How to Refill HP 80 Ink Cartridges

A large number of the HP printers use the HP 80 ink cartridges. One cartridge is used for black ink while the other holds the three colours used to make all other colours. Refilling the cartridges can be an inexpensive alternative to continuously buying new HP 80 ink cartridges. Because these cartridges have interior plastic bags filled with ink, which can easily break, the number of times you can refill a cartridge will depend on the cartridge itself. Some cartridges can only be refilled 3 to 4 times while others can be refilled as many as twenty times.

Prepare your workspace by placing old newspaper over it. This way you won't stain your table or work surface should any ink spill. Put on old clothes so you don't accidentally get your clothing stained with ink.

Unplug the printer from the power outlet and remove the print cartridge from the printer. Lay it on the work surface and clean it with a soft cloth.

Look at the cartridge and remove the sticker label on top of the cartridge. Note the single hole in the black cartridge and the series of holes (one for each colour) for colour printer cartridge.

Open the refill kit and organise the ink bottles and refill syringes for the cartridges. Insert the syringe in the colour bottle you plan on refilling. Lift the depressor to fill with ink. Remove the syringe from the bottle and wipe with a damp clean cloth to remove excess ink.

Insert the needle of the syringe in the cartridge in the appropriate hole for the colour you are refilling. This will be distinguishable by the colour that surrounds the cartridge hole. Press the syringe applicator in to press ink into the cartridge. Avoid overfilling the cartridge and stop injecting when it is about three-quarters full. Note the ink level from the outside of the cartridge. Inject the other ink holes using this same method.

Replace the top sticker label. Wipe the cartridge clean and place it back in the printer. Print a few test pages to get the colour to even out. The first few pages may print poorly but eventually the ink colours will even out.


The HP 80 cartridges have a built in electronic chip that does not interfere with the refill process, but it does have an expiration date set to two years from the date of manufacture. After the expiration date the cartridge will become inoperable and you will need to purchase a new cartridge.

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Jennifer Moore began writing in 2006, specializing in Web content, blogs and forum postings. She is a graduate from the most prestigious university in Mexico, Universidad de Las Americas, with a B.A. in international relations, later obtaining a U.S. teacher's degree and an additional CompTIA A+ certification in computer technology. Moore has written for My Mexico Living, BoomersAbroad and various other websites.