10 Step Absolute Beginner's Guide to Refill HP Integrated Cartridges: 21, 56, 74, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65

The HP 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, and 65 cartridges are integrated cartridges, which means the cartridges and the printheads are built into the same unit.  Once we replace a cartridge, we then also replace the printhead.  Therefore, the printer itself only serves as a mechanical paper provider, and we will have a new printhead each time we change the cartridge.  If you are new to refills, please watch this video about integrated cartridges.  You will have a better understanding of how refilling works and how to deal with different situations.



There are a few necessary things to know before we start the refill process:

1. Warning Message: The printer will complain about "Used or Counterfeit Cartridge Detected."  We will need to click "OK" to dismiss the warning and let the printer keep working.

2.  "Not Working" vs. "Clogging": If the printer is printing, but the printout is blank, then it means the cartridge is clogged.  This is different from when the printer is not working, which means the printer is not physically printing.  We will refer to it as "not printing" and "clogged."  Otherwise, it will be very confusing when we say "the printer is not working properly."

3. Ink Level After a Refill: The printer won't reset the ink level so that the printer will display an exclamation mark on the ink level.  We will ignore the ink level, keep printing, and keep an eye on the printout.  If color(s) is missing or fading, we will add more ink.


Product Used

  •  EZ30T: Black+Color + Priming Clip.  
  • or ID30-KKK:  3X Black, Ink Only
  • or ID30-KCMY: Black + Color, Ink Only


Detailed Procedures

1. Make sure the cartridges are in working condition.

We will put the cartridge into the printer and make sure the cartridge doesn't have any electronic problems.  If the yellow hazard light is blinking, then we will take the cartridge out and clean the electronic ribbon.  After a few tries, if the hazard light is still blinking, we will discard the cartridge and get another replacement.  



For dried cartridges, we will use a smart phone's camera to zoom in and check its printhead.  If we do not see any scratches or physical damages, we will put the cartridge in warm water and soak it for one or two hours.  For tough dried inks, we will use BCH cleaning solution to soften the clog.  


2. Check color sequence

Using a toothpick or needle, run it across the top of the cartridge on the manufacturer's label and locate refill holes. Once you find the refill holes (see diagram below), carefully pierce the label. Please try to determine the location of the holes WITHOUT REMOVING the manufacturer's label, as it is much easier to refill.

The black cartridge has five holes.  We are going to use the middle hole for the refill.  The color cartridge also has five holes.  The top hole is one color; then the two holes on the lefthand side are one color, and two holes on the right are a single color.  We have not posted the color sequence here because HP is making two versions of the 61 cartridges where the magenta and yellow chambers are reversed. So check the color sequence before refilling.  HP's air hole is big enough for the needle to pass, so you will not need to drill a hole.

3. Decide how much ink to add

Attach a needle to the syringe and load the syringe with the correct color ink.  You cannot overfill the regular cartridges and make them "XL."  They have different configurations inside.

Cartridge Type  Color   Black
Regular 1.5 ml  4 ml
XL 2.5 ml  7 ml



Let's take a look inside the cartridge.  XL cartridges will have large sponges that occupy the entire cartridges.  However, for non-XL or startup cartridges, HP builds this little wall and uses a smaller cartridge.  Thus, the sponge size will limit the amount of ink used.

We are going to push a needle through the hole and penetrate the sponge and then pull out the need a little bit to release a small amount of ink.  We will do it carefully and try not penetrate the filter underneath the sponge.

Our goal is to make the sponge moist, rather than fill up the whole sponge with ink.  If the sponge cannot hold the ink, the excessive ink will flow out of the printhead.  

4. Insert needle into the correct refill hole.  

You should feel the resistance of the sponge through the needle.  

5. Press down on the sponge and start injecting ink.

6. SLOWLY inject the ink into the cartridge.  

Stop if the ink begins to well up in the fill hole.

7. Clean off the top of the cartridge.  

Place a piece of Scotch transparent tape on the hole (optional).  If we cover the hole completely, we will use a pin to punch a little opening for the cartridge to breathe.

 8.  Reinstall the printer and run one or two cleaning cycles until the cartridge begins to print correctly.  

Do not exceed three cleaning cycles.

9.  If the cartridge is not printing correctly, the refill process may introduce air bubbles into the bottom of the cartridge.  

Let the cartridge sit in the printer overnight, and the bubbles will be gone.  If the clog persists, we can use tools to suck the air bubbles or dried ink out.  Remember, if we have dried ink, we need to soak it in water or cleaning solution to soften it.

There are two ways that we can suck the clog out.  For the first method, we will use a wet paper towel to wrap around the cartridge, and then use a vacuum cleaner to suck it underneath.  We should repeat this process until we see colors coming out of the printhead.

10. The printer may indicate "low ink" or "ink depleted."  

You can hit "OK" or "Yes" to dismiss those warnings and keep printing.  The printer will not track the ink level after the refill.  Keep an eye on the print quality.  Refill as needed.

 11. Further troubleshooting

If the error message is "cartridge cannot be found," "cartridge must be replaced," take the cartridge out.  Or the cartridge indicator light is blinking.  Clean the contact ribbon and re-insert the cartridge.  If the error won't go away, the cartridge is damaged and needs to be replaced.

To evaluate how many pages a refilled cartridge can print, we will test our refilled cartridge.  Once the cartridge is inserted, the printer still thinks there is no ink in the color cartridge and only a small amount of ink left for the black cartridge.  A bonus tip: if our printer doesn't print the alignment page correctly, we can still keep using the printer by pressing the scan button and letting the printer scan a blank page.  Once the printer is ready, we will start printing with our refilled cartridge.  The refilled cartridge can print about 100 pages.  If we refill an XL version of the cartridge, it should print more pages.  We have a blog about how to modify the regular cartridge and upgrade its sponge, so we can print 250 pages with each refill.





Jun 10th 2019 BCH Technologies

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