How to Refill a Lexmark Ink Cartridge

By Chris Moore

  • Overview

    Lexmark ink cartridges--both black and color--can be refilled using a syringe bottle. There is a slight difference, however, in the procedure between color and black cartridges, directly related to the L-shaped cap on the top of the cartridge. Either way, refilling is a simple process that can save you money and reduce waste in the long run.
  • Black Cartridges

  • Step 1

    Enlarge the cartridge's filling hole using an eyelet screw. The hole is located behind the tab at the very top of the cartridge lid. Do not remove the lid on black ink cartridges.
  • Step 2

    Place the replacement ink inside a plastic syringe bottle, drawing it through the needle from the ink bottle. Make sure the syringe is clean. Any ink refill kit should include the exact type of syringe needed. If it's brand-new, you may have to poke or cut a hole into the needle tip.
  • Step 3

    Insert the needle into the enlarged filling hole and inject the ink. Most Lexmark black cartridges will contain up to 20 ml of ink. Rinse out the needle when finished.
  • Color Cartridges

    • Step 1

      Remove the plastic cap on top of the cartridge. Pry it open carefully with a utility knife or other object with a flat blade. Don't damage the sensors, which are the ridges in the back of the cartridge. You should see the three ink chambers covered with a transparent lid. Each chamber has a white sponge inside.
    • Step 2

      Verify which color is in which chamber. For Lexmark cartridges, the order from left to right is usually cyan, yellow and magenta. To double-check this, stick a long, thin pin or plastic toothpick through the fill hole and see what color comes out of each (use a different pin for each chamber).
    • Step 3

      Fill the syringe with one color ink. Insert the syringe into the correct chamber, pushing through the sponge within the chamber down to the bottom.
    • Step 4

      Refill the chamber with up to 8 ml of the ink. Do not overfill the chamber, meaning you should not fill it to where the sponge changes from white to the ink color. Stop filling once the ink begins to surface near the point of the needle.
    • Step 5

      Rinse and dry the syringe bottle completely before moving to another color ink. Clean the bottle again after finishing so it can be used again.
    • Step 6

      Replace the cap on the cartridge. Tape the lid shut to help secure it.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Plastic syringe
    • Replacement ink
    • Eyelet screw
    • Utility knife
    • Tape
    • Tip: A standard ink refill kit should have many of the tools you need, including the syringe bottle and eyelet screw (see Resources below).

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