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How to Refill Epson Ink Cartridges: A Helpful Guide

How to Refill Epson Ink Cartridges: A Helpful Guide

Feb 4th 2020

How to Refill Epson Ink Cartridges: A Helpful Guide

Nothing is worse than having a print fail right as you’re rushing out of the house before a big deadline. Or maybe you’re printing a cover letter and resume for a new job—you want those words to be as crisp and clean as your brand new tie. We get it: you are a busy bee and when printer ink expires sometimes there just isn’t enough time to go to the store to buy new ink, much less replace it in your printer. Not to mention, new ink can be expensive.

Luckily, there’s another alternative to fixing your printing woes.

As it turns out, refilling your ink cartridges is just as effective, less expensive, and more eco-friendly than replacing them with brand new ones. Although this may seem intimidating, the process is actually quite simple. Read on for a detailed guide on how to refill epson ink cartridges, so you can get right back to printing—today!

Read the full article or jump to a specific section:

Refilling Your Epson Printer Ink Cartridge

You may be wondering: Can Epson cartridges be refilled? Short answer: yes; and the process is simple. Just follow these quick and easy steps on how to refill your Epson ink cartridge:

  1. Gather the Right Supplies
  2. Remove the Ink Cartridge
  3. Locate the Refill Hole
  4. Fill the Ink Cartridge
  5. Return Cartridge to Printer
  6. Test Print Quality

These instructions can be used for virtually any Epson inkjet model, from the T048 through T200 series Epson cartridges, to the Strawberry and Epson 18/18XL models. Following this guide will help you save money, time, and ink for many prints to come!

#1: Gather the Right Supplies

From arts and crafts to building a house, you always need to set up your supplies before you start. Luckily, the process of refilling your ink cartridge is quite easy and requires much less know-how than building a house.

You will need:

  • Tape
  • Ink
  • Hole Maker (if necessary) and Rubber Stopper
  • A Syringe OR An Ink Spring Bottle
  • A Chip Resetter

Remember, printer ink comes in four main colors that—when mixed together—contribute to all the high-quality prints you know and love. They are:

  • Cyan
  • Yellow
  • Black
  • Magenta

For thermal printers, color is printed a bit differently, with a larger variety of colors created using ink ribbons. Most likely, however, you are using an inkjet printer, so you’ll only have to worry about the four types of ink cartridges listed above.

#2 Select and Remove the Correct Cartridge

This second step may seem quite simple, but following instructions correctly will really set you up for success. When it comes time to refill your cartridge, a few things are very important:

  • Cartridge should be at least 25% full, signaled by an exclamation mark on your printer display.
  • The ink you chose is the right color and model for the ink cartridge and printer.
  • Wear rubber gloves and cover the surface on which you’ll be working in case there is any mess (although, there probably won’t be).
  • Select the appropriate cartridge for the ink you want to refill and remove it carefully from the printer.

#3 Locate the Refill Hole on Your Ink Cartridge

The Epson inkjet cartridge should be fairly well-labeled, so you can easily locate the refill hole. Depending on the cartridge, the hole will be plugged with a rubber stopper, or you will need to create the hole yourself. Either way, locate the hole and remove the sealing, or create a hole with a small, pointed object. Before you start refilling, there are a few more precautions you must take:

  • Tape over the nozzle hole –To prevent ink from leaking during the refill process, locate the nozzle hole—which is where the ink is ejected from during printing—and tape it over.
  • Why?So that, when you are refilling the cartridge through the refill hole, the ink doesn’t seep out of the nozzle and make a huge mess.
  • Where? This nozzle will also be well-labeled on the cartridge. If you’re still having trouble, a good rule of thumb is that it is usually located two to three fingers away from the refill hole.
  • Wipe off excess ink –If you had to create your own hole, be sure to wipe excess ink from the cartridge before continuing.
  • Don’t lose the rubber stopper –If your cartridge has a rubber stopper on the refill hole, make sure you keep it in a safe place during this process. If you lose the stopper, you’ll have to spend a long time searching for it—and you’re busy enough as is!

#4 Fill Cartridge with New Ink

Now here’s the fun part. If you are using a syringe, insert it into your ink bottle and fill it with 16 mL of ink. If you are using an ink spring bottle, the work is done for you. Either way, insert the tip into the refill hole and fill the cartridge with ink. It should feel nice and full, ready to deliver some great prints!

Note: Be sure to wipe off any ink that was left on the cartridge after refilling. Excess ink could corrupt new prints or harm your printer.

#5 Return Cartridge to Printer

Now that you’re almost done, plug the refill hole, remove the tape from the nozzle, and replace the cartridge carefully into its respective slot in the printer. Repeat this process with any other ink cartridges you need to refill, and you are good to go!

#6 Test New Cartridge by Performing Sample Prints

Before you start reprinting your giant chess board, you have to test your prints first (just in case). Be sure to print a few test sheets in multiple colors to test the full range of your printer. Here are some indicators that you need to check or replace your cartridge:

  • Dots
  • Blank spots
  • Scratchy lines
  • Voids
  • Pencil-thin, parallel lines

If any of these were detected in your prints, you may have to replace your cartridge entirely, or remove the cartridge, place it back in, and re-test the prints.

How to Override Ink Cartridge Refill

Most Epson inkjet cartridges come with a smart chip that counts pages printed and sends that information to the printer. To continue printing, you have to know how to override ink cartridge refill Epson. Once you replace the ink in a cartridge, you have to also reset the page count in that smart chip to continue printing.

Note:This is a much less wasteful process. Overriding the cartridge will let you continue printing with the tiny bit of ink you have left, so you don’t waste more ink!

You’ll need to use a chip resetter to reset the page number on the chip back to zero. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Locate the smart chip on your ink cartridge
  2. Align the resetter with the metal strands on the chip
  3. Lightly press the resetter onto the chip
  4. Once the light on the device turns green, your chip is officially reset!

A few things to note:

  • These resetters are a bit fiddly, so this process might take more than one attempt
  • If the resetter turns red after several tries, your chip might be faulty or unable to reset

This is a very important step. If you don’t override the ink cartridge refill signal, the printer will not recognize the new ink level and it will still think that the printer ink is low and the cartridge is empty. This will send a kill signal to the cartridge, making it unusable in the eyes of the printer.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are still scratching your head about printer maintenance and ink cartridge life, here are some frequently asked questions—and their answers to help you out:

  • Why should I refill my ink cartridge?

Refilling your ink cartridge not only saves you money, but it also saves ink. Many times, printers will stop printing even if the cartridge still has some ink left. When you reset the chip on the cartridge, you are helping make your printer more efficient! Pretty neat, right?

  • How many times can I refill my ink cartridge?

This really depends on your printer, the ink, and the original cartridge. This is why the testing step is so important. As long as your prints maintain their quality, you can keep refilling the cartridge. The key is to make sure you don’t wait until the ink level is at 0% to refill.

  • What if the print quality is still poor?

If the prints are still low-quality after refilling the cartridge, that could mean the device is worn, broken, or faulty. If so, you will need to replace the cartridge. No worries, though. Supplies Outlet offers a ton of ink cartridge options to make this as inexpensive and easy as possible!

To mitigate the environmental impact of this, be sure to recycle your print cartridge through Epson directly or through a third-party cartridge recycler.

Now Go Forth, and Print!

See, that wasn’t so hard, was it? Now that you’ve mastered the art of ink cartridge refill, you can now master the art of printing a giant portrait of your significant other on several sheets of paper: the kind of gift that will definitely not creep them out! Additionally, see our informative printer hacks to elevate your printing game.


Nano Digital Ink. How to Refill Epson Cartridges.

Refresh Cartridges. How To Refill and Reset An Epson 18/18XL Cartridge.