How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Nathan Your Own Question

Nathan, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 19571
Experience:  Computer networking/repair. 12+ years experience.
Type Your Printers Question Here...
Nathan is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have pink banding even though I have aligned and cleaned

Customer Question

i have pink banding even though I have aligned and cleaned print head multiple times on Epson WP 4530. Also changed ink cartridges. Can the print head be manually cleaned?
JA: Can you guesstimate how old your Epson is? And just to clarify, what's the exact model?
Customer: about 3 years old, wp-4530 all in one
JA: What kind of computer are you printing from (Mac or PC)? What Operating System (OS) are you running?
Customer: PC, Win 8.1
JA: How long has this been an issue? What happened right before this popped up?
Customer: it's been going on for more than a month. Just started with no particular event occurring prior to the banding
JA: Anything else you want the printer expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: I use genuine Epson cartridges
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Nathan replied 2 months ago.

Hello, I’m Nathan, and I’ll be assisting you today.

Sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with this but I’ll do my best to help you out.

These symptoms point to either a clogged/contaminated print head, or a faulty print head (or the logic board that controls it).

You can try again going into the setup/maintenance menu on the machine and running the “clean print head” function repeatedly, up to 5 times total, testing after each.

If it still doesn’t print anything, you’ll need to do a manual cleaning as a next step.

I have to caution you up front though that the manual cleaning process is messy and time consuming. It also has a low chance of success, if you see no improvement at all from the automated cleaning. It is most likely a hardware failure (bad head) which the cleaning can’t fix, as printheads are a wear item and do fail with time/use.

Realistically, it’s probably time for a new printer. As this is a 2013 model printer, it is at/past its 3 year service life, so this type of failure is not surprising. While it can be fixed, it is not worthwhile to do so. You would have to, at a minimum, replace the printhead, which costs about $150; if the logic board is bad you’re looking at $200-250. For $80-100 you can replace the entire machine with a brand new model, with current technology and a fresh warranty, which makes more sense than buying the new part for an older printer.

That said, it doesn’t hurt to try, if you wish. Let me know how the built in cleaning function works, and I’ll guide you through the manual steps next, or I can recommend replacement options if you prefer.

Best regards, ***** ***** for the news,


Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Have done multiple alignments and head cleanings so I'll replace the machine.
Expert:  Nathan replied 2 months ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** you want to try:

To try manually cleaning the print heads:

Open up the printer, and look for the "carriage" that goes back and forth (on metal rails) over the paper while printing. This is the printhead.

You'll remove the ink cartridges from the printer, then clean on the bottom of them (focus on the ink port/hole) as well as inside the printer where they mate up using qtips and rubbing alcohol.

Unfortunately your model does not have a removable printhead, so it will have to be cleaned in place. Fold up a piece of paper towel in quarters the long way, saturate the middle with alcohol, slide it under the print head, and pick up on the ends while moving up and down to clean it (think of drying your back with a towel).

When cleaning the port on the print head that the ink flows into from the cartridge, also try using a qtip to "pump" the liquid down into the port and force it through, which will help to dissolve any clogs. If possible, you'll get better results by using a syringe and appropriately sized rubber tubing (that will fit into the ink inlet port) to force the alcohol to flush through the head)

After all of this swab again with a few dry qtips or give a blast of compressed air to dry everything well, then put it all back together. You can now try to print, or run the automated print head cleaning function in the setup menu. You may have to run a few pages through before everything starts flowing properly again.

If none of this helps, then you've got a faulty print head(s) which would need to be replaced.

If looking for a replacement, I’d still recommend any of the Epson workforce series printers. They tend to be very reliable, are easy to set up and use, have good print quality, and reasonably priced ink. Example: or

Note that these, like all consumer grade inkjet printers, are designed to be low cost and are essentially disposable after a few years, subsidized by the high cost of ink cartridges. If you wish to have a better quality and longer lasting printer, that comes with years worth of ink up front, consider the Epson ecotank models instead:

Alternately, for a more business/commercial grade product that will be rated for a 5 year life, consider a laser printer. Lasers cost more up front also, but a toner cartridge can last for thousands of pages. A black only all in one laser is around $125:

while a color model is about twice that:

Expert:  Nathan replied 1 month ago.

Do you need more help with this?

Related Printers Questions