How to Refill HP Printer Color Cartridges

By Ryan Bauer

  • Overview

    Refilling your HP printer's color cartridge when it runs dry is much more economical than replacing it with a new one. The ink used to refill one cartridge usually costs less than 10 percent of the replacement price. The refilling process can sometimes be messy, but given some patience, it is something almost anybody can do. Color refill kits can be found at most stores that carry inkjet cartridges. To properly refill your HP cartridge, you will need a refill kit that is specifically designed for use with HP printers. You can find out what brands are supported by reading the back of the box before making your purchase.
    An example of an HP color print cartridge
    • Step 1

      Prepare a work area by laying out several layers of paper towels. Remember that this will likely be a messy process, so fill your ink cartridges over an area you won't mind getting stained. Ink will also dye your hands, and often takes up to 1 week to completely wear off, so the use of latex gloves is highly recommended. Remove the inkjet printer cartridge by opening the printer door and waiting for the cartridge to center itself in front of you. Lift the lever that secures it in place, and slide the cartridge up until it is free of the printer.
    • Step 2

      Examine the top of the color cartridge; you will note several indentations. Look through the HP refill kit's manual until you find your model or style of cartridge. The diagram will show you which indentation is used to fill which chamber, and will note which color goes in each one. It's important to reference the manual for this step, since each type of HP cartridge is different.


    • Step 3

      Obtain access to each of the chambers by punching through the indentations that are referenced in the manual. HP refill kits come with a small plastic punch that is designed for this task. There will be three chambers that need to be accessed, since there are three different colors of ink in a color print cartridge. Once the indentations are punched out, you will have access to the chambers.
    • Step 4

      Using the syringe, fill each chamber with the appropriate color of ink. Reference the manual to make sure you're putting the right color in each chamber. Try to fill the cartridge as full as possible, but do not allow it to overflow. Hold the cartridge upright during this entire process, or the ink could spill out.
    • Step 5

      Peel three of the hole-sealing stickers from the inkjet refill kit and place one over each of the holes, applying firm pressure to ensure proper adhesion. Even though the holes are now sealed, keep the cartridge turned upright at all times. The cartridge can now be replaced in the printer and used as normal. In the future, the refill steps will be the same as these; you just won't have to punch out the indentations.
    • Skill: Moderate
    • Ingredients:
    • Color HP inkjet refill kit
    • Paper towels
    • Latex gloves
    • Tip: Consider refilling your cartridges outside or in a garage, since it can be a messy process.

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