How to Refill a Color Canon Ink Cartridge

By Robert Vaux

  • Overview

    Canon color cartridges use four separate colors--black, cyan, magenta and yellow--which combine to produce a color image. In some cases, these colors are separated into four individual cartridges. With other Canon printers, the black ink is in one cartridge and the other three colors are combined into a single unit. Regardless of their exact construction, you can refill them easily instead of buying a new one, which saves you both money and time.
    • Step 1

      Determine which color or ink has run out. In most cases, the printer will tell you which ink levels are becoming low. You can also tell by printing out a full-color copy and seeing which color seems deficient, or simply by checking the cartridge by sight.
    • Step 2

      Lay down several sheets of newspaper or paper towels and put on an old shirt that you don't mind seeing stained. Detach the empty cartridge from the printer and lay it down in the center of the newspaper.


    • Step 3

      See if there is an air vent or sponge opening into the inkwell of the cartridge. If there isn't, then drill a tiny hole in the top of the inkwell using a drill and a 3 mm bit. Some ink refill kits may have their own tool for doing this, in which case the drill isn't necessary.
    • Step 4

      Insert the needle from the bottle of replacement ink (available in ink refill kits at most office supply stores) into the vent hole or the hole you have just drilled. Give it a few gentle squeezes to start the flow of ink. Allow the ink to slowly fill the cartridge, 1 ml every few seconds. The exact size of the inkwell will depend on the printer type--Canon 600 color cartridges carry 5 ml worth of ink, while those from Canon 300 or 600 cartridges hold 25 ml worth of black ink and 15 ml worth of cyan, magenta and yellow ink. Monitor the ink as it drains out of the bottle, and make sure it doesn't overflow.
    • Step 5

      Remove the needle and reinsert the plug into the vent, if necessary. If you have drilled a hole, you can stop it up with a piece of scotch tape.
    • Step 6

      Turn on the printer and run the head-cleaning program, then print out a few pages' worth of images to make sure that the ink is flowing correctly.
    • Skill: Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Ink refill kit
    • Drill and bits
    • Tape
    • Old clothes
    • Paper towels or newspaper
    • Tip: Don't feel like you have to refill the inkwell up to the very top. It doesn't take much ink to print numerous copies, and you run the risk of spillage if you try to top it off.

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