How To Refill Ink Cartridges.

Once upon a time  my printer ran out of ink.

It was a sad, sad day and I cried very hard.  I pulled myself together and walked down to the corner so I could rob a bank.  When I got to the bank, I thought better of it and turned around and walked home.  I was sure to get caught on camera, and I was wearing a horrible outfit.  Plus I had “crying” face.

What to do.  I NEEDED to print stuff!

At home I flipped every cushion in the house, checked in every pocket and sold my cat.  The one who was weaned too early and kneads on me every night while I watch television.

Money in hand, I drove myself to the store and … bought myself a new printer.

Yeah.  It was cheaper to do that than buy a new printer cartridge.  Wasteful?  Probably?  My fault?  No.  Not really.  I *did* need a new printer, but had the ink not cost more than an entire printer with scanner, I would have just bought more ink.

The funny part about all of this is for years I’ve been filling my own printer cartridges.  I bought a kit at Costco years ago and it’s lasted forever.

And the best part?  It works.  I’m not sure why I didn’t use the kit during my “I NEED PRINTER INK” fit, but my best guess is I’d gone temporarily insane.  Maybe not so temporary actually.

Since the process is SO easy, and basically the same for every single printer cartridge out there I thought I’d share.  ‘Cause that’s what I’m all about.  Sharing and caring. And robbing banks.

What You’ll Need

Bottles of Printer Ink.  (various stores sell this, as well as Costco occasionally, and all kinds of places on-line)

Paper Towels

A used up printer cartridge (One that’s just run out of ink)






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Instruction Recap

1.  Measure out 1 Tablespoon (15ml) of ink into your bottle.  If  your bottle has lines on the side to tell you how much ink you’re using, make sure you only use 1 Tablespoon.  Most printer cartridges hold 1 Tablespoon.  Measuring is important, because otherwise you are bound to under or overfill your cartridge.

2.  Remove your printer cartridge then remove the sticker.

3.  Place cartridge on a few layers of paper towel on a surface you will be able to wipe any spills up from.

3.  Insert needle into one of the holes in the cartridge.  If it hits sponge, you’re in the right hole.

4.  S-l-o-w-l-y  fill the sponge with ink.  If it starts to come out the hole you’re filling too fast.  Let it sink in, then start again.

5.  Attach your sticker to the SIDE of the cartridge, not the top where you originally took it off.  The cartridge will need to suck air to work so you can’t cover up the holes again.

6.  Insert your cartridge back into your printer.

7.  WAIT 8 hours.  You need to allow the sponge time to absorb all the ink evenly.

8.  Print to your heart’s content.

Refilling Colour Ink cartridges

Refilling a colour cartridge is a bit different, in that you put one colour in each of the holes.  It’s still the same method otherwise and still very easy.  If you need help with filling a specific cartridge, Refill Instructions is a great website, plus they’re sponsored by a site that sells ink so you can get some of that there if you need to as well.

My printer cartridge is actually pretty cheap.  $14 for one black cartridge.  A refill kit costs around $20, which will fill your cartridge 6 times, averaging the cost to $3.33 per one black cartridge.

Now I have a bit of bad news.  I need to replace my water filter.  So once I get myself gussied up for the cameras, I’ll be making my way to the bank.

Questions & Answers

Can you do this with colour ink as well?  YES!

I refill but my printer still thinks the ink is low.   There are chips on each ink cartridge, if you still can’t print with a refilled cartridge you might need to reset the chip or trick the printer.  Here’s how to do that for an HP deskjet printer.   If you know you’ve refilled your ink cartridge and it won’t print because the printer insists there isn’t any ink in it, you need to reset your printer’s ink cartridge. That’s something you’ll have to Google, because there are as many ways to do it as there are printer ink cartridges.




  1. Mohd Naved says:

    You are defining many points of the ink refilling. You are telling the work of the two very well. You can visit our website if you need any service related from Ink Refilling. Visit:-

  2. Lynn says:

    I found this website to reset the microchip telling you that you can’t do this. I can’t try it right now, as I have just putchased brand new ink cartridges that cost more than the $30 sale price on the printer! But maybe it will help someone.

  3. Jeff says:

    Ugh! Thanks for the 8 hour tip. I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to rush. Years ago the Cannon printers used to be so easy to refill…now they are all making it harder on us. I have the same cartridge as shown above for the HP…it’s not as easy but worth it considering the money you save. Thanks again!

  4. Karen says:

    I’m in Sydney and was wondering if the ink cartridges would be the same as your side of the world – they are and it works!!. Got a little kit online and so chuffed with myself when I got the cartridge refilled and operational. Thanks for the inspiration and sending out those “can do” vibes.

    Cheers Karen

  5. Brittany says:

    I didn’t think I could ever do this, until I saw that your ink is 61. Mine is 61. When I bought this printer I realized that the ink was more expensive than a whole new printer, so I figured I would encounter such a situation as this when the time came. I’m glad you’ve proactively kept me from having some sort of “Printer or Ink?!” meltdown.

  6. Kristin says:

    It’s a total scam, that printer ink. I’ve heard it said, and I believe it is true, that the printer itself is just a vehicle for selling ink. And I’ve noticed that the initial ink cartridges you get when you buy a printer, especially one you get “free” (after a rebate that may or may not ever arrive) with the purchase of a computer often run out after very little printing, so you have to buy ink that much sooner.

    • Brittany says:

      When I worked at a big-box electronic retail store in college this was absolutely true (minus the word scam. they didn’t like that word). The initial sale was the printer, which they made very little money on. Then you had to sell the USB cord, the ink, the paper, etc etc. The ink that came with the printers was kind of a tester cartridge. The $$ came from selling the “real” cartridges.

  7. Kimber says:

    I just saw this meat cleaver necklace and thought of you:

    • Karen says:

      Kimber – LOL. Everyone seems to be seeing that and thinking of me! Someone else emailed it to me. I *love* it. As you can imagine. :) ~ karen

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