One way that you can save yourself some money is by refilling your own ink cartridges for your printer. The process is actually fairly simple, albeit messy, but it can easily be done.

General Instructions

Inkjet refillHere’s what you’ll need for an inkjet printer:

  • Empty ink cartridge
  • Inkjet refill kit
  • Cloth to clean-up the mess you will presumably make!
  • Gloves (optional, but it’ll help keep your hands free of ink)

You can find inkjet refill kits at most retailers like Wal Mart or Target. This one from Wal Mart is $14.96 and works for HP, Lexmark, and other printers.

  1. Once you’ve removed the empty cartridge from your printer, use tape to cover up all of the holes where the ink comes out. There will still be ink in the cartridge, and you really won’t want that running all over.
  2. In the kit, you’ll find a tool to puncture holes into your cartridge. Use it to punch the holes and expose the refill holes.
  3. Fill the syringe included in the kit with the appropriate colored-ink.
  4. Put the tip of the syringe in the hole and push it in as far as you can (the syringe should almost reach the bottom).
  5. Inject ink into the cartridge until full.
  6. Repeat the process for the remaining colors.
  7. Take the tape off of the ink holes that you covered up in step one.
  8. There may be an additional step or two depending on your printer and the kit that you purchase, so make sure you read their instructions as well.

According to this source, you can refill a cartridge anywhere from five to eight times but it’ll depend on a few different factors like the quality of the paper that you’re using.

Here are a few refilling tips (source):

  • Ink is permanent– watch for drips
  • Avoid contact with metal contacts on cartridge.
  • Don’t let your cartridge run dry
  • Inject ink slowly! This will help prevent a mess

If you’ve refilled your ink cartridges before, what has been your experience, and do you have any suggestions to pass on to others?