How to Refill a Canon Ink Cartridge

By Robert Vaux

  • Overview

    Ink cartridges often entail deceptively elaborate hardware and similar elements which interact with your printer's system. These components rarely wear out, but they are often discarded along with the rest of the cartridge when the ink runs out. That can add up to quite a bit of unnecessary expenditures as sometimes an individual cartridge costs $25 or more. Luckily, ink refill kits are available at many office supply stores. They allow you to use the same ink cartridges for your Canon printer numerous times, saving you money and preventing unnecessary waste. It can be done very easily with just a few quick steps.
    • Step 1

      Remove the empty ink cartridge from your Canon printer. Check the type of ink which it uses. It will typically be black, cyan, magenta or yellow. Lay down paper towels or newspaper and set the cartridge on top of them (to prevent any spilled ink from making a stain).
    • Step 2

      Select an ink refill kit that matches the color of the empty cartridge. Many refill kits will have their own tools for refilling the cartridge. If you don't have the tools or the instructions, not to worry. Simply make a small hole in the top of the cartridge's inkwell with a drill. Use a 3 mm bit and try to make the hole as clean as you can. In some cases--such as the Canon BCI 21 and BC-02--there will be a vent hole in the cartridge, which you can use instead of drilling your own hole. They will likely have a plug which you can remove with your thumbnail or just a sponge to keep the ink in place.


    • Step 3

      Tip the needle from the bottle containing the refill ink into the hole you have just made. Do it slowly so as not to spill any ink.
    • Step 4

      Carefully squeeze the bottle and allow the ink to fill the cartridge. The exact times will vary depending upon your printer. Canon 600 cartridges hold about 5 ml worth of ink, while Canon 3000 and 6000 models hold 25 ml for the black cartridges and 15 ml for the color cartridges. You want to add ink no faster than a ml or so at a time to avoid spillage.
    • Step 5

      Remove the needle and close up the hole. If you used a pre-existing hole, you can reattach the plug or simply leave it as is. If you drilled your own hole, cover it up with a piece of scotch tape.
    • Step 6

      Return the cartridge to the printer and start the machine. Set the head cleaning process to run and print out a few documents to ensure that the ink is printing as it should.
    • Skill: Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Ink refill kit
    • Used cartridge
    • Drill
    • Tape
    • Paper towels
    • Tip: It's a good idea to wear grubby clothes or else cover up your good clothes when performing a refill. Printer's ink does not come out.
    • Warning:
    • When refilling a Canon ink cartridge in this manner, try to avoid topping off the inkwell. You don't need to fill it absolutely to the top in order to keep printing and you'll save yourself the mess of a spillover.

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