Cleaning Clogged Inkjets

When you change an inkjet cartridge, your computer will usually prompt you to clean the print heads and / or nozzles and may require a ‘calibration’ printout.   If you don’t use your printer very often, we recommend that you do this manually at least once per month to keep the print heads from coagulating …

(Laser printers don’t require this maintenance routine.)

Calibration keeps things aligned and capable of printing crisp and accurate images.

Cleaning the Nozzles keeps your ink flowing freely.

If you don’t use your printer on a regular basis, the pinholes on the print cartridge can become clogged causing your printer to not print or to not produce a quality print. When your ink cartridges clog, you’ll see fuzzy images, stripes, gaps, and inconsistent or missing colors. Sometimes you’ll see ink splatters.

When this occurs, use your printer maintenance utility to clean the nozzles and calibrate the heads. If you still have a problem after doing this, take the ink cartridges out, turn them upside down, and use a cotton swab and alcohol to (gently) clean the nozzles. Then run the maintenance utility again.

If your printer sits for a really long time without being used, you may need to run the maintenance utility several times to get things cleaned out (I’ve personally encountered situations where it took as many as 12 times to get the nozzles cleaned out).

If you don’t use your printer on a regular basis, we recommend that you run the calibration utility once a month to keep the ink flowing and keep your heads in alignment. If you are not sure how to run the calibration utility, check your user manual.

Be aware that this process uses a LOT of ink.