Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Works for Me: Refilling our Ink Cartridge

Printer ink cartridges are very expensive. Even the store brand look-alikes are expensive. Getting empty cartridges refilled at Walgreens and similar stores has become reasonable (they offer deals frequently to attract new customers and we've taken advantage of them to refill David's HP cartridge), but my printer happens to be a Canon, one of the brands that they don't refill.

So I looked into home refill kits online and compared prices. After much research, I decided to order a black ink only kit from The Printer Ink Warehouse. It's really simple (heat the end of a paperclip to poke a hole through the cartridge and use a syringe to squeeze new ink through that hole) and has worked splendidly for me for ten or more refills. I recently ordered a new bottle of ink to continue refilling my original cartridge. I haven't refilled my color ink cartridge yet (not sure it's a worthwhile investment), but I'm sure The Printer Ink Warehouse's kit for that works well, too.

If you haven't considered getting the supplies to refill your own ink cartridges, I highly recommend it!

For more insights into best practices for families, check out the weekly Works-For-Me Wednesday post at Rocks in my Dryer.


Anne M. said...

I too refill my black ink cartridges, never tried color either.

Tip #1 - I bought bulk ink refill bottles (no kit) through a company on ebay - 4 bottles that are about 1/4 the size of a soda bottle for like $15. Usually once you have a kit you don't need another one.

Tip #2 - I have terrible troubles with somehow ending up with black on my fingers & table anytime I refill. Rubbing alcohol will take off most ink. And if you do the dishes the rest will come off HAHA!

love your wfm!

Frances said...

Great tips, Anne! I usually do my refilling on newspaper on the kitchen floor and keep paper towels nearby to catch the drips and any overflow from the cartridge head.

Veggiemomof2 said...

I'm going to try this. My cartridges just got more expenisive & are not refillable.

*carrie* said...


I didn't realize you could do this--will have to keep it in mind. Did you happen to figure out the savings of DIY vs. buying new cartridges at the store?

Frances said...

LOL, Carrie - it's funny you would ask me this after I've just spent a couple hours analyzing financial data for work. I did not do a true cost comparison for the ink cartridges. All I know is the kit (with its initial bottle of ink meant to refill the cartridge about 7 times) cost a little more (with shipping) than a single new cartridge.