All Canon genuine/compatible ink cartridges including
PG-640/510/512/37/40/50 & CL-641/641XL/511/513/38/41/51) are easy to refill
- if you know how. It helps to have the right tools as well, but you don't
Note: If your Canon printer uses
individual ink tanks, (one for each colour), the info on this page
doesn't apply. You can find information on refilling Canon
PGI-5/220/320/520/525/820 and CLI-8/221/321/521/526/821 etc
All late model Canon ink cartridges refill exactly the same
and the process described below can be used with any cartridge of
The instructions & pics are for a colour CL641 cartridge, but the black cartridges
refill the same, except there is only one fill hole in black cartridges and
obviously you only use one (black) ink.
To prevent making a mess, cover your work area
with several sheets of newspaper and keep some tissues on hand for mopping
up any ink spills. Sit the cartridge upright on few layers of folded tissue
(during refilling only).
1) Remove the ink cartridge from printer
and peel off the top label. You can replace the label when finished, if you
like, but there is no need to. It is mainly there to hide the fill holes and
to a lesser degree prevent ink leakage in transportation.
2) Locate the fill holes - under the
label. As the breather holes are too small to fit a needle through, enlarge
them using a drill tool (as in pic) or a small drill bit. It's ok to use
electric drill, but don't get too carried away. The cartridge is filled with
felt material and and it is easy to damage it, if the drill bit goes in too
far. It's only the plastic case you're drilling...
3) Work out which colour ink goes in each hole
- if filling a colour cartridge. The cartridge in pics is CL-641, but
Canon use the same colour positions in all cartridges of this type (to date)
including CL-511, CL-513, CL-38, CL-41 and CL-51. If you get this step wrong
and inject the wrong ink - you may have to replace the cartridge.
Note: Colour stickers in pics are for
demonstration purpose only. Don't seal the
holes when finished! They must stay open.
4) Inject the ink - using syringe /
needle. Don't rush this step, or you'll make a mess. As you can't see the
ink levels, your first clue that the cartridge is full, is when the ink
overflows. Holding a folded tissue up against the needle is the best way to
prevent the ink spilling over and making a mess. Another way is to pause
injecting and inspect the printhead (on underside) after injecting 1ml, 2ml
etc. When the cartridge is full, the ink will start leaking through the
printhead. When that happens, suck some ink back out (with the syringe)
until the leak stops. Standard capacity (CL38, CL511, CL640 etc) don't take
much ink at all and leak, if too much is injected. Don't fit a leaking
cartridge in printer! If you do...any ink that leaks out can contaminate
the other colours...so don't!
When finished injecting (all three
colours), turn the cartridge upside down and lightly tap it against few
layers of folded tissue - to remove any excess ink. Keep tapping it, until
no more ink comes out. Then just clean the cartridge up with tissue, or damp
cloth and fit it in the printer. DON'T SEAL THE FILL HOLES! They
must be open for the cartridge to work.
You can find quality refill kits for Canon cartridges here and more canon cartridge
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