How to Refill Ink Cartridges on Dell Printers

By Larry Parr

  • Overview

    Do not wait until your Dell printer cartridge is completely empty before refilling, as this can cause ink to dry in the print head and lead to problems. After you are done filling your Dell ink cartridge, do not plug the fill hole--it is important that air be allowed into the cartridge for it to work properly. Dell printer cartridges can be refilled no more than three times before the electronics in the cartridge will stop being reliable. Refilling your Dell cartridge can save you 50 percent or more over the cost of continuously buying replacement cartridges.
    • Step 1

      Read the instruction booklet that comes with your refill kit. If there is any special issue with the cartridge contained the particular Dell printer that you own, follow the refill kit's directions. Otherwise, continue to Step 2.
    • Step 2

      Open your printer and remove the ink cartridge. This may require you to twist slightly downward on the cartridge until you feel it "give." Do not use enough pressure to break anything. If you are in doubt about how to remove the printer cartridge, consult your printer manual or look it up online.


    • Step 3

      Wipe the print head very carefully with toilet paper that has been dampened. If ink is dried and won't wipe off, allow the print head to sit in a shallow dish of warm water and vinegar (a 50/50 solution) for up to 20 minutes. Wipe carefully again with damp toilet paper until the copper print head appears clean of all ink. Pat dry with toilet tissue.
    • Step 4

      Peel back the label on top of the cartridge until you reveal the cartridge's fill hole.
    • Step 5

      Place a short piece of Scotch tape over the copper print head.
    • Step 6

      Open the bottle of ink from the refill kit, being careful not to remove the aluminum seal on top of the bottle. Insert the syringe from the refill kit through the aluminum seal and draw out 10ml of ink. Replace the top of the ink bottle.
    • Step 7

      Insert the syringe into the fill hole of the cartridge and slowly inject the ink, being careful not to let the ink overflow the fill hole. Remove the syringe and replace the peeled-back label. A small piece of Scotch tape can be used to hold the label in place if necessary.
    • Step 8

      Place the printer cartridge on a double-sheet paper towel, with the print head down but angled so the printer jets do not touch the paper. Allow the cartridge to sit this ay for 20 minutes so the ink can be fully absorbed by the sponge in the cartridge and any air bubbles can escape.
    • Step 9

      Remove the Scotch tape from the print head and carefully wipe the head with a piece of toilet paper to remove any ink that has seeped out of the jets.
    • Step 10

      Re-insert the cartridge in the printer. Turn on the printer and run a test sheet to confirm that the refill is working properly.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Refill kit
    • Toilet paper
    • Scotch tape
    • Warning:
    • Do not put the cartridge back into your printer if ink drips out of the print head.
    • Avoid touching the copper part of the print head with your fingers.
    • Do not plug the cartridge's fill hole, as air must be allowed to enter the cartridge to prevent a vacuum from forming.

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