Monday, June 6, 2011

How to refill your Canon PGI220 / CLI221 cartridges for around 50 cents per cartridge

If you own a Canon printer that uses the PGI220 or CLI221 ink cartridges (PGI-220 / CLI-221 series), you know that the cost of new replacement inks is over $15 per cartridge if you buy original brand ink cartridges from an office supply store such as Office Depot.  Refilling them is smart and easy to do with Uni-Kit inkjet refill kits.

Here's how you can get approximately 56 refills for the price of only $39.99 (hint, sign up for our monthly newsletter and get additional discounts).  A resetter (sold for $19.99) or replacement chips (sold for $1.99) are also required.  The resetter is reusable and will yield hundreds of resets.

  1. Buy the Uni-Kit inkjet refill kit for 56 refills on Canon CLI221 / PGI220 (click here for details)
  2. Follow the step by step instructions for how to refill the Canon CLI221 / PGI220 series cartridges from the included instruction guide (currently on page 14 and 15 of the Uni-Kit instruction manual, which can also be downloaded at the official Uni-Kit website) * instructions also shown below *
  3. You will need to either reset the chips on the cartridge, or replace the chips.  The resetter is a cheaper (in the long term) and more environmentally friendly way to go, since you are re-using the original chips. The Uni-Kit resetter for Canon PGI220 / CLI221 is battery operated, and re-usable for hundreds of resets. This Canon CLI221 resetter is available from 123 Refills as well. The one time cost for this resetter is easily recoverable over just a few refills.
And that's it!

Now for a closer look at the instructions, we've included them here for you courtesy (and with intellectual property credit to Uni-Kit).  Note there are 2 methods, choose whichever one sounds easier to you:


1. Using a manual drill or the small drill provided with your refill kit, drill through the plastic casing on the side of the cartridge (see image for location). Drill enough to break through the plastic. Do not drill into the sponge area beyond the inner plastic casing.
2. Once the hole has been created, use the syringe to penetrate through the sponge, and guide the needle into the ink chamber  as shown in the illustration to the left. Slowly inject the ink into the chamber until 1/2 of it has been filled. Do not fill to the chamber more than the recommended amount.  Doing so will cause more ink to flow into the sponge area, forcing ink to exit through the nozzle port (Area where the ink flows out of the cartridge).
3. Once the cartridge has been filled, carefully pull the needle out of the cartridge. It is recommended that you use hot glue to seal the hole created, however, you can use silicon to cover the hole, and help complete the seal with some type of instant glue. Be sure to allow the cartridge seal to dry before inserting it into the printer.  Placing the cartridge into the printer to early may break the seal and cause the cartridge to leak. 
Note: Make sure to seal the hole completely and not leave any cracks that would cause leaking


1. Use electrical or duct tape to seal the Air Vent found on the top of the cartridge. 
Note: Make sure tape is completely covering the vent.
2. Remove the label partially, only to expose the ball bearing underneath. Then use a screwdriver or an L tool to push the ball bearing into the cartridge. This will give access to the 
filling hole.
3. Connect the needle to the syringe and fill with ink.
4. Use your finger as a plug by covering the outlet port.  Keep your finger on the outlet port 
until you have finished refilling and the refill hole is plugged.  If you let go any time earlier, ink may and can spill out of that outlet.
5. Inject about 10 ml. of ink into the filling hole or until the ink chamber is full. Be sure to 
leave enough room in the ink chamber for the silicon plug, it will create pressure when                         
6. Put a silicone plug in the refill hole to seal it, make sure it is air tight.  If extra silicone 
from the plug is sticking out, you may trim it down to a practical size.  Be sure to leave 
enough to make it easy for you to remove the next time you wish to refill the cartridge. 
7. Remove your finger from the outlet (small drops may leak out, but once the cartridge pressure stabilizes itself, it will stop) and remove the tape from earlier off the vent.  
8. Rinse the syringe with water and dry for future use, or use with a different color ink.
9. Reinsert the cartridge and run a priming cycle as per printer instructions.

Note: If the cartridge continuously leaks, place the cartridge on its side until the dripping 
stops. Also, check the seal on the cartridge to make sure it is airtight

1 comment:

  1. You have done a nice job for sharing this useful information about How to refill your Canon PGI220 / CLI221 cartridges for around 50 cents per cartridge with us. Thanks for this interesting and important post. This is the information I was looking for. I like the way things are being executed and discussed here.

    Epson print heads