How to Refill Ink Cartridges

Refilling your own inkjet cartridges will save you a lot of money during the life of your printer. Many inkjet printers have cartridges that can be used over and over.

Remove the cartridge from the printer.

Pull back the label. Generally the holes for the ink are on the top of the cartridge, and the manufacturer covers them up with the label.

Put the inkjet cartridge on the non porous surface. The next steps can get messy, so this is a good time to put on the latex gloves.

Open your inkjet refill kit, and select the inks that you need to refill.

Most of the time the label will tell you in what order the inks are, but sometimes you have to figure it out. If that is the case, take the sharp pin or needle, and stick it into one of the holes. When you pull it out, look for the color of ink. If it's not easy to see, wipe the needle or pin quickly on the paper towel, to see what color is in that hole. When you determine the color of the ink inside the cartridge, find the ink refill that matches the color, and gently squeeze the bottle after you have inserted it in the proper fill hole. Do not squeeze too hard, or you will have ink all over the place. Take your time refilling the colors. The ink goes into some type of sponge, and it takes a while to absorb.

Once you have topped off all the colors, put the label back over the refill holes, and push down so that it adheres to the cartridge. If the label has lost its ability to stick, take a piece of tape, and tape the whole label down. Ink evaporates, so the refill holes have to be covered up.

Pop the cartridge back into the printer, and prime the cartridge, according to your printer's directions.


  • Inkjet cartridges can be refilled over and over, but some manufacturers include a chip in or on their cartridges that prevents you from reusing a cartridge. When you buy your printer, find out if the cartridges can be refilled. It's a good idea to have a couple of wet paper towels handy in case some ink leaks out or spills.


  • Refilling inkjet cartridges can be a very messy job. Ink can smear everywhere, so be careful while you are doing it. If you have small children around, store your inkjet refill kit in a place where they cannot get to it. These inks are permanent, and can stain your carpets, flooring, and other surfaces.