how to refill your print cartridges at home – complete step by step tutorial

The printer is a very useful product both at the office and at home. You can use it for documents, to print articles online or for photos, and if you have a multifunction printer you can use it to scan or copy documents as well. As you may have already noticed, printers are reasonably priced if we think about their usefulness. Printer cartridges are not as cheap, however.

In fact, in a top of the most expensive liquids on earth, the cough for a printer ranks seventh. If you choose to refill your printer cartridge at home, you can make substantial savings over the replacement cartridge, especially if you opt for an original one, the most expensive solution. That’s why we provide you with a complete tutorial on how to load your printer cartridge at home.

Why are printers so much printed and so much cartridge for them?

Buying a new printer can often be even cheaper than buying new cartridges, including when talking about multifunctional ones. It is a strategy of the printing manufacturers by which they choose to sell the main products at low prices and to recover the expenses by selling cartridges. Some printer manufacturers have resorted to compatible cartridge locking strategies (more affordable than original ones).

The specialists at did a large analysis and concluded that, strictly from an economic point of view, it is more advantageous to buy a new printer. Of course, most of us do not choose this option because it is inconvenient to always buy a new product, to install it, so that we do not consider the impact on the environment anymore. Refilling cartridges at home is a way that protects your budget and if you follow the instructions, it is not a laborious process.

What is the price difference between a new cartridge and the recharge of the old ones?

We all know that it is more economical to load the old cartridge at home than to replace it with a new one, but how much do you save? Well, pretty much. For example, if purchasing a package with two original cartridges (black and color) costs more, a refill kit for cartridges can cost less for the color and the black one. The kit contains, in addition to the ink for refilling the cartridges, all the lubricants needed for this process – support, syringe, but also a small guide to get a good result.

The difference is clear, and in some cases even bigger – new cartridges can cost 3 times more than the refill kit. Moreover, once you buy the kit, next time you only have to buy the ink itself, 100 millilitres. The prices are, of course, indicative and depend on the brand of the printer you have, but substantial differences can be observed in all models.

Is the primary quality of printing in the case of recharged cartridges?

From the beginning, you must know that you will find several types of ink, of different qualities. The cheaper it is, the higher the quality of the print it might leave to be desired. In other words, if you do not opt ​​for a good quality ink you may have to deal with pages where the ink has spread, in which the shades are not very visible (black may be grey and red maybe, in fact, a pink). If you take pictures, the difference will be even clearer.

Another thing you should keep in mind is that in the original cartridges there are substances that prevent drying, and if you choose to refill the cartridges it may dry out faster in the cartridge, which leads to head damage writing the printer.

If you choose a good quality ink and use the printer for personal use, you can rely on refilling the cartridges, because the quality difference is almost unnoticeable.

How many times can an original printer cartridge be refilled?

In the case of an inkjet printer, a cartridge can be refilled 5-6 times (maybe even more). In the case of a laser printer, which works with toner, the cartridge can be refilled 2-4 times. In the case of color cartridges, the number of refills is smaller. The number of recharges may increase if you call for their reconditioning.

What do I need to recharge my printer cartridges at home?

In a cartridge refill kit, you will find all the things you need for this. It contains the following things:

  • needle and syringe
  • drilling device
  • Refill device
  • the actual ink (for the color ones you will have three containers for red, yellow and blue or for yellow, cyan and magenta)
  • pumped
  • balls to cover the holes after refilling
  • tool for placing the balls on the holes on which the refill is made
  • filling support (in some kits, not all)
  • adhesive tape (in some cases)
  • instructions for refilling the cartridges

In some kits, you can find protective gloves. If you choose a kit that does not have gloves, it would be good to buy them separately, they will be useful to you. Also, in some kits, you will find the cough in containers already equipped with the syringe, so it will not be found separately. In the case of a color cartridge refill system, you will find three syringes, one for each color.

How does the printer cartridge refill process flow?

Here are the steps you need to take to refill a printer cartridge:

  • Remove the cartridge – turn on the printer, let the printer align the cartridges, then lift the lid and remove the cartridges
  • Put on your protective gloves
  • Place the cartridge on a few white sheets (to prevent stains) or in the charging holder, if you have one in the kit
  • Remove the foil from the cartridge (if there is one) and make a hole in the middle of it using the drilling device – this step is not necessarily necessary for all printers, some of them already have the respective holes
  • Remove the cough from the container using the syringe and insert the needle and syringe into the cartridge hole – 10-15 millilitres of cough is sufficient – if you already have containers with the syringe and needle, you do not need to go through this step
  • Insert the needle into the hole halfway up the cartridge and press the syringe very easily to insert the cough into the cartridge – after you remove the syringe from the cartridge, leakage may occur, so keep the towels close.
  • If you make a refill for a color cartridge, you must make three holes (one for each color) and put 5 millilitres in each
  • Finally, use the special utensil to place the balls above the holes they made (if you made them, if your cartridge already had holes, this step will not be needed)
  • Glue the adhesive strips on top
  • Do a test with a headband at the head of the cartridge – must leave a thick black mark or composed of the three colors
  • Put the cartridges back in the printer and print a few test pages

If you find this process to be a complicated one, you must know that cartridge refill centres can have favourable prices. However, you must be careful and guarantee that a cough is used to refill the printer cartridges of very good quality.

After you buy a refill kit, in the future you will only need refill ink.

What to do when the printer does not recognize a replaced cartridge?

As with the installation of compatible cartridges, the printer may display some errors. If it displays one of the following errors:

  • No cartridge is installed
  • The ink or toner is consumed or empty (low or empty)
  • Other warnings: “this cartridge is not original”, or “using these cartridges you will lose the warranty”.

Click OK. For Canon printers, press and hold the power-off button for a few seconds, and at Epson click Cancel if you have this option on the computer screen or press the Cancel button on the printer – press and hold the button for a few seconds.


If these steps do not work, try the steps below:

  • Remove the cartridges from the printer
  •  Turn off the printer and unplug it
  • Wait 15 minutes
  • Turn on the printer again and put the refilled cartridges

Refilling cartridges with a refill kit. General tips

Finally, you must know that in stores you will find refill kits and coughs for refilling cartridges specially designed according to the printer model you have. For example, you can find kits and cushions especially for Canon, HP, Epson, Brother or Universal cartridges, which contain all the tools you may need regardless of the type of printer you have. Another thing you should consider is the quality of the cough. You can guide yourself by price – even the most expensive kit will still be cheaper than buying a new cartridge.

Do not refill a completely emptied cartridge, and if you have an empty cartridge and want to refill it, do not wait too long. In both cases, you may want to dry your printer heads, in which case you will have to reach a refill centre or even buy new ones because they may no longer be used.

After a refill, it is advisable to run the self-cleaning function of the printer, so it is best not to start the recharging process when you are on the run.

After you see it is not a very heavy process. it will take you, beginning between 15 and 20 minutes, but, with the time, you will be able to refill a cartridge in just a few minutes.