Saving money is in style these days. People everywhere are doing what they can to save a few bucks here and there – from taking buses instead of cars, to buying off brand foods and eating at home more. Unfortunately it can be extremely difficult to save a few bucks in the tech world. Going cheap with electronics and related items can mean you pay more later on due to repairs and inferior results. Thankfully there are a few small things that can be done.

If you own a printer then you know just how much of a money pit those ink cartridges are. Since ink cartridges are anywhere from $10-$30 each, you probably dread the day you see those faded ink marks on your freshly printed paper. Good news for you is now you don’t have to go buy another cartridge ever again! Keep reading to find out more on how to refill your ink cartridges at home!

What you will need

Before you get started with this small project you need to double check that you have everything you need. Simply go through your house and make sure all of these items are available: gloves (ones you won’t mind potentially stained), tape, your empty ink cartridge, an ink refill kit, some towels, rubbing alcohol, and lastly a few cotton balls.

How much are the ink refill kits?

When your printer runs out you probably just go to the store and purchase a brand new cartridge, however if you look closely you will see that most office supply stores have ink refill kits that correspond to the one you need. These kits are usually about half of the price of a brand new ink cartridge, however you can find even cheaper ones online (hint: stock up e-shoppers!).

The price really just depends on your specific brand of ink, however if you shop around you can find them anywhere between $8-$18.

So how do I refill my ink cartridge?

Ok so you’ve got all of your materials and the corresponding ink refill kit, now it’s time to get to business. In your house try to find a nice flat working area; make sure the surface of this area is covered so if you spill your ink it does not damage anything important.

Now, look for the tiny holes on the top of the empty cartridge under the label. These tiny holes will have small sponges on them since the holes lead down to where the ink is stored.

*Note: some cartridges have multiple holes so make sure you have the ones with the sponges in them*

Now, use something with a pointed edge to pierce the holes open. If you can’t find them then simply remove the entire label and visually look for the holes.

Next, take a toothpick and put it through the newly found holes. This is done to identify which color is which so you can properly refill it. After this is done get out your ink refill kit and put the needle of the right color into the right ink chamber in your empty cartridge. Now, don’t rush the refilling process by squeezing it hard, this will simply cause the ink to squirt out everywhere making a huge mess. Slowly squeeze your refill kit until all of the ink is in.

Once those steps are done clean the top off of your refilled cartridge then dab the two holes on a clean paper towel – on the towel you should see tiny specks of the ink.  If all goes well then you can now safely reinstall your ink cartridge and bask in your accomplishments!

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