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How many time do you have found your inkjet printer dead after a standing idle long period? Because of the low durability of inkjet prints I usually send them to a web print-shop, so my colours, althought I try to remember to keep them making exercise, often get dry. This happens more certainly if you go on printing after the warning of ended ink (whoops...).
Anyway... it's not a big problem if you know hot to solve the matter.

Step 1: remove the cartridges

Some cheap printers have the head attached to the ink-cartridge, but those cartridges are much more expensive and the quality is worse. My Canon IP4600 is a not very expensive printer, but with a good quality and CD printing too, I love it. It has 5 cartridge which you can extract without moving the head, I've already removed them in the picture.
<p>I was also facing same issue with my kodak printer I tried a lot to fix that at last I just visited http://www.printer-techsupport.com/kodak-printer-support.html and made a call on their toll free. I got great help from a certified technician to fix kodak printer only in a single call.</p>
<p>it work!!!!!!!!!!!! thank u so much, i was ready to buy a new one .. but not anymore, and my printer is been sitting in a closet for 3 years ! it was so dried .. now it works perfect! thank you again!</p>
that makes me happy!
<p>Hi - Before I explain - my Canon MP610 recovered from a print head overheat!:</p><p>It suddenly stopped and showed error 5200 (print head overheat) in the middle of a crucial run. The flashing sequence of the LEDs indicated the same error. I tried new inks, reseating the head and finally cleaning the head by placing it on a shallow saucer and running a very gentle slow stream of water over the ink receiver gauze holes for about an hour. Even this did not resolve the error. So I went out and bought another printer - and duly completed the print job.</p><p>HOWEVER, the next morning, just before I took it out to the garage, ready for disposal, I switched it on again - and it came straight back on again with no errors!</p><p>So, maybe the procedure is: Clean the head thoroughly (carefully!), turn off and unplug the printer for a LONG time and try again before you chuck it out...</p>
<p>Update: Less good news:</p><p>It printed 3 pages, then I turned it off for a while (about 3 hours). When I turned it back on, the error code returned. Bah.</p><p>However, it does suggest that the overheat error code CAN go away, and that when it does the printer CAN print normally again. It seems it's a matter of how that status is recorded and saved, how it occurred in the first place and what it <em>really</em> means... </p>
<p>Would a bit of WD-40 on a cotton bud work?</p>
<p>No! Don't use any oil-based product on the print head! IJ inks are water-based and WD40 - or any other lubricant - could terminally damage the heads.</p><p>You can carefully clean them with water, but nothing else!</p>
<p>Inkjet ink is water based. Since WD-40 is originally meant to keep water from electric cables (it's described on the can&hellip;) this will have the opposite effect.</p><p>People, I know WW-40 has a reputation to be some kind of magic stuff, but really, it's not. It is bad for the environment so please use it sparsely, even though it's cheap. Also, always wash your hands after using it, it's poisonous.</p>
<p>yes</p>
<p>I think this is a better to hand in the thing for repair. Or even to buy a new printhead (even some no-name European stores have many print-heads, like Hardware.nl, not to mention Amazon or eBay). Unfortunately, manufacturers usually decrease the amount of ink left in the cartridge (their software doesn't calculate it correctly). I had an ink-jet printer myself several years ago, and it was painful to clean the print-head and replace the cartridge. So I wouldn't do that again)</p>
<p>Well i have the same printer (ip4700) and since one month im <br>struggling with the jellow color cloged nozzle .....</p><p>Tried almost <br>everything:</p><p>1)soaked for 2 weeks <br>in a solution of distilled water and cleaning solution for printer plus some <br>isopropylic alcool.....</p><p>2)unscrew the screws <br>and opened the head, took off and cleaned the rubber at the bottom</p><p>3)tried to flush <br>water in the nozzles using small rubber tubes like in the pictures</p><p>Nothing.... the <br>jellow nozzle still clogged............ any idea how to clean?</p><p>tks!!</p><p>A</p>
