How to Refill Canon Inkjet Cartridges

Written by kate kotler
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There are a couple of accepted methods for refilling a Canon inkjet cartridge, the easiest being to drill a hole in the old cartridge while it is still in the printer. With new Canon cartridges costing between £7 and £13 per cartridge, refilling your Canon inkjet cartridges is far more cost-effective than replacing them every time you run out of ink. Refilling drops your cost to 60p per refill and not only is cost-effective, but it's better for the environment, too, as you won't be discarding empty ink cartridges into the garbage.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Power drill
  • Small drill bit
  • Canon cartridge plug kit
  • Canon ink
  • Ink syringe with needle

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  1. 1

    Identify the ink fill hole by opening the printer door and looking at the cartridges. At the bottom of the cartridge, you'll see a small depression. This is the ink fill hole.

  2. 2

    Drill through the ink fill hole with a power drill and a small drill bit. Be very careful, because if you puncture other areas of the cartridge, you will compromise the printer's ability to work correctly.

  3. 3

    Fill the syringe with replacement ink. A black ink cartridge will require 20-25 ml of ink, and filling the syringe three-quarters of the way full is plenty of ink for this type of cartridge. A colour cartridge will require 12-15 ml of ink, so you only need to fill the syringe halfway full to refill this type of cartridge.

  4. 4

    Insert the syringe into the hole you created in Step 2. Slowly depress the plunger on the syringe and fill the cartridge. Withdraw the needle and set aside.

  5. 5

    Seal the hole with a Canon cartridge plug. If you don't have a plug kit, you can alternatively close the hole with a bit of duct tape. The important part is to get an airtight seal on the cartridge so that adequate pressure is created within the ink chamber to make the cartridge work.

  6. 6

    Close the printer door, and reset your printer settings. Run a test page through the printer to achieve equal ink distribution. The cartridge should be ready to print regularly then.

Tips and warnings

  • If you do not have a power drill to puncture the ink fill hole in the cartridge, you can try heating a small screwdriver and using it to melt the hole open.
  • Canon cartridges can be refilled 10 to 12 times before they need to be replaced.
  • There are a couple of accepted ways to refill Canon cartridges, but the method described above is the easiest and least messy method to refill ink for a personal printer and will work for most Canon models. However, if you have an older Canon model and cannot readily access the ink cartridge via opening the printer door, you may need to remove the cartridge (see Resources) and refill it on top of a piece of newspaper.
  • For a commercial or large Canon printer, you should remove the ink cartridge and take it to a qualified service centre to refill the ink.

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