Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ink Cartridge Cleaning: How to

Keeping your printer clean and clog free ads usage time and helps you save in the long run. Today I feature cleaning tips for a very common printer problem:


It is an obnoxious fact that during the life of an inkjet printer the nozzle clogs. It is something you can fix and prevent. It is rather easy to do so but depending on your printer model it could be a messy task. Like always we advise to go to the printers manufacturers for specific details for your printer model.
How to fix a clogged ink cartridge:

Step 1: Open up the printer, and remove the clogged cartridge. Be careful not to use too much force and break anything within the printer. Before starting, make sure you have a damp, soft, lint-free clean cloth.

Step 2: Bring the cartridge to a workstation or table covered in newspaper. This will avoid a messy ink leakage that could ruin expensive furniture.

Step 3: Use a clean, damp, lint-free cloth that is soft. Locate the copper-colored flex circuit strip on the back of the cartridge and wipe the copper-colored strip with the damp cloth. Use an upward motion, from the nozzle end to the top of the cartridge. Do not wipe the nozzle end of the cartridge or touch the gold or silver nozzle plate on the bottom of the cartridge. Use a dry, lint-free cloth to remove any moisture from the copper-colored strip.

Step 4: Grasp the print cartridge by the colored cap. Using a damp, lint-free cloth moistened with clean distilled water, gently and slowly wipe off the dried ink off of the print cartridge nozzles into a trash container. Once again, gently and slowly wipe the residual ink off of the nozzle plate with a clean cotton swab.

Step 5: Look over the inside of the printer before replacing the cartridge. There could be an obstruction that may have interfered with the flow of the ink.

Step 6: Try to print a test document to see whether this fixed the clog. If the document is streaky, but there is ink flow, try to print another document to see if it needs to run again.

Step 7: If the ink cartridge is still clogged, the easiest thing to do is recycle it and replace it with a brand new one.

Note: If your printer includes the nozzles in the cartridges—as most HP printers do, for example—and you see smearing immediately after changing a cartridge, remove the cartridge and check to make sure the protective tape over the nozzles is completely removed. If some of the tape is still attached, remove it, being careful not to touch the nozzle plate.

How to Prevent:
Ink cartridges clog because they get dried up. It could be more likely if you live in an area with particularly low humidity. For areas with low humidity, our advice is that if you´re having a problem with clogging nozzles, you may be able to solve it by adding a humidifier to the room where you keep your printer. Not in a humid area but experiencing clogs nonetheless? Unfortunately, you´ll probably need to replace the ink cartridge. Once you have done so, think about printing a page or two every few days so it won´t have a chance to clog up.