Tips For Cleaning your Printhead

clean your printhead, how to clean your printhead -

Tips For Cleaning your Printhead

Cleaning a printhead is one of the best ways to prevent the need for having to replace it. Even though we sell printheads and have a vested interest in getting you to buy more, we want to minimize waste and help you get the most out of your investment, so our team is happy to talk you through the process. Start with this tutorial to clean your printhead and reach out to us if you have any questions.

1. Consult Your Printer Manual

Every printer is different, so check with your manual first. If you can’t find it, we have a library of printer manuals on our website as a courtesy to our customers, or you can often find instructions on your printer manufacturer’s website. The tips below are general and work for many models and brands, but it’s best to use the specific advice outlined by your printer’s manufacturer. An Epson DX5 printhead is going to have different needs than an HP model.

2. Run the Automated Printhead Cleaning Cycle

This is the easiest option of all because it requires virtually no effort on your part. Often, people run a