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, helping individuals and businesses with headquarters technology, data security, remote support, and cybersecurity compliance. Mitch earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology, English, and physics and graduated Cum Laude from Northern Arizona University.
How To Clean Inkjet Cartridge
Few things are more frustrating than when the printer is not working properly. Your paperwork is a mess and your work isn’t looking as good as it could be. If so, you may need to clean the ink cartridges. By removing the cartridges and using a cleaning product to remove any residual ink, you can get your printer 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, helping individuals and businesses with headquarters technology, data security, remote support, and cybersecurity compliance. Mitch earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology, English, and physics and graduated Cum Laude from Northern Arizona University. This article has been viewed 41,558 times. Tips for improving the image quality of your laser or inkjet computer and what you can and cannot do.
Cleaning an inkjet printer is a relatively simple task, but laser printers can be more difficult to clean, break easily, and sometimes require safety precautions, especially if toner spills.
Before doing anything, check the printer’s self-cleaning capabilities in the product manual. It can fix immediate problems like scratches and crevices without any hassle.
If this is a more persistent problem, the manufacturer may ask you to replace any parts that cannot be cleaned using the built-in features. But knowing how to clean them manually can save you money. You have nothing to lose by cleaning it yourself.
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Cleaning the printer yourself can void the warranty, so read it carefully before rolling up your sleeves. If it tells you to follow the advice in the owner’s manual, it’s better to replace parts when requested, than to risk voiding the warranty by cleaning them yourself.
To be on the safe side, turn off the printer and unplug it from the power supply. Note: You may need to reconnect them when cleaning the rollers.
Dirty rollers leave marks when pulling paper from the tray into the printer and may slide or fail to load paper properly. However, the cleaning rollers wear them out, so only do this when necessary.
Find your reels and see if you can spin them manually. If you can, gently rub off any dirt or grime with a clean cloth. If necessary, lightly dampen a cloth with a little water and dry the rollers thoroughly when you’re done.
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If you can’t rotate it by hand, use the paper feed button to have the printer turn it for you. This requires your printer to be plugged in, so avoid using water. Disconnect it again before switching to another internal.
The printer head is the nozzle that sprays the ink. In most modern inkjet printers, they are part of the disposable/refillable ink cartridges.
If the printer’s automatic cleaning feature is unable to repair the printheads, the user guide might prompt you to purchase a new cartridge. If this is the case, you can also try cleaning it yourself first. Remove the problematic ink cartridge from the printer and gently clean the printhead with a cotton swab, then reinsert it and try the automatic cleaning function again.
The tape, as the name suggests, sits on the back and attaches to the ink cartridge tray.
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If the ink is wet, use a cotton swab to wipe it very gently. Be careful not to disconnect it – it will be difficult to reconnect it.
The ink cartridge tray runs along the stabilizer blades. It usually doesn’t need to be cleaned, but applying a small amount of printer oil or grease can make the printer quieter. Consult your printer manual or contact the manufacturer to see what type of lubricant to use, if any.
Never use alcohol or flammable liquids when cleaning laser printers. The internals get very hot, so anything that can catch fire is a risk.
Most consumer laser printers have toner cartridges sealed, but you may still find some loose toner, especially when replacing cartridges. Some older machines, especially larger copiers, have refillable toner containers and require extra maintenance.
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Printer toner is not ink. It is made of very fine dry particles of a plastic-like substance that can easily fall off ordinary fabrics or be inhaled.
If you have a bad toner spill, call a professional. Printer toner is not ink. It is made of very fine dry particles of a plastic-like substance that can easily fall off ordinary fabrics or be inhaled.
But if you’re determined to do it yourself, wear gloves and a covered face mask when dealing with loose toner.
Activated toner cloths are especially useful for bad toner spills because they have a static charge that attracts and holds toner particles. A toner vacuum cleaner is also useful – don’t use a regular vacuum cleaner as it doesn’t have the right filter and will scatter the toner into the air.
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Make sure you unplug the printer from the power supply and allow it to cool to avoid burning yourself or risking an electric shock.
Remove the toner cartridge according to your printer’s instructions and gently wipe it with a dry cloth or an active toner cloth. Avoid tilting or shaking it.
The drum unit is very delicate and the cleaning process varies by make and model. We recommend that you read your printer’s product manual and carefully follow the cleaning instructions.
However, if the drum is inserted into the toner cartridge, as in some HP laser printers, the product manual might advise you to replace the entire cartridge instead of cleaning it. So if you keep replacing it, you have nothing to lose by trying to clean it, as long as it gets to the drum without disassembling the toner cartridge.
How To Clean Printer Heads And Ink Cartridges
Your laser printer may have a way of testing whether the drum needs to be cleaned and where. On Brother laser printers, this is called a dot drum check sheet. A toner cartridge must be installed for this test. If the drum needs cleaning, unplug the printer after the test and wait for it to cool down again before continuing.
When cleaning the drum unit, use a cotton swab unless the product manual says otherwise. Any scratches on a smooth surface can cause permanent damage, so avoid rough lint from paper towels or paper towels. And never touch the drum surface with your skin.
Using a clean dry cloth or toner cloth, clean the accessible area. For nooks and crannies, a soft long-bristled brush can remove toner and dust. Be careful not to damage anything. Always turn off and unplug the printer and be careful.
The corona wires attract toner creating a static charge. On newer home printers, it can sometimes be cleaned using the built-in sliding mechanism. But you may not be able to reach them at all.
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Usually, all you need is a clean cloth to clean the rollers. If that doesn’t work, lightly dampen a cloth with warm water. (It shouldn’t drip if you squeeze it.)
If you cannot turn the rollers by hand, you can occasionally remove them by removing the clips on each side.
We care about accuracy. See what’s wrong with this article? Tell us or read more about fact-checking at .A bit of dust, dirt, and dry ink blocked the tiny holes in the printheads and now your prints are scratchy, with white lines where your Inkjet is only partially colored.
Inkjet print heads are traditionally mounted on the bottom of a plastic carriage inside a printer called a print head assembly.
Keeping Your Printer Clean
The print head assembly carriage holds the ink cartridges in place and moves back and forth with the help of a belt and stabilizer bar, spraying ink onto the paper.
Even air bubbles in the ink cartridges can clog the nozzles. But simple clogs can often be fixed by running a cycle of head cleaning and nozzle checks on the printer.
Seems like a cosmic joke. Spend thousands on the best inkjet printer and it clogs up more often than your $100 inkjet!
High-end inkjet printers use pigmented inks that dry and clog faster than standard inks. They also use ultra-microscopic printhead holes to produce the desired detail, but these tiny holes can clog quickly.
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To clear a severe printhead clog, you must perform many of the same procedures used to correct a stubborn clog, except that you must first remove the printhead assembly from the printer.
Removing the printhead assembly is another task, but once it’s out, you have several options for clearing the clog.
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