<p>Before i throw my printer out the window... I hadnt used my printer for a few months but it had cartridges that were about half full, i went to print just some black text and it only printed a tiny bit, not full lines. So i head cleaned via the 'maintenance' and retested, no better, ended up doing that about 10 times, then my ink ran out, so i changed the cartridges, tried again, was the same so ended up doing clean - print another 10 times, still no change. And now used 1/.2 the ink, so today i tried again, cleaned the head with a cotton bud - tried printing just black about 10 times, no change, some text got a bit better, but then nothing again, and now all the ink is low, including the colour one which ive not even used today, so right now im confused and peed off with it as i really needed to print something, so wheres the ink going if its not even printing?, baffled.!</p>
<p>I just tried to print on my Epson 1400 after not using it for about a 8 months. Dry as a bone. I tried the head cleaning utility which only showed a few light lines that you'd have to hold the paper to your face to see. I stopped after the fourth attempt. Then I just decided to try to print a photo on glossy paper. (I mean, it already was doing the worst job imaginable and I have another newer printer on standby) It was printing the faintest image. So faint in fact that the picture looked like it wasn't even there. I couldn't find my Windex and was afraid to mess with ammonia...SO in desperation, I just put the eensiest teensiest driplet (no even a drop, just a driplet; even a teardop would be too big) of water onto my print heads...and then immediately swiped it up with a paper towel. I dabbed it so lightly that i think that tiny bit of water just jumped onto the towel above it. Would you believe my printer is now printing like a brand new printer, only 5 minutes later? I sell prints, which is why I have this one and another newer model [Artisan 1430) right next to it. I also have another of this same model that dried up...I think i'll try juicing that one back up tonight. i love these printers so much that I cannot bear to throw them out before i try everything in my power to fix them. The driplet of water worked for me. Don't know if it will work for everyone...but I'm now a happy camper.</p>
<p>Anyone know how clean brother printhead Black not work propper (fuzzy text)<br><br></p>
<p>align the printhead. it is too close or too far away.</p>
<p>Replaced print head and installed new ink both black and color, But Kodak ESP Office 2170 still won't print black have ran thru 4 full cartridges(cleaning process and calibaration and still no black printing? What could it be prints color perfectly? </p>
<p>make sure that the metal contacts on the printer and on the printhead are clean. If this is good, then try pushing some rubbing alcohol INTO the ink pads (instead of sucking out water) as a last ditch effort. It managed to get my printhead that has done over 10,000 pages working again... sorta.</p>
<p>Hey all, i have a Canon Pixma MP540 Printer without a B200 Error, how can fix it ?? </p>
<p>I followed this and many other techniques (bought magic solutions, used ammonia based solutions, used steam, purified water all to no avail) to rescue a donated Epson R230 print head but found the magenta to be permanently blocked along about 30% of it's channel. I have now fixed it using a rather drastic method - simmering the whole thing in a mix of water and white vinegar for about 15 minutes. Finally it is unblocked!</p>
Cool, thanks for sharing! that could be useful!
Thank you Andrea for a great Instructable, I think I will have a go with my very naughty Kodak ESP 3250... naughty because all the advertising etc proclaimed that printing would be a lot cheaper... yes the cartridges are cheaper but they run out very quickly, especially if like me, you don't print very often. Trying to be economical has backfired on me! Now it refuses to print all all but I'm thinking if I try to clean the heads it might be ok. BTW anyone considering buying a Kodak printer, don't bother, the print quality is not that good and the inks run out very quickly... sorry for going off-topic a bit there!
<p>Did it work? I have an ESP 3250 which just stopped printing, blank pages come out. So, I'm wondering if the print head is clogged. Live Chat tech said the problem could not be repaired and I'd have to buy a new printer. This cleaning info gives me hope. Even buying a new print head at $10. would be a better option.</p>
I think it's a problem of almost all cheap all-in-one printers... good luck, let us know if you'll be able to clean it.
<p>I would like to add that there is a DIY refill kit on amazon.com for like 20 bucks *US. I have a fiance that is print happy and so I figured it couldn't hurt. Saved over a 100 dollars easy doing this. HP Officejet 6500 wireless btw.</p>
<p>Thank you I figured my printer was dried but did not know how to refill it.</p>
<p>Just don't get into what I've had to deal with...getting yelled at during work because apparently its my 'job' to fix/replace printer ink... I'm a graphic designer. This procedure actually does help :) But also, so does starting fresh. Sometimes you have to. Start cheap...and do what you can to continue keeping costs non-existent or down. Cheap office supplies are everywhere, like here;</p><p>http://www.gorillaofficesupplies.com/discount-ink-toner.aspx</p>
Fantastic, this proces save my Bussines inkjet 2800 :)
In the case of Epson printers, many had &quot;permanent&quot; heads... as in, they require printer disassembly to remove. <br> <br>A variation on the above technique is to use a dropper full of ammonia based cleaner (I used generic Windex) NOT in the head, but on the pad where the head rests (in my case, water was not enough of a solvent). <br> <br>Just turn on the printer and tell it you're changing the cartridges. Once the head moves, power off the printer. Saturate the resting pad, then turn the printer back on, such that the head again rests on the pad. Wait 15 minutes and do a test page. <br> <br>After four iterations of the above, I went from a bone-dry non-printing machine to a fully functioning one. <br> <br>Great 'ible! <br> <br>Thanks, Jim
Do not use ammonia its extremely reactive to the copper in lots of print heads and will cause serious corrosion.
great, it makes sense, thanks!
What are the sizes of the tube and where can we get it? Thank's for the tips.
Thanks for the great Instructable. <br>You said, &quot;Some cheap printers have the head attached to the ink-cartridge&quot;. That may apply to my HP 4600 printer, correct? The cartridges appear to have a printer head included. Since I refill the cartridges rather than buying new, can I use your procedure for cleaning? Osvaldo apparently cleaned HP cartridges I will also ask him. <br> <br>Thanks <br> <br> <br>Some cheap printers have the head attached to the ink-cartridge
with a fast search HP4600 seems to be a laser printer, am I wrong? it works in a different way, you've not nozzles there. I think it's good refill it until it works nice. If you need to clean the rollers, there is a good tutorial in internet, I'll search it.
Thanks for print head cleaning directions. I am thinking that probably there is no solution to your problem as folks in communist countries are not concerned about our copy right laws. At least in our part of the world they would have changed photos or commentary. If this Site can not solve this then no one can. Sorry!
Thanks Archimede Pitagorico (Italian Gyro GearLoose)!
You are welcome, and Thanks for translation of the name I borrowed from comic book character....
Thanks Andrea -<br><br>No, it is a bubble jet printer, &quot;HP Photosmart series c4600&quot;. It uses ink cartridges like the one in the photo attached.
yes, so you can try to clean them with water, it should be harder to let water pass through the nozzles, try leave it in water for long time...
Thanks to author... :) <br>
Brilliant photos ! Nice tutorial !
I have a Canon with a definitely useful to me tip. Thank you.
I wanted to add, as you have the possibility to use demineralized water-distilled water. In normal water use are various ions such as unions. calcium, which may damage the head. Distilled water is a better solvent from the usual water.
Another tip: if you want to try using more suction, put a syringe on the end of the tube and draw back on the plunger. I would be very careful about not using too much suction, though.
For really stubborn clogged heads, you can steam the heads. <br>There are many ways to do this, but my favourite was a pot that I had, which had a lid with a small circular steam vent in it. <br>Use as little water in the pot as possible without it going totally dry, and be careful of the steam, and that you don't overheat the pot. <br>I actually would let the pot just barely go dry, and dump in about 1/8 cup of water so the steam was vigorous. quickly holding the lid down, I would put the printing surface of the head just a couple cm from the steam vent. <br>The lid was glass, so the ink that would drip off eventually wouldn't stain it, plus I had paper towel around it. <br>Works like a charm on even the most stubborn heads. <br> <br>Kudos to the author of this instructable for using water rather than alcohol. Most of the inks today are water soluble, and water works best.
that sounds impressive! maybe this could be the ultimate method to try for stubborn clogged heads, as you say. <br>Yes, about water, if the ink is water-soluble, you'll see it scattering in water moving a few the printer head. If not maybe you can try with alcohol.

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Bio: I'm an Italian freelance structural engineer, graphic designer and photographer. I'm also investigating electronics, robotics and science in general. I enjoy hacking and ... More »
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