How to Refill an Epson Ink Cartridge

By Chris Moore

  • Overview

    Refilling any printer-ink cartridge can save you money and reduce waste. The ink cartridges for Epson printers are among the easiest to refill, because their shape makes it easy to see where each type of ink is stored. The basic system entailing ink bottles and a plastic syringe is used here. Unlike with Hewlett-Packard's or other similar cartridges, however, you must seal the outlet holes (where the ink goes to the paper) prior to refilling, and you must also seal any filling holes you make in the top afterward.
    • Step 1

      Know what type of ink is in the cartridge. A black ink cartridge has only one chamber, while a color cartridge has three. There are also four-chambered Epson cartridges that have both black and colored ink. The number of chambers is easily seen by the number of ridges on the bottom, and you can feel the chamber openings on top through the label.
    • Step 2

      Seal the outlet holes on the bottom of the cartridge with tape.


    • Step 3

      Poke a hole through the top label down into each cartridge chamber, using a toothpick or pin. If it is a color cartridge, use the poking tool to check which color is in which chamber. The order is usually cyan-magenta-yellow, but not always.
    • Step 4

      Fill a clean plastic syringe bottle with 5 to 8ml of ink of one color. Insert the syringe needle into the correct chamber through the hole you made, pushing it through the sponge within the cartridge down to the bottom. Inject ink into the chamber slowly, until the ink reaches your filling hole.
    • Step 5

      Once you have refilled all the chambers, tape over the holes you made in the label . Never remove this label, as it is part of the cartridge body helping keep the ink within it. Remove it, and you will basically have a small, open tub of ink.
    • Step 6

      Replace the cartridge in the Epson printer, with the outlet holes still covered. Don't remove the tape until you run up to three cleaning cycles on the printer, as its manual recommends. You may also need to let the cartridge sit in the printer for up to 24 hours to let the ink settle and flow to the outlet holes.
  • Skill: Easy
  • Ingredients:
  • Replacement ink
  • Syringe bottle
  • Adhesive tape
  • Pin/toothpick
  • Tip: Refilling the cartridge before it runs out completely will save a lot of time.
  • Warning:
  • Remember to thoroughly wash and dry the syringe bottle before filling it with another color of ink.

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