How To Clean An Inkjet Printer

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How To Clean An Inkjet Printer

If you have no idea how to clean your inkjet printer, you are in the right place.

Whether you have an inkjet or a laser printer, you need to clean it periodically if you want it to function properly. You don't need to wait until your printer starts spewing out distorted prints or smudged pages to clean it.

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The good rule of thumb is to clean your printer every 6 months or 300 hours of operation, whichever comes first. In this post, we will teach you how to clean your inkjet printer in the easiest way possible. Let's get started!

Table of Contents

How To Clean An Inkjet Printer Head

You can get your inkjet printer cleaned in no time at all. All you need is a few simple tools: printhead cleaning solution, gloves and a paper towel. A professional printer cleaning kit like this one from Tonha includes all the necessary cleaning supplies.

It's worth mentioning that the cleaning method described in this article will work with all inkjet printers, including HP, Epson, Canon, Lexmark, Brother, and Kodak. Assuming you have all the right tools, you should be able to clean your printer in less than five minutes.

Before you begin, make sure you have a safe work area free of ink, dust, and all sharp objects. Also, it is recommended to wear protective gloves as ink stains are notoriously difficult to remove from the skin. 

Steps To Clean An Inkjet Printer Head

  1. The first step is to turn on the printer. And as soon as the print head begins to move along the carriage track, unplug the printer cord from the wall. This will keep the print head loose (unparked) along the carriage track, making it easier for you to move it manually.
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  1. Now, remove all ink cartridges from the printer. To prevent them from drying out while you work, wrap them in plastic wrap.
  2. Then, fold half a sheet of paper towel into quarters lengthwise, dampen it with the cleaning solution and place it on the print track.
  3. Next, move the printhead back and forth over the paper towel. You will see ink residue on the paper towel.
  4. Get a new piece of paper towel and repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 until no residue appears on the damp paper.
  5. Once you are sure that all ink residue has been removed from the printer head, re-install the ink cartridges and plug the printer cord back into the wall.
  6. Turn the printer on and run a test print. You will be impressed by the print quality.

Read More: Best Budget InkJet Printers 2022 - Our Top Picks

How To Clean An Inkjet Printer Cartridge

It is necessary to clean the nozzle plate and rear electrical contacts of the ink cartridge to improve print quality. Otherwise, your printer may be spitting out prints that are blotchy or not as crisp as they should be. Sometimes, some colours may even be missing from your prints.

So, wear your gloves and follow the steps below to clean your inkjet printer cartridge.

  1. Start by removing ink cartridges from the carriage unit.
  2. Then, dampen a sheet of paper towel with the cleaning solution. 
  3. Now, gently wipe the cartridge to remove all the excess ink off the nozzles.
  4. Once you are satisfied with the cleaning, use a new paper towel to dry the cartridge.
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  1. Also, clean the rear electrical contacts to get rid of all ink residue and lint fibres.
  2. You can now re-insert the cartridge into the printer.
  3. Start a print test to make sure it is printing properly.

If your printer is still spewing out printouts with missing colours or partial jetting of colours, you may need to replace the cartridge.

How To Clean An Inkjet Printer Nozzle

how-to-clean-an-inkjet-printer
Credit: HP

Leaving your printer idle for several weeks or months can cause the ink to dry out and clog the nozzles. In that case, you need to unclog your printer nozzles. The easiest and most effective way to clean the nozzles is to use a printer cleaning kit like Tonha. Here is how to do it:

  1. First, put a double paper towel under the printer head track to prevent ink from leaking on the circuit board.
  2. Then, place the carriage unit over the centre of the paper towel.
  3. Now, run the cleaning solution through the nozzles using the syringe and silicone hose.
  4. Wait about an hour for the ink residue and blockages to be washed away.
  5. Next, remove the paper towel and repeat steps 1 - 4 until there is no residue on the paper.

If you are a bit confused, you can find a video on how to do it here. Hope this helps!