refilling the cartridge is to make sure that it is filled with enough toner that it does not run out of ink soon while also avoiding a mess with the toner.

With sponge-filled cartridges, the main approach is to get enough ink on the sponge to where the sponge is saturated. Other cartridges rely on a vacuum to keep the toner within the cartridge. For these to work, they need the cartridge to be sealed at some point so that the substance remains within. For cartridges that have multiple colors, there will be multiple chambers and you will need to find out which colors are supposed to go in which chambers.

Avoiding Messes

You should make sure that you do not refill your cartridge over an object that can be easily ruined by the substance. Even better is to fill the cartridge while holding it over a sink or a garbage bag. Wearing old clothes while refilling the cartridge is also advisable since it can easily ruin clothes.

Refill Kits

Refill kits typically come with a screwdriver or drill and a syringe so that the cartridge can be opened up. The syringe is then used to refill the cartridge.

Resealing the Cartridge

After the cartridge has been replaced, the next step is to seal the cartridge to make sure that the it does not spill out of the cartridge. This can be accomplished using hot glue, hot wax, silicone rubber or tape.

Resetting the Chip

One of the problems with some cartridges is that the cartridge does not know that it has been refilled and will continue to state that the cartridge is empty. These cartridges often have a chip that must be manually reset using a chip-resetter designed for the specific type of cartridge. There are also software programs that can often reset cartridges for free. There are also models that do not allow for the chip to be reset.

Logos and brand names of manufacturers such as HP, Canon, Epson, Xerox, Samsung, Apple, Brother, Dell, IBM and others are registered trademarks of their respective owners. All references to brands are solely made for the purpose of illustrating compatibility of toner and ink cartridges. Their use on does not imply endorsement or association by respective owners.