How to clean your print heads
If a printer has not been used for a long period of time, the many tiny holes that make up an inkjet printers print head may become clogged with dried ink. A clogged or blocked print head can greatly affect the quality of the print outs and can eventually lead to permanent damage on the printer. It is essential that you clean the print heads as soon as they become blocked.
Most inkjet printers have an automatic utility program which will instruct your printer to go through a self cleaning cycle. A number of these cycles, repeated in succession will usually take care of a clogged print head.
If the printers self cleaning cycle does not solve the problem, try turning the printer off overnight to allow any dried ink to soften. Turn the printer back on the following day and print a test page to see whether the problem has disappeared or become less noticeable. This will often work as sometimes the dried ink on the print heads needs time to soften before the print head can be cleaned completely. Finally try running the self cleaning utility program one more time.
If the above steps don’t work in cleaning the print heads, there may be a layer of thick ink that is blocking the holes in the print head. You will need to manually clean the print heads following the steps below.
Firstly refer to your owner’s manual to determine where the print head is located.
For models where the print head is located inside the printer, drop 7 to 10 drops of isopropyl alcohol down the ink receptacle area where the ink actually flows from the cartridge into the print head. Next, run a few self cleaning utilities, and if possible allow the printer to sit for a few hours or overnight and then repeat the self cleaning utility.
If the alcohol soak did not unclog the print head in the cartridge you may need to purchase a new ink cartridge. This will provide new print heads that will not be clogged. If the print heads are inside the printer, you will need refer to your printer manual or contact a service technician to replace the print heads.