What is the best way to clean printer heads?


Quick Answer

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.

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Full Answer

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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