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Clean Print Heads - Instructions for Printer Head Cleaning
If a printer has not been used for a long period of time, the many tiny holes that make up a modern inkjet printer's head may become clogged with dried ink. Clogged printer heads greatly affect the quality of the printing job and can eventually lead to damage to the printer. It is very important to clean out printer heads when they are clogged.
Most inkjet printers have some sort of automatic utility program by which you can instruct the printer to go through a self-cleaning cycle. A number of these cleanings, in succession, will usually take care of a clogged printer head. However because the cleaning cycle needs to be repeated multiple times, a significant amount of ink can be consumed during this process - as much as 10-25% of the cartridge's ink.
If the self-cleaning cycle does not solve the problem, try turning the printer off overnight to allow the ink to soften. Turn the printer on the next day and try printing a test pattern to see whether the problem has either disappeared or become less noticeable. This ink-saving procedure can work effectively because sometimes the dried ink on the print head needs time to soften before the printer head can be cleaned completely. Try running the self-cleaning utility again one or more times.
Steps for Manually Cleaning the Printer Head
If the overnight cleaning still does not work, there may be a layer of thick ink that is blocking the holes of the printer's head. The next option is to manually clean the printer head. Follow these steps:
It's a good idea to regularly conduct preventive maintenance on your inkjet printer to prevent it from developing clogged printer heads. Some steps you can take include:
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: