How To Clean Print Cartridge

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This article was co-authored by Mitch Harris. Mitch Harris is a consumer technology expert based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mitch runs his own IT consulting firm called Mitch the Geek, which helps individuals and businesses with home office technology, data security, remote support and cyber security compliance. Mitch earned a BS in Psychology, English and Physics and a BA from Northern Arizona University.

How To Clean Print Cartridge

How To Clean Print Cartridge

Few things are more frustrating than a printer that isn’t working properly. Your papers become blurry and your work doesn’t look as good as it could be. If so, you may need to clean your ink cartridges. By removing the cartridges and using cleaning supplies to clean off any excess ink, you can get your printer back up and running in no time!

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This article was co-authored by Mitch Harris. Mitch Harris is a consumer technology expert based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mitch runs his own IT consulting firm called Mitch the Geek, which helps individuals and businesses with home office technology, data security, remote support and cyber security compliance. Mitch earned a BS in Psychology, English and Physics and a BA from Northern Arizona University. This article was viewed 40,964 times. Dust, debris, and tiny bits of dried ink clog the tiny holes on the print head, and now your prints come out of the lines with white streaks where color should be. Your inkjet is only partial.

Your inkjet printheads are traditionally mounted inside the printer under a plastic carriage called the printhead assembly.

The printhead assembly carriage holds the ink cartridges and moves back and forth—assisted by a belt and stabilizer bar—to spray ink onto the paper.

Even air bubbles in your ink cartridge can clog the nozzle. But most common clogs can be remedied by checking the head cleaning cycle and nozzles on your printer.

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It seems like a cosmic joke. You spend thousands on a top-of-the-line inkjet printer and it shuts down more often than your $100 inkjet!

Advanced inkjet printers use pigment inks that can dry and seal faster than standard inks. They also use ultra-microscopic print head holes to provide the desired detail, but the tiny holes can clog quickly.

To clear a stubborn printhead clog, you’ll need to perform many of the same procedures used to fix a stubborn clog, only you’ll first remove the printhead assembly from your printer.

How To Clean Print Cartridge

Removing the printhead assembly is a post for another time, but once that’s done, you have several options for cleaning stubbornly clogged printheads.

Cleaning The Print Head

One of these involves completely soaking the printheads in a solution of water and ammonia for several hours, and then cleaning the heads by running them under hot tap water. We’ve seen others have success with this method, and it’s cheaper than replacing the printhead assembly.

Have you run a cleaning cycle on your HP printer and get stained prints? You may have a clogged printhead that must be cleaned manually.

To begin cleaning the HP printhead, remove the ink cartridge from your printer. The printheads on HP inkjets are located on the cartridges themselves.

Moisten a piece of paper towel with soap and water and place it on a shallow plate. Carefully place the bottom of the cartridges on a damp paper towel and let it sit for five minutes.

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This will loosen any dried or caked-on bits of ink. Dry the cartridge with a clean sheet of paper towel and replace it in your printer.

The process is a bit more difficult than cleaning the printheads on an HP because the printheads on a Brother printer are mounted on a fixed carrier inside the printer.

Therefore, you can’t simply remove the ink cartridges and soak them in a cleaning solution like you can with HP cartridges.

How To Clean Print Cartridge

For starters, run a pressure cleaning cycle. As the carriage moves toward the center of the printer, remove the power cord from the wall outlet. This will close the printer with the printheads positioned in the center of the machine so you can easily access them.

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Place a folded piece of paper towel under the print heads. You will be running a cleaning solution through the Brother printheads and you don’t want a mess in your printer.

Speaking of cleaning solutions, you can either buy a printhead cleaning solution online or make your own.

Also, you may want to invest in a Brother printer head cleaning kit. Either way, you will need a small syringe and rubber tube to clean the Brother printer heads.

Open the front panel of your Brother printer to access the ink cartridges. Remove the ink cartridges and you will see an ink port on the back of each cartridge.

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Fill the syringe halfway with cleaning solution and connect the end of the flushing tube to the ink port you want to clean.

Slowly push the cleaning solution through the ink ports. You should see bits of liquid and dried ink at the position of the paper towel under the ink carriage.

Once you’ve cleaned all the printheads, plug your Brother back in and run a normal cleaning cycle.

How To Clean Print Cartridge

One clever YouTuber bought empty cartridges for his brother’s printer and filled them with cleaning solution. He popped a custom cleaning cartridge into his printer, ran a cleaning cycle and everything was clean as a whistle! Pay attention!

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Epson printhead cleaning requires you to print a page or run a cleaning cycle and unplug your printer in between to clean the heads.

A tip to make Epson printhead cleaning easier is to dip your tube of printhead cleaner for Epson printers in a bowl of warm water. This will heat the cleaning solution, making it easier to clean your Epson printheads.

Here’s how to clean the print head on your Canon Pixma and other models of Canon printers.

Cleaning the print head on a Dell printer is quite simple. Dell printers have a separate print head than Canon models.

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Start by opening the top of your Dell so you can access the print cartridge. Remove the cartridges and keep them aside.

Soak the printhead assembly in the cleaning solution for about 15 minutes. Then take it out and dry it with a clean paper towel.

Ink cartridge manufacturers will tell you differently (often bragging about the technological advances they’ve made in printheads) but they really don’t care when your printheads are clogged.

How To Clean Print Cartridge

Wasting nozzle check ink? Cool by them. This means you buy more ink, which makes ink cartridge manufacturers happy.

Steps To Clean Your Printer

Use your inkjet printer at least twice a week if not more, run the clean printhead feature on your printer monthly, and you’ll have better prints and less wasted ink in the long run.

The printer head nozzles are usually a series of small, almost microscopic holes. As you can imagine, these little holes can easily become clogged, especially if you don’t use your printer very often.

Run routine printer maintenance once a month and use your inkjet printer at least once a week to avoid clogging of the print head.

The first step you should take when you think you have a clogged printer printhead is to run an automatic cleaning cycle on your printer. You may want to do this two or three times to see if it clears the complaint. An automatic cleaning cycle forces additional ink through the printheads to loosen any clogs or blockages.

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Automatic cleaning is a good place to start, but it’s not always enough. Sometimes you have to go there and clean your printer heads manually.

There are several options for printhead cleaning solutions available online, as well as kits with syringes and piping tubes that will make the job easier. But for the do-it-yourselfer, the cleaning solution of the printer head is quite simple.

We have seen several videos where people use 100% isopropyl alcohol as a pressure head cleaner. While it works, it seems a bit harsh to us. However, if you have a stubborn streak, go for it.

How To Clean Print Cartridge

We also like a homemade printhead cleaning solution that is 8 parts Windex to 2 parts rubbing alcohol. This printer head cleaning fluid works like a charm and is cheap to make! After using your printer for multiple projects, it is common for users to experience quality issues. This can include streaking, fading or even missing text on your prints, and is often the result of a dirty printhead.

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What is a printhead? The answer is simpler than you might imagine. A printhead is a component of a printer that holds the ink cartridges. It’s usually located on the cover of your printer, and it can fill up with ink over time.

No matter what type of cartridges you use – compatible, reusable or branded – the ink can dry out and cause problems with the appearance of your prints. If it is left unattended, your printer is vulnerable and may break.

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