How to Clean a Clogged Print Head
Clogged print heads are a huge problem to all printer owners. It is not just because clogged print heads affect the quality of the printouts, they can eventually cause permanent damage to your printer. It is very important to clean out print heads when they are clogged, but it’s much better if regularly carry out preventive maintenance to your printer to keep it from developing clogged print heads.
How do I clear up a clogged print head?
Most printers these days have systems built into them that allow them to automatically clean their print heads. This is done by initiating the printer’s cleaning cycles. Ideally, printer cleaning cycles should be performed once a week to prevent the print head from getting clogged.
The downside to performing the printer software cleaning cycles is that it wastes a lot of ink. We all know how expensive ink cartridges are, and the printer cleaning cycles are not an efficient way to use up your printer ink.
There are other ink-efficient ways to be able to clean print heads that will prevent them from clogging just as effectively. One way is to gently wipe the print heads with a cotton bud soaked in water. Sources vary on whether alcohol would be more effective than water, but in the opinion of some printer resources, alcohol can be harmful to print heads and is best avoided.
Another way of preventing clogged print heads is to 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 and remove the dried ink.
How do I Prevent the Print Heads from Clogging?
Cleaning clogged print heads can be a tedious chore, but the problem is very much preventable. The main method of preventing print heads from getting clogged is to use the printer. In fact, a lot of experts are saying that it is better to print one colourful page once a week than to run a printer cleaning cycle because doing so uses a lot less ink. In general, using the printer prevents the ink in the cartridges from drying up. Ink that has dried up is the main cause of clogged print heads.
Keeping the printer free from dirt and debris also helps a lot in preventing the print heads from getting clogged. However, dirt and debris should never be cleaned from the printer using a vacuum cleaner because it can cause the circuitry of the printer to burn. When that happens, you would have a bigger problem than simply dealing with clogged print heads.
Turning the printer off when it is not in use also saves the print heads from getting clogged with dried ink. Leaving the printer on keeps the ink in the cartridge warm and makes them bleed onto the print head.
If you need to store your printer away, it would be best to remove the ink cartridges. Also, never touch the print head with oily or dirty hands. Doing so will leave skin oil on the print head and add to the likely hood of it becoming clogged.