How to Refill Printer Ink for a Lexmark X5450

By Ryan Bauer

  • Overview

    The Lexmark X5450's cartridge is relatively easy to refill. There are no fill holes from the factory, so one will need to be drilled. The process is straightforward and will take most people no more than 15 minutes to complete. New cartridges for this printer usually cost around $35, but the ink used to refill one only costs a couple of dollars each time it's done. An inkjet refill kit must initially be purchased for around $7 to $9 at any major retailer that carries inkjet cartridges. You should know before beginning that although this isn't a difficult job, it will likely be messy, even if you've done it before. When ink gets on your work area, your clothing, or even your hands, there is little that can be done to get it out. It may take up to a week of frequent washing for ink to fade from your skin.
    • Step 1

      Prepare your work area by laying down a plastic bag followed by a layer of paper towels. The towels will absorb any dripped or spilled ink, and the plastic bag won't allow any of the ink to seep through to the work surface. Put latex gloves on your hands to keep the ink from staining them.
    • Step 2

      Open the cover on the Lexmark X5450 and flip the lever that holds the cartridge in place to a vertical position. This frees the mechanism that clamps onto the cartridge, allowing it to easily be lifted out of place. Set the cartridge on your work surface. Be aware that when the bottom of the cartridge comes into contact with the paper towels, they will likely absorb and pull out some of the remaining ink.

    • Step 3

      Remove the hole drill from the packaging, and set it aside. This usually looks like a short screwdriver with a tip resembling a drill bit. Place the bit on the label of the cartridge, right above the large letters stating the cartridge code. Applying light pressure, turn the drill clockwise until it begins to bite into the plastic. Continue turning it until the hole has been completely drilled.
    • Step 4

      Insert the tip of the ink container into the cartridge, and slowly begin to fill it. Stop often to check the level of the ink. Do not allow it to get too close to the top of the cartridge. The filled ink level should be within a few millimeters of the top of the cartridge. When finished, place one of the stick-on hole covers from the refill kit over the hole to seal it. Always hold the cartridge upright, since the cover is there to keep the ink from evaporating, not to prevent a spill.
    • Step 5

      Place the cartridge back into the printer in the same way it came out. Allow it to set there for at least 1 hour prior to using the printer. This allow the ink to seep into the crevices of the cartridge, producing better print results. To make sure it is working properly, print a document or image as a test page. It is normal for the first sheet to have some ink smudges or lightly printed areas, since the ink is still working its way through the cartridge.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Black or color inkjet refill kit of any brand
    • Paper towels
    • Plastic bags
    • Latex gloves
    • Tip: In the future, just fill the cartridge using the same ink hole, and place another stick-on cover over it, or simply use a piece of Scotch tape.
    • Warning:
    • Immediately wash any items that come into contact with printer ink.

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