How Many Times Can You Refill PG-210, CL-21,1 PG-240, CL-241, PG-245, CL-246 Cartridges?

Today we’re going to be comparing refills for sponge cartridges with refills for cartridges from my website, We’ll start by using a pair of brand new Canon OEM cartridges and seeing how many times you can refill them.

Specifically, we’ll look at the Canon PG-245 and the Canon CL-246 cartridges when used alongside an MG-2520 printer. To avoid wasting ink and paper when we do experiments like this, we donate our printing services to local businesses and schools that need them. Today, we’re printing takeout menus.

When we got to the 69th page, the printer had started complaining that the ink in the black ink cartridges was getting too low. We kept printing after that to see how many pages we could finish before they actually ran out of ink. We managed to print 49 more pages out of it, for a grand total of 118 pages before it was empty.

How to Refill the Cartridges

I will now go over my favorite method for refilling these OEM cartridges as quickly and painlessly as possible. The advantage of the technique I’ll be talking about is that it makes future refills much easier. The disadvantage is that it makes getting rid of future clogs a bit more complicated.

Before getting started, you’ll need to gather pliers, a knife or blade, syringes and needles, scotch tape, and ink. Once you have all these items, start by using your sharp object of choice to cut along the seam of the cartridge until you can remove the top. I recommend starting with a corner.

Once you’ve removed the top, use the pair of pliers to carefully remove the sponge. Set it aside, use the syringe to measure 7mL of ink, and insert it into the tank. Use the pliers to replace the sponge. Make sure the ink doesn’t overflow, and remove any extra with the syringe and needle. Fit the top back on tightly and use the scotch tape to secure it. Repeat this process for the other ink cartridge.

Take the top off the colored ink cartridge as you did for the black one. Take the sponges out but make sure to avoid forgetting which chamber holds which color. Inject each chamber with roughly 3mL of its respective ink color. Remove any excess ink and put the sponges back in their places. Reinstall the top once more and secure it in place with the scotch tape.

Test Print

Now it’s time to take these newly refilled ink cartridges for a test drive. The printer will still claim to have low ink after you reinsert the cartridges. Ignore this for now. It won’t be an issue yet. I printed a test page with these refilled cartridges, and everything looked good.

We could not detect any significant differences when comparing the quality of a page using original ink to that of a page using refilled ink cartridges. We printed a whole 29 pages before the printer started to notice something was off. We had printed more pages than we thought we'd be able to using the ink cartridges provided.

Refusal to Print

It then refused to print and started flashing red lights. If you’ve been following at home and have gotten to this point, you should notice a warning window on the computer your printer is connected to. This window will be asking you to cancel the print job.

Do not cancel the print job. Instead, go to your printer and hold down the triangle “stop” button for ten to fifteen seconds. The printer should go back to printing. You have just forced your printer to stop tracking what it thinks the ink levels are. While this is a good thing because you can now continue printing with your refilled cartridges, you also have to keep track of the ink levels yourself.

When the ink runs low a second time, we can refill it again. Upon opening the top of the cartridge this time, you may notice a bit of sponge fatigue. This is normal and will happen a little more each time you refill it. It is this that prevents you from refilling the cartridges infinitely. Eventually, the sponge will get to the point where it can’t hold anymore, and you will have to buy a new cartridge.

A Few Notes:

If you refill your cartridges this way, do not tilt them. The cover is only secured by scotch tape, and too much jostling can cause the ink to leak.

It’s vital not to overfill the chambers in the colored ink cartridge, as they can spill over into the other compartments and cause the colors to mix.

We were able to refill our ink cartridges four times and print 483 pages before we weren’t able to do anymore and had to buy a new cartridge.

The team at is currently working on developing a refillable cartridge to get around this sponge issue, but we have not yet managed to produce anything significantly better.

I hope this blog helped! For more DIY printer tips and tricks, follow me on YouTube at Kevin at BCH. If you prefer, you can watch a video walkthrough of the processes in this post. Happy printing!

Aug 10th 2022

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