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How to Refill Inkjet Printers

Inkjet printers are remarkably cheap, but the companies rake in the money when it comes to ink. Although a printer may sell for less than $100, a new set of cartridges may easily cost a quarter of that, if not more. If you do a lot of printing, or simply wouldn’t like to buy any more ink cartridges, you can refill your existing cartridges, saving yourself a great deal of money.

To refill an ink cartridge, you will need ink. Look online, at websites such as atlanticinkjet.com, or on eBay. Try to find something formulated specifically for your printer. It will likely cost around $50 per quart, but you most likely will not need nearly this much. Avoid getting generic refill kits, as they will not be optimized for your printer, and will not be a good deal for the money. You will also need a large syringe with a flat needle (this most likely will be provided with your ink) to inject the ink into the cartridge.

Start by taking the cartridge out of the printer. Cover the ink exit hole, so as not to spill ink all over the place. Rubber gloves might help too, if you don’t want to have black spots all over your hands. Drill a small hole (1/8″ works well) in the top of the cartridge. Some cartridges may have easier ways of getting into them, such as a filling port. Use whatever is easiest. Note that if you have a color cartridge, there will be three different ink tanks. Look up your cartridge online, and find out exactly how to get into each of them. Use a toothpick to figure out which color is which. This is important!

Then, draw up some ink in the syringe. Insert the needle into the filling hole and fill the cartridge up. When the ink begins to come out the top of the hole, suck a bit back up and return it to the bottle. Seal the hole in an airtight manner, using either a plug (available online) sticky tack, melted wax, or, in a pinch, electrical tape. If it is not airtight, the ink will evaporate.

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Once the filling hole is sealed, take the tape off the bottom. Holding the cartridge over the ink bottle, squeeze it gently to make a few drops of ink come out. This way, the sponge will not be oversaturated. Otherwise, the cartridge might supply too much ink to the printer, causing its nozzles to clog.

Reinstall the cartridge and print a test page. If it doesn’t work properly, clean the print head. This should clear up any problems. Congratulations! You have succeeded in sticking it to the man.