- Inkjet users are more upset by a clogged printhead than anything else.
- Printheads are blocked by tiny bits of dust, debris and dried ink. Your prints will be streaky and have white lines where they should be. Your inkjet only partially jetting
- Some inkjet printers are more likely to clog than others.
- There is much speculation on the Internet about whether Epson’s micro-holes produce sharper prints but clog faster.
- Canon Pixma inkjets clog fewer times because they have a preemptive cleaning cycle.
- Clogged printheads, regardless of brand, are a common problem.
3 Types Of Clogs
There are basically three types of printhead-clogs that you will encounter:
- Simple Clogs – This can often be fixed by running a head clean cycle and checking the nozzle on your printer.
- Stubbborn Clogs: If the nozzle check/head cleansing doesn’t work, then you might need to use the Windex Method (detailed further below).
- Hardcore Cllogs: Windex didn’t work? Ugh. It’s time to get out the big guns.
Where is Your Head?
The printheads of your inkjet are typically mounted on the bottom end of a plastic carriage within the printer.
The carriage of the printhead assembly holds the cartridges. It moves back and forth with the help a belt or a stabilizer bar, spraying ink onto paper.
Wipe the printhead with a soft, dry cloth. Don’t touch electronic components.
Printheads have microscopic holes which release droplets of colored pigment.
Ink can dry out if you don’t use your printer as often as necessary, clogging your printheads.
Even small air bubbles from your ink cartridge could block the nozzle. Simple clogs can be fixed by running a head clean cycle and checking the nozzle.
In fact, you should run the head cleaning cycle twice before performing a nozzle test.
Your printout should have no missing lines. Run another head cleaning cycle if there are any.
Stubborn Cllogs (The Windex Method).
Sometimes, you just have to be a little more physical with stubborn clogs.
Warm water can sometimes loosen ink from nozzles that have dried.
Sometimes, you will need Windex or another ammonia-based solvent to deep clean.
Turn on your printer
- The printer will start to go through the initialization startup process. Once the print heads start to move along the carriage track, unplug it from the wall. This will allow the print heads to be unparked along the carriage track and make it easier for you to move the printer.
- Take out all ink cartridges and wrap them in plastic wrap. This will prevent them drying out during printing.
- Half a sheet of paper towel should be folded in quarters. Then, dampen the paper towel with warm water or a cleaning solvent. You can use third-party cleaners to do a thorough cleaning. Robb’s Homemade Life, YouTuber, created a DIY printhead cleaning solution using 8 parts Windex and 2 parts rubbing alcohol.
It’s almost like a cosmic joke. It costs thousands to buy a top-of the-line inkjet printer, but it clogs up more often than your $100 inkjet.
High-end inkjet printers use high-end pigment ink , which can dry faster and clog quicker than standard ink. To achieve the desired detail, they also use ultra-microscopic holes in their printheads. However, these tiny holes can be difficult to clog.
You will need to follow the same steps as for a stubborn clog in a printer’s printhead. However, you will need to first remove the printhead assembly.
You have a few options to clear those printheads that are still clogged.
One method is to soak the printheads in ammonia and water for several hours. Then flush them with warm water. This method is cheaper than buying a new printhead assembly. We have witnessed others use it with success.
You can also use needles and syringes for flushing out tough clogs.
Warm water or warm water through the printheads. You can also blow air through them with a straw, rubber tube, or a pipe.
Cleaning Heads for Printer Model
How to Clean HP Inkjet Printer Heads
If you have run a cleaning cycle on the HP printer, are you still seeing spotty prints after? A clogged printhead may need to be manually cleaned.
How to clean HP printer head:
Remove the ink cartridges and start cleaning your HP printer’s printhead. You will find the print heads for HP inkjets on the cartridges.
Place a piece of paper towel on a plate. Place the cartridges’ undersides on the paper towel. Let it sit for five minutes.
This will remove any ink that has dried or become clogged. Use a paper towel to dry the cartridge and then place it back in the printer.
This is how you clean HP inkjet printers!
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How to clean Brother printer heads:
This is a more difficult process than cleaning the HP print heads. The print heads of a Brother printer are attached to a fixed carrier within the printer.
You can’t just take out your ink cartridges and soak the cartridges in a solution similar to HP cartridges.
However, it is easy to remove and clean the Brother print heads.
For starters, run a print cleaning cycle. Once the carriage is in the middle of the printer, pull the power cord from the wall outlet. The ij start cannon printer will be turned off with the printheads in the middle. This allows you to access them easily.
Place a folded towel under the printer heads. The Brother printer heads will be pumping cleaning solution through them so you don’t want to make a mess.
You have two options when it comes to cleaning solutions: either you can buy one online or you can make your own.
You might also want to purchase a Brother printer cleaning kit. To clean Brother printer heads, you will need a small needle and a rubber tube.
To access the ink cartridges, open the Brother printer’s front panel. You’ll find the ink port at the bottom of each cartridge if you remove the ink cartridges.
The cleaning solution should be mixed about halfway into the syringe. Connect the end of your flushing tube to any ink port that you want to clean.
Slowly push the cleaning agent through the ink ports. Under the ink carriage, you should see bits and liquid on the paper towel.
After you have cleaned all the print heads, plug in your Brother and perform a standard cleaning cycle.
Ink cartridge manufacturers may tell you otherwise (often boasting of the technological advances they’ve made to print heads), but they don’t mind if your print heads clog. Is it a waste of ink to run nozzle checks? These are cool. This means that you can buy more ink. It also makes cartridge manufacturers happy. Maintaining clean print heads is your responsibility. This hassle comes with printer ownership pride. You’ll get better prints and less ink waste if you use your inkjet printer at minimum twice per week.