How to Refill Your Laser Printer Toner Cartridge

Did you know that you could refill your laser printer toner cartridge? I recently discovered that it is both a quick and simple procedure. Most toner cartridges are manufactured to a very high standard enabling them to be used time and time again. Unfortunately the manufacturers have discovered that people refilling their toner cartridges directly reduces their profits so they now actively discourage the practice.

Until recent years you would find a visible refill cap on your laser printer toner cartridge – open this, pour in some replacement ink and the cartridge was as good as new. Some toner cartridges still have this refill cap but many printer companies have removed it to discourage refilling. Fortunately you can buy an inexpensive kit to create your own hole in the cartridge to pour the replacement toner in – extremely easy to use and takes about two minutes.

Most kits accomplish this by supplying a small soldering iron with an attachment on the end to create the hole on your laser printer toner cartridge. Simply let the soldering iron heat up and press the attachment onto the cartridge – it creates a hole which can be sealed using a supplied plastic cap. After doing this you can refill the toner cartridge as often as you like. The advantage of this system is that no working parts of the cartridge are touched – so there is no chance of damaging anything.

My first attempt at this was on Lexmark C500 Printer cartridge – I bought a kit (about £10/20$) which contained all I needed to refill my cartridge and bottles of replacement toner ink. I laid everything out (you should put a sheet down or do this in the open air) – the main danger is spilling the ink I guess but if you put down paper or sheets and take your time you should be fine. You let the soldering iron heat up – in my kit there was an egg timer to make sure it had! When the time was up I placed the end against the laser printer toner cartridge and it made a hole in the side of the cartridge.

Next you have to shake the replacement toner ink – although powder it is so fine that it appears as a liquid. Carefully pour the toner ink into the cartridge through the hole you created (the bottle has a pouring lip to make this easier) then seal up the hole with one of the supplied plastic plugs. That’s basically it – the only danger I can see is spilling the ink but if you’re careful you should be ok.

I did the first one in about 15 minutes and 5 minutes for the other laser printer toner cartridges – the cost was approximately 37% of a new set of cartridges but I still have loads of toner left in the bottles so that will fall further.

Obviously the other parts of the cartridge will eventually fail – but you should be OK to refill each cartridge a few times. Every time you do refill your laser printer toner cartridge you are saving a significant amount of money and reducing the amount of landfill. Also imagine the environmental costs that are being saved – nearly 2 liters of oil are required to produce a new cartridge – this is also saved each time you refill. It’s so simple and everyone wins – I used a company called Tonertopup for my kits who supply UK, Europe and North America. Save yourself some money and help the environment – check out the link below.