Cleaning Printer Heads for Inkjet Printers: Doing it Right

The printer head, which is basically3_easy_steps the one that holds the ink cartridges, should be regularly maintained in order to keep them functioning at their best. If not, they can result into inferior quality of printing. You can notice blotches, streaks, and other flaws on the printed output. With such, it is important to find time for cleaning printer heads. For some, this may seem to be a daunting task, but only because they have no idea how it should be done in the right way. Once you know how to do so, you will never think of it as an activity that requires too much effort. After all, it preserves the quality of your printer and ensures high-quality prints, so there is no reason to not pay attention how it should be done.

How to Clean Printer Heads

    1. The first thing that you need to do is to remove the printer head and the ink tanks. If you are conscious that the ink will stick to your hands, you might want to use latex gloves for protection. The ink tanks should be placed in a re-sealable bag as you clean printer heads.
    2. Next, have the printer head soaked. There are different methods by which this can be done. Regardless of what you choose, it will most probably deliver the same cleaning effect. In a shallow pan, place paper towels on the bottom of the container, which will serve as a layer of protection for the circuity. Heat purified water in a microwave and place it in the pan, in a level that is enough to cover the paper towels. You can also use a mixture of water and ammonia. Place the printer heads on the top of the paper towels. By this time, you must see the ink from the printer mixing with water in the pan, effectively removing what has been causing the clogs. You can let it soak for the night, depending on the extent of the clog.After soaking, hold the printer heads under a supply of running water, such as from a faucet or hose. Make sure that there is enough pressure applied on the crevices to remove any gunk that is still there.
    3. The final step to clean printer heads is to have them dried. Once they are completely dried, you can have them installed back in place and enjoy your printer!

printer_ink_on_skinAn alternative method for cleaning printer heads is to use a solution composed of equal parts of Windex and warm water. Submerge the printer heads in the mixture for at least two hours. Once done, use an old toothbrush with soft bristles to clean them.

As always, if you are left with any questions leave a comment below and I will be more than happy to help you out.


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  1. Thank you Vince for this article on how to clean printer heads. I never knew how to do it before nor did I realize that is was even a requirement for maintaining print quality. I always assumed when the print quality started to deteriorate that it meant it was time to change the printer ink, but could it be that the printer ink might be just fine and that the only thing is needed is to clean the printer heads?

    1. Clean printing heads can definitely have an impact on the print quality. By keeping them clean you wont have to change ink that much and that means you can save out some money. If you want more imformation about clogged printer heads I suggest you to check one of my earlier posts about printer errors. Good luck with your printer!


  2. This is a very helpful post! Thank you for writing it. I’ve never cleaned the heads on a printer, but you make it seem really easy! How often should they be cleaned? Do I just wait until they stop printing correctly? Also, how many paper towels should I use in order to make sure the circuitry is protected? I’m looking forward to having clean printer head and better printing!

    1. No problem Laura. Most of the time you don’t have to clean them untill the printing output starts getting worse. At that point you are either running out of ink or the printing heads are getting clogged. Cleaning could also be necessary after a long time of non usage.


  3. Hi. The graphic that says ‘just 3 easy steps’ immediately caught my attention. Just by seeing that graphic I thought, “Good, this should be short and to the point”. I was not disappointed. Indeed, it was short and to the point. I like your brief, one sentence explanation of printer heads. I like the line that says, “you will never think of it as an activity that requires too much effort”. This also grabbed my attention. The three steps presented were clear and easy to follow. The brief mention of an alternate method seems to fit in naturally. I don’t think I have ever performed this task before. I usually just get new cartridges. Perhaps, doing this will save me money. I’ll give it a try. I like your article title as it is very specific as to what type of printers you are referring to. Inkjet printers. I look forward to cleaner printouts! Thanks for sharing your valuable knowledge!

    1. Hi Bioelectrobot,

      I’m happy you like the information I provided you with.Cleaning them isn’t a hard task at all, everybody can do it. Give it a try I say and if you need any help you know where to find me!


  4. I’ve always noticed the blotches, streaks, and other flaws on the printed output. I thought their was nothing I could do. I thought about just getting a new printer recently but this article definitely changed my mind. I’m absolutely going to apply the three steps you talked about to take care of my printer. Thank you so much you saved me a new printer!

  5. Thank you for this informative article about cleaning your printer heads. We have 3 of them at my house. And I never once thought about cleaning them. To be honest I never knew they needed cleaning. When I have some extra time I am going to follow these instructions. Thanks again.

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