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HP Printer Cartridge Refills - How To Guide

written by: KateG•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 5/26/2009

Refilling your ink cartridge can be messy, but save you a lot of money. If you want to do it without the painful mess then you can use these instructions.

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    Printers for the most part, are relatively inexpensive items. Where companies make their long term revenue on printing is the ink. At 20 dollars or more per cartridge a family could spend more than 100 dollars a year on ink. If you want to cut that cost down significantly, then you can simply refill your old cartridges. That can seem intimidating if you have not done so before. Don’t worry, with these step by step instructions you can do it.

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    Do I Need to Worry About The Type of Cartridge In My Printer?

    For most models you will not worry about the type of ink you buy. All HP's that are not designed for industrial use, rely upon the same type of ink. The only concern you should have is if you have an HP printer that takes the clear or white cartridges. If you have these cartridges, and your colored inks comes separately (Yellow, Magenta, Cyan) you will not be able to refill your ink at home. The ink in these models are kept inside bags, which you should be able to see through the cartridge. Puncturing one of these bags with a needle would release all of the ink at once, and create a useless mess.

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    The Steps

    Step 1: Buy a refill kit. You can usually get these at drug stores or big box retailers.

    Step 2: Remove the ink cartridge. There should be instructions with your printer for this . Follow them.

    Step 3: Clean the cartridge. You may notice the bottom is inky. Wipe it down with a damp cloth. Just don’t press down or you may end up soaking out ink inside the cartridge.

    Step 4: Put your cartridge down on a safe work area. Something flat like a table with newspaper on i is good. If you are really worried about making a mess, put a plastic bag or plastic wrap under the newspaper.

    Step 5: Look for a filling hole. Some HP models have these already marked for you on the top of the case, and others do not. If your HP model has this marked you will see a small set of concentric circles. If you press lightly on the inner circle it should give way a little bit. It will be smaller than a centimeter and in the top of the cartridge. If you have one of these holes you will not need to drill. If you do not have a hole create one with a drill included in your kit. Procedure will vary based on model and kit. Follow the directions in the kit to drill.

    Step 6: Prep your ink as per the instructions in your kit. This usually involves a long syringe or needle like device.

    Step 7: Inset your needle into the hold you found or drilled. Use a minimum amount of pressure and begin to dispense your ink. Go slowly or you can end up with spill over.

    Step 8: Once your cartridge is fill cover the hole. Most kits come with covers, but if yours does not you can use a tiny piece of duct tape.

    Step 9: Put your ink cartridge into your printer and do a test print.

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    How to Choose a Refil Kit

    There are some ways to spot a good kit, and maximize your savings. Just follow these guidelines:

    * Get as many refills as you can per kit. You will pay less per refill on a kit with 4 ink pouches per refill then you will one with 2 pouches.

    * Be careful to choose the one you need. If most of your printing is black and white then you may not want to get a bulk color only set

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    Buying Refilled

    If you do not want to, or cannot refill your cartridge at home, then you can simply buy a refilled cartridge at a discount rate. Inksell has a wide range of cartridges available for purchase. This is a great alternative for people with the white or clear ink cartridges.