Refilling Inkjet Cartridges at Costco, Walgreens, and More

Depending on what you print, refilling cartridges may be economical

Several ink cartridges on a table
Don Nichols/Getty Images

Where printer makers are concerned, the question of refilling ink tanks instead of buying new ones each time a cartridge runs out, the practice is unforgivable. The controversy, as well as much of the misinformation, has been going on for years. 

In the long run, after determining that the ink won't disable your printer (which may in itself be a risky trial error procedure), it probably depends primarily on what you're printing and the machine itself.

Some (not all) Costco and Walgreens stores still refill ink tanks. However, in some cases, like with Epson's EcoTankHP's Instant Ink, and Brother's INKvestment, it's actually cheaper than brick-and-mortar refill solutions, with no warranty-negation or quality issues.

Refilling Ink Cartridges in Stores

Costco has an inkjet cartridge refill service that offers refills of inkjet cartridges from HP, Canon, Epson, and Brother printers. Follow that link to search for a location that offers refills and to check if your printer or cartridge supports a Costco refill.

Walgreens offers a similar service that includes Okidata, Sharp, and Xerox printers as well.

Costco estimates you can refill the same cartridge 5-10 times. Depending on the type of inkjet cartridge, a refill might cost $7.99 or $9.99, which is a significant savings from buying a new cartridge.

Some printers may indicate that the cartridge is not filled completely, but this, Costco says, is because some printer ink indicators were not made with refills (as opposed to replacements) in mind.

The service is not available at every Costco or Walgreens store. If you've tried this refill service, let us know how it worked, and if you found it a good deal.