An effective way to clean a printhead is to remove it from the printer, extract the ink cartridges, and soak the printhead in a solution of purified water and ammonia. This four-hour process requires a plastic baggie, water, a stove or microwave, ammonia, a plastic bin, paper towels, a bath towel and latex gloves.
- Remove the printer head
Open the printer, and remove the printer head according to the manufacturer's instructions. Put on latex gloves, disengage the ink cartridges, and seal them in a plastic baggie. Prop them upright in a safe place.
- Prepare the ammonia bath
Heat several cups of purified water until the water is very hot, but not boiling. Add an equal amount of ammonia. Line a plastic bin with two paper towels, and pour in enough ammonia solution to cover the paper towels by 1/2 inch.
- Soak the print head
Set the printhead on the paper towels. Wait five minutes, then move it to a different position on the towels. Monitor the printhead carefully, and move it once every 10 minutes. Most printheads need to soak for about three hours.
- Dry and reinstall the printer head
Soak the printhead until it stops leaching ink into the ammonia solution. Remove it, pat it dry, and let it sit on a towel for 30 minutes. When it is completely dry, reattach the ink cartridges, and reinsert the components into the printer.