The Print Head Cleaning instructions:
Steps for Manually Cleaning the Printer Head
Step 1 - Remove the ink tanks and printer head. Remove the ink tanks from the printer head (tank holder) and seal them in a zip lock or other sealable plastic bag. Set them aside, preferably propped upright.
Next remove the printer head (it snaps out). NOTE: You may want to wear latex gloves to help keep ink off your hands.
Step 2 - Soak the printer head. There are multiple suggestions on ways to clean the printer head and all have some variation on the following:
- Get a small, shallow pan and lay down a layer or two of paper towels in the bottom of the container to protect the printer head circuitry from contact damage.
- Heat up (via microwave) enough purified/bottled water to cover the paper towels. You can also use a 50/50 mixture of ammonia and distilled water (about a pint will do). Heat the mixture in the microwave for about a minute or so - it should NOT be boiling.
- Slowly pour the water or mixture over the paper towels so that you have approximately 1/2 inch of liquid in the bottom of the pan.
- Set the printer head into the container on top of the towels. You should see ink 'bleeding' out. Move the print head to several different spots (about a minute each spot) and shake gently. This will dissolve the ink clogs.
- If the printer head is badly clogged let it soak for 3 to 4 hours or overnight. You can move it slightly to a different spot every hour or so.
Alternative Soak Method:
Mix a 50/50 solution of warm water and Windex and place in a shallow container, enough to cover the base of the printer head and ink ports. Leave for 2 hours while agitating the unit occasionally. Remove from the mix and lightly scrub the base and internal ink ports with an old soft toothbrush. Do not scrub the gold contacts but don't be concerned if they get wet. Return the unit to the mix for another 2 hours and agitate occasionally. Remove and scrub again as before.
Step 3 - Flush the printer head with water.
It's a good idea to regularly conduct preventive maintenance on your inkjet printer to prevent it from developing clogged printer heads. Printer heads become blocked for a number of reasons, but the most common is simply that the ink cartridge and the printer head have dried out. Never let the printer stand with an empty cartridge. Either fit a fresh one, or seal the print head unit in a plastic bag with a few drops of water for humidity. Since print heads become clogged when not used for long periods of time, regularly print a page or two to keep the print heads clear. Some experts say that it is better to print one colorful page a week than to run a printer cleaning cycle, because doing so uses a lot less ink. Ideally, printer cleaning cycles should be started once a week to prevent the printer head from getting clogged.
There are other more ink-efficient ways to be able to clean printer heads that will prevent their clogging just as effectively as running the printer's cleaning cycle:
- Brush the printer heads with Q-tips soaked in water. Sources vary on whether alcohol would be more effective than water, but in the opinion of some printer experts alcohol can be harmful to printer heads and should thus be avoided.
- Buy a cleaning kit and use it regularly on your printer. A typical cleaning kit usually has a tube of ammonia that you can spray on the printer head to remove dried ink.
- Covering the printer when not in use to keep it free from dirt and debris also helps prevent the printer heads from getting clogged.
Chime in and let me know of the results....