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How to Clean Clogged Printer Heads
Canon printers have a removable printer head that holds the ink cartridges. It is important to print a few pages in both black and color at least once per week in order to keep the ink flowing and prevent clogging.
If the printer head nozzles are blocked or dried out you will need to dissolve the dried ink. An inkjet nozzle has a diameter of about 45 microns which is about 1/2 the width of a human hair. Normally you can clear up minor clogs and streaking by running the cleaning cycle found in your printer's software utility.
However if the cleaning cycle doesn't do the trick in clearing up poor and incomplete output, don't give up and assume you'll need to buy a new printer head (which can cost more than a new printer). Canon owners have reported multiple ways to resolve this problem at little or not cost - some of the most popular methods are described below.
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:
Alternative Soak Method:
Step 3 - Flush the printer head with water.