How to Refill HP Print Cartridges

By Larry Parr

  • Overview

    Printer manufacturers make their profit not by selling you a printer, but by selling you ink cartridges. Therefore, they are not happy with the idea that you can refill their cartridges. Even so, you can save 50 to 75 percent over the cost of a new cartridge simply by refilling a cartridge yourself. Do not refill a cartridge more than two or three times at the most, as the delicate electronics in printer cartridges have a limited life expectancy.
    • Step 1

      Read the booklet that comes with the ink refill kit and look for any instructions that are specific to the particular type of cartridge you are refilling.
    • Step 2

      Open the top or front of your printer to expose the cartridges. Twist the cartridge slightly down and toward you to remove it from the machine.


    • Step 3

      Using toilet paper (never paper toweling), gently wipe the copper portion of the print head to remove all old ink. If any ink refuses to clean up, dampen several sheets of toilet paper and gently wipe the damp paper vertically on the print head until all old ink is removed.
    • Step 4

      Tear off 2 inches of Scotch tape and place the tape over the print head to prevent ink from dribbling out of the print jets while filing.
    • Step 5

      Carefully peel back the paper label on top of the print cartridge. Peel from the front of the cartridge and toward its back. Stop peeling the label when when you see the fill hole.
    • Step 6

      Remove the cap from the bottle of ink that came with your refill kit. Do not remove the aluminum foil on top of the bottle. Insert the syringe that came with your refill kit through the aluminum foil on the ink bottle and withdraw 10ml of ink. Replace the cap on the ink bottle.
    • Step 7

      Insert the syringe into the fill hole on top of the ink cartridge and slowly inject the ink into the cartridge. Set the syringe aside and replace the label that you peeled back over the fill hole. Do not cover the top of the cartridge with Scotch tape, as this will prevent air from getting into the cartridge and prevent its proper operation.
    • Step 8

      Remove the Scotch tape from the print head. Gently wipe the print head with toiler paper to remove any ink that has seeped out during the refilling.
    • Step 9

      Snap the cartridge into your printer. This may require a slight amount of pressure and a twisting motion up and away from you. You should feel the cartridge "snap" into place. Close the front or top of your machine and turn it on.
    • Step 10

      Print a test sheet to confirm that your refilled print cartridge is working properly.
    • Skill: Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Ink refill kit
    • Toilet paper
    • Scotch tape
    • Tip: Be careful not to damage the copper foil when cleaning it. Avoid touching the copper foil with your fingers any more than is necessary.
    • Tip: Cartridges cannot be refilled more than two or three times.
    • Warning:
    • If ink drips out of the print ports of your cartridge after filling, do not insert the cartridge into your printer; discard the cartridge instead.

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