Three Common Mistakes while Refilling Canon Ink Cartridges

Today we’ll discuss three of the most common mistakes people make when attempting to refill a Canon printer’s ink cartridge. If you’d like a video demonstration, I have this video on my YouTube channel in which we use a brand new Canon MG 2525 to show you what we mean. We will also explain how to avoid or remedy these mistakes. This printer came with a set of PG 243 and CL 244 cartridges, which had minimal ink and ran out after printing only 40 pages.

The first thing we did was turn off the printer’s ink counter so that it would always keep printing, no matter how low or empty the printer’s ink levels were. This is necessary since the printer won’t recognize that a cartridge has been refilled if it wasn’t designed as a refillable cartridge. That leads us to the first mistake:

Mistake #1: Running a Dry Cartridge for Too Long

After the printer ran out of ink, we printed 40 more pages without adding more ink to show you what would happen. In extreme cases, when you run the dry cartridge for a long time, the printhead can get permanently damaged. Make sure to keep an eye on the ink levels and print quality yourself, since the first step to the refill process is to turn off the printer’s built-in ink counter.

Mistake #2: Overfilling the Ink Cartridges

Every ink cartridge has a sponge inside. This spine is there to hold onto the ink. Since the ink in the sponge must make it through all the pores before reaching the printhead, it regulates the ink flow and prevents it from immediately flowing out.

The sponge can only hold so much ink at a time, though. You want it to be wet, but putting in too much ink will oversaturate the sponge, and it won’t be able to inhibit the ink from flowing freely. You can learn the correct amount of ink at

Many people think that when the ink runs down the printhead, the ink is too thin, but it’s actually due to overfilling. There’s no such thing as thick ink. In this case, you have two choices: either you could put it in the printer and wait for it to bleed out, or you can use the priming clip available at

To illustrate this, we intentionally overfilled every ink cartridge in the demonstration printer. Compared to our previous test print, we saw two side effects. One, there was a lot more ink on the page. Two, there was a significant amount of overrun of yellow ink.

Mistake #3: Giving Up Too Soon

The final mistake we see all the time is people giving up too early and assuming the printer is beyond repair. If you notice your printer producing weird colors, there’s probably a pressure imbalance. This happens when one color has too much ink, and it ends up pushing the other colored inks down.

If you see it printing stripes, it means air bubbles are blocking the printhead. You can fix these issues using the priming clip and syringe. Push the cartridge into the priming clip hard until you feel it click into place. You can use the priming syringe to pull out extra ink, forcing out air bubbles and extra pressure.

The next test page we printed was even worse, so we ran the Canon printer’s built-in cleaning function several times. After that, the printer was able to make a good nozzle check. However, the test print still printed stripes. Since we got a good nozzle check, the printhead was not clogged.

This led us to believe that a pressure imbalance caused it. We used the priming clip and syringe to draw out a significant amount of ink. The cartridge returned to life, and the next test page was much better.

You should now be able to refill your cartridges easily and avoid making these common, easily avoidable mistakes. Go back to printing with ease, and make sure to keep an eye on the ink levels.

I hope this blog helped! For more DIY printer tips and tricks, follow me on YouTube at Kevin at BCH. You can watch a video version of this blog by clicking here. Happy printing!

Sep 15th 2022

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