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Refilling Ink Cartridges

Refilling Ink Cartridges

In this guide we will be showing you how to refill the majority of HP, Dell, Lexmark and Canon inkjet cartridges. Before following these instructions please take a moment to locate the relevant sub article from the gallery below so you know how much ink and where to inject it for your cartridge:

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Unfortunately if you do not see your cartridge above then this guide is not applicable but we should still be able to help here.

With this done make sure you have a syringe, the relevant colours of refill ink and plenty of tissue paper (kitchen paper recommended) before moving onto the instructions below:

1. Place the cartridge in question on some tissue paper somewhere that will be easy to clean if you should spill any ink.

2. Remove any labels from the top of the cartridge.

3. Use a syringe to suck up appropriate amount of ink for the cartridge in question.

4. Poke the needle the into relevant hole and roughly half deep into the sponge. Where possible use the hole closest to the printhead for best results, especially with black only ink cartridges.5. Slowly inject ink into every chamber until the sponge is saturated. A small amount of ink may overflow when full, so be sure to protect the other filling holes on a tri-colour cartridge.

6. With this done do not reattach the label from step 2 as the filling holes help the flow of air into the cartridge.

7. Install the cartridge into your printer again then run a few cleaning cycles from your printer software to pull the ink through. Please check your manual if you are unsure how to do this. Alternatively place the head of the cartridge on a damp spot of some folded kitchen tissue for a minute or so to draw ink out.

You should now be all set to start printing again with your refilled cartridge. If your cartridge does not print correctly we recommend leaving it for a few hours or even overnight to give the ink chance to settle.

With the majority of refilled cartridge the unit will still warn that it is low on ink. With the exception of Lexmark cartridges marked “Return Programme Cartridge” this will not stop you printing however and any warning can simply be ignored until your ink runs out again.

I hope you have found this article helpful. If you have any questions or anything to add please let us know below.

About the author

Matthew Stevenson

I have been involved in the printer industry since I was 18 and have been an employee of Refresh Cartridges since early 2009. I am a dedicated family man, gamer, music fan and friend to all. I write the majority of the content here on Igloo and am responsible for its upkeep.


  1. Geoffrey Geier

    In spite of many attempts, I have never been able to successfuly refill my Genuine B/W HP301 as used in HP Deskjet 3050. The message I always get is that the cartridge is 'counterfeit or used'

    My question is – Does HP somehow block a refilled HP301 from being used in a Deskjet 3050 or am I doing something wrong?

    I have no problems in refilling cartridges for my HP Photosmart C4280.


  2. Quin

    I've refilled my ink cartirdges (HP 301), yet the print quality is severely reduced (like there is not ink).

    I managed to get the black to work after refilling it again and leaving it for the night, but now I've come back to it it doesn't want to print.

    Also the colour is the same (and found that it had leaked on the strip).

    Any advice?

  3. Trix

    Hey there ,

    I have a pg37 cartridge with a cannon ip1900 and i have been refilling it for a while . A few days ago i bought some more ink from a store but pg40 couse they said that pg40 ink is perfectly compatible with pg 37 however i have a problem the ink keeps flowing out till none remains . Is this an incompatibility problem pg40 ink doesent work with pg37 cartridge or its something else ? P.S. the cartridge worked fine with the pg 37 ink and after it ran out i bought the other one like 3 days after so i cant blame the sponge inside either.

    Some help would be apreciated if posssible.

    Many thx,


  4. Dan

    Help me on how to refill a all in one lexmark 300 as it always say replace ink cartridges after refilling them

  5. David


    Great site. I have refilled a cartridge however when it prints photos theres like light grey horizontial lines across the photo even after trying another set of cartridges and running cleaning tools. Its a HP photosmart c4485 black cartridge 350 colour 351.

    Any ideas?


  6. val

    hi Matthew, you have a great site, laid out professionally, . from your layout you obviously want to keep things clear, and organised, straightforward for your customers. may i make a suggestion. for people who think like me ( and i am assuming there is more than just myself). the diagram you have of where to insert the ink, ie the 2 examples above with the x marks the spot. ? when i first looked at it i thought it was how NOT to do it. i took the X as being incorrect and i then searched for an alternative diagram that showed me a tick mark ie the correct way of doing it. I gave up and went a bought one of your remanufactured cartridges. when i came back later , the penny dropped and i realised that it was meant as x marks the spot.
    a different way of looking at things really. only if i had been in a different frame of mind i would have given up and left your site. depends how you look at it i suppose, it might increase sales by some customers, but for others of low patience, you might loose them. ? just my thoughts, rgds val

  7. michael redmond

    thanks very much i am now refilling my canon mp495 cartridges
    i use a battery drill with hss bit, and masking tape xxxxxxxxxxxx

  8. Mohd Asmar

    Hi Matthew I used my catridge(HP 818B) and after it was over i kept it aside and it has been over a year and after going through your website i am inspired and want to refill it can i do it now or not? And a last question i wanna ask that if i won’t take a print for at least 1 month will the catridges dry?

  9. Owolabi

    Whenever i refill my hp deskjet 3050a, it will spil out from d button panel dat was attached to d copper. Any help plsss.

  10. kalyanasundaram

    Hi there, I have dell 924 . I fill 4640 black and 4646 with appropriate colours inks. Colour ink cartridge fixed on right side. and black on right side in respective housings. When I close the door the system shows right side cartridge error. When I renew with another 4646 even though initially shows as error and after off and switch on it works ok. But both cartridges are 4646 are ink filled manually only. I cleaned couple of times the contact print head and contact points with tissue paper soaked in 99% isopropyl alcohol. Still I am not successful. This is my second refilling of these cartridges. Any remedial method please. I thank you much in advance.

  11. Steffi

    Hi Matthew,

    I could not get the ink injected to my canon 511 cartridge despite the holes being larger (I poke with a pin, the holes are about twice as big as the intial size). The ink keeps getting overfilled as if the tank is full however I have not even injected half ml!

    Any advice?


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