As you probably know, using a refillable cartridge is much cheaper than buying a new ink cartridge whenever you start to run out. Finding a good, trustworthy place to buy your refillable ink cartridges can be tricky, though. Fortunately, we sell them on my website, BCHTechnologies.com. If you’ve never used one of these cartridges before, you may need a bit of help getting started. Here are two key rules you need to know about using the BCH integrated refillable ink cartridges.
Important Information Before Getting Started
Today, we’ll be going over how to use the HP 61 black and HP 61 color refillable ink cartridges, which you can find on my website. This kit should come with a refillable ink cartridge, gloves, a 5mL flat-top syringe for unclogging, a 10 mL syringe for refilling, one needle, and one spare plug. The cartridge is shipped empty, and the ink is not included.
For the refillable HP 61 ink cartridge kit, you will receive 3 syringes and needles, one for each color. Again, the ink will not be included. Make sure the surface you’re working on will withstand the inevitable ink spills. Always wear clothes you don’t care too much about while refilling your cartridges. Wearing gloves and eye protection is a good idea, too.
If you accidentally get ink in your eyes, flush it out with water immediately. Be sure not to rub the affected eye, as this may cause further damage. Don’t use anything other than water to cleanse your eyes and saline solution to clean contacts, if you wear them. Do not use eye drops unless medical professionals instruct you to do so.
If you get ink on your hands, scrub them thoroughly with soap and water until they get clean. Do not touch your face and try to avoid touching any unnecessary surfaces until the ink comes off.
The Refill Process
With that out of the way, now we can get started. Attach a needle to the 5 mL syringe and remove the cartridge from the protective clip. We’ll start with the black ink cartridge. Remove the plug, fill the syringe with 15 mL of black ink, and insert it into the cartridge.
Re-insert the plug and set it aside. Do this same process for the colored ink cartridge, but only use 5 mL of ink in each of the different colors. Use a separate syringe for each color to avoid cross contamination, which could cause problems during the printing process.
After all the inks have been refilled, reinsert the plugs. Now it’s time to prime the cartridge. If you look at it, you’ll see that the bottom of the cartridge is dry now. Hold the cartridge straight. We’re going to be using the 10 mL flat top syringe for this part.
Using the syringe, we’re going to be pumping air into the air vent. Do not push too hard, because this may damage the cartridge’s electronic unit, thus rendering the cartridge unusable. Pump about 1 to 2 mL of air into the cartridge. You should start to see ink flowing.
Stop when you see this happen. Use a paper towel to absorb any excess ink flow. Do not rub the print head on the bottom of the cartridge. Clean the electronic ribbon on the side of the cartridge and make sure it has good contacts. The cartridge should now be ready to go.
Replace Cartridges in Printer
When you put the cartridges back in the printer, it will give you one or two error messages. The first message will say something regarding low ink levels or a counterfeit/used cartridge being inserted. You can ignore these warnings can be ignored. They are a result of the fact that most printers can't keep track of the ink levels in reusable cartridges. Click "okay" and continue and the printer should let you keep printing.
Keep an eye on the print quality and be sure to refill the cartridges when the ink level gets too low. The second error message isn’t something you’re guaranteed to receive. It will say something along the lines of “Cartridge error” or “Cartridge not detected." These result from the printer’s inability to read the cartridge or the cartridge failing the electronics test.
Pull the cartridge out of the printer. Carefully clean the electronic ribbon’s contact points, as well as the contact pins inside the printer. Hopefully, it should now be able to run smoothly. If it doesn’t and your problem persists, then it’s likely that your cartridge is damaged.
Troubleshooting Poor Print Quality
If the print quality isn’t satisfactory, run the printer’s built-in cartridge cleaning function. This can be found on the printer’s menu. If the problem persists, remove the cartridge from the printer and blow air into the air vent.
When your cartridge is ready to be refilled again, you must first know how much ink it has left. You can find this out by using the syringe to draw out the old ink. Check the volume, then inject the old ink back into the cartridge. Refill it with the appropriate amount of ink to equal the ideal total.
Thanks for reading! For more printer tips, tricks, and DIY fixes, follow me on YouTube at Kevin at BCH or bchtechnologies.com/blog. You can also watch a video walkthrough of this ink refill process if you'd prefer. Happy printing!