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How to Refill Ink Cartridges for Canon Printer: A Helpful Guide

Feb 11th 2020

How to Refill Ink Cartridges for Canon Printer: A Helpful Guide

Very few things are more embarrassing than having to turn in a 10-page paper entirely in magenta. In these moments, my dog ate my homework somehow sounds better than I ran out of black ink. We get it. That’s why knowing how to refill ink cartridges (Canon printers or otherwise) is a vital skill.

Although refilling your ink cartridges may sound like a hassle at first, here’s why it’s a better option than buying a brand new ink cartridge:

  • Eco-Friendly – Throwing away cartridges can be damaging to the environment so the more you reuse, the better for the planet.
  • More Affordable – New ink cartridges can really add up over a printer’s lifetime. That’s why refilling them while they are still in good condition is a great idea for anyone on a budget.
  • Saves Ink – Many times, printers will stop printing with an ink cartridge even if there is still some ink left. By resetting the ink level and refilling the cartridge, you are using your ink to the fullest!

If that isn’t enough, just remember that the process is incredibly simple and saves a lot of time. Instead of racing to the store or ordering a new cartridge online, you can whip out your ink and some supplies on the spot! Read on to find out how to refill your Canon ink cartridges in a jiffy.

Refilling Your Canon Printer Ink Cartridge

Here is how you can refill your Canon ink cartridges in seven easy steps:

  1. Gather Supplies
  2. Remove Cartridge
  3. Locate or Create Refill Hole
  4. Fill the Cartridge with Ink
  5. Return Cartridge
  6. Reset Ink Level on Printer
  7. Test Print Quality

#1 Gather Your Supplies

For any project, putting together the right supplies are paramount. Luckily, refilling canon ink cartridges requires very little work and few supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Gloves
  • Ink
  • Hole Maker (can be any pointed object)
  • Rubber Stopper
  • Syringe
  • Chip Resetter Device

To make things even more simple, you can use an ink refill kit that will come with all the supplies you need. Here are some options for you to choose from:

  • Name-brand kits (ones that come from the original manufacturer) will guarantee that the ink and tools are compatible with your ink cartridge.
  • Generic kits are far more cost-effective than their name-brand companions, but you will have to choose them carefully to ensure compatibility.

When selecting ink, be sure to choose from one of the four main ink cartridge colors available:

  • Black
  • Cyan
  • Magenta
  • Yellow

Be sure to confirm what type of cartridge your printer uses. If you accidentally fill an ink cartridge with toner, or vice versa, the final product will be of poor quality. Not to mention, this innocent mix-up could result in a damaged cartridge or printer.

#2 Select and Remove the Correct Cartridge

The first step to refilling an ink cartridge is finding it. For most Canon printers, you can just reach under the printer hood and open the latch. From there, the ink cartridges will automatically slide towards the center. For others, you have to open the entire top to locate the cartridge on the bottom-right corner of the printer’s dark underbelly.

Before refilling your cartridge, here are a few things to note:

  • Ensure that your cartridge is at least 25% full before replacing. Otherwise, the printer may send a kill command to that cartridge, rendering it useless even if refilled.
  • Your ink is the right color, type, and model for the printer and cartridge in question.
  • Safety and cleanliness is key: wear rubber gloves and cover up your work surface.

#3 Locate the Refill Hole on Ink Cartridge

Whether you want to know how to refill Canon 245 ink cartridges or how to refill Canon 240 ink cartridges, the instructions are fairly similar. The main difference between cartridges, depending on the model, is whether they come with a refill hole or not.

If they come with a hole, the process is very simple:

  1. Tape over cartridge’s nozzle hole to prevent ink spillage when refilling it. This hole is usually located at the top left corner of the cartridge.
  1. Remove the rubber stopper covering the hole and put it somewhere safe so you don’t lose it. You don’t want to waste time on your hands and knees trying to find it!
  1. Wipe off any excess ink that spills onto the cartridge in the process.

If the cartridge does not come with a hole, no worries. Here’s how you deal with that:

  1. Locate a spot a few fingers away from the nozzle, centered at the thinner edge of the cartridge.
  1. Tape over the nozzle to prevent leakages in the process.
  1. Slowly apply pressure to the area with the sharp object of your choice.
  1. Have a rubber stopper on hand to replug the hole after you’ve refilled the cartridge.

#4 Inject the Cartridge with New Ink

Now for the part you’ve been waiting for: Fill! That! Cartridge!

Whether you are using a syringe or an ink spring bottle, you’ll need around 16 mL of ink to properly refill the cartridge. Naturally, this will also depend on the initial ink volume in the cartridge, so be sure to do this slowly to avoid overfilling.

Note: Make sure you wipe off any ink that seeped out onto the cartridge in the process to avoid printer damage or poor print quality. Make sure the hole was plugged properly to avoid leaks and breakages.

#5 Return Cartridge to Printer

Probably the easiest step of the process, returning the cartridge should be smooth and simple. As long as you’ve adequately plugged the refill hole, removed the tape from the nozzle, and carefully re-inserted the cartridge, you should be good to go! The cartridge should correspond to its ink color and it should slide into place snugly.

#6 Reset the Ink Level on a Canon Printer

Once your ink cartridge is full, you’ll have to reset your printer’s ink level monitoring feature before printing. This is so that the printer recognizes its ink cartridges as full and stops flashing you with the yellow exclamation mark of DOOM.

The following instructions work for Canon 240, 241, 245, and 246 ink cartridges:

  1. Once the cartridge is installed, you’ll see that the light next to the Black or Color Ink indicator will be flashing.
  1. The first time you send a print job after this re-installation, you’ll be prompted at the control panel to press the stop/resume button on the printer. Do not select Cancel Printing.
  1. Instead, hold the stop/resume button for at least five seconds. This will tell the printer to initiate a reset of its ink level monitoring system.
  1. If successful, the LED will flash a series of changing lines until it finally stabilizes by displaying a “1” on the screen.
  1. Neither Color nor Black LEDs should be flashing at this point.

#7 Test New Cartridge by Performing Sample Prints

Testing your prints is one of the most important steps when replacing ink cartridges. This is the best way to determine whether you did it correctly and whether your ink cartridge is still in good condition. Here is what you should look out for:

  • Any dots or spatters across the page
  • Scratchy or faded lines and lettering
  • Voids and blank spots
  • Thin, parallel lines that cross the page

To properly test, your best bet is to print in multiple colors, or select the test function on your printer, if available. If you detect any of the above blemishes, your cartridge may be at the end of its long, illustrious career. Bid it farewell and get a new ink cartridge.

How Many Times Can an Ink Cartridge Be Refilled?

Depending on your printer type, the age of your printer, and the state of the original cartridge, this answer could vary. That is why it is vital that you test your prints each time you refill an ink cartridge. As long as the print quality is up to your standards, you can keep using that ink cartridge. It’s really when the quality diminishes significantly that you would want to consider purchasing a new cartridge.

Prolong Your Ink’s Lifespan

Even though refilling ink cartridges is a simple process, it’s still important to understand how to make printer ink last longer. That way, your printing process can be more efficient, saving you money, time, and ink! Here are some best practices to help you extend your ink’s life:

  • Printing frequently—around once a month—actually extends cartridge life more because that ensures printer nozzles remain unclogged and well-used
  • Only unseal ink cartridges right when you want to use them. Otherwise, they’ll dry out.
  • Properly store your ink in a dry, dark place, stand them upright, and keep them in their original packaging
  • Printhead cleanings at least once a month help prevent future clogs and cartridge damage.
  • Always preview your printing so that you never print more pages than necessary for any given task.

If, despite your best attempts, the refilled cartridge is faulty or producing poor results, there is no reason to worry. Supplies Outlet sells a variety of low-cost, high-quality Canon refillable ink cartridges that will support all your printing needs as you embark on your next big project.

Happy Printing!

Now that you know how to refill your Canon ink cartridges, you are ready to take on the world! Whether you are printing the first draft of a future masterpiece or some big letters to a “Happy Birthday” display, you will never have to waste time at your printer again. With the help of this guide, refilling your Canon ink cartridge is as easy as ever!


Printer Filling Station. Canon Cartridge 240 and 240XL Black Refill Instructions for Black Cartridge.

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Rod Eslinger. Canon 245 & 246 Cartridge Ink Level Reset Procedure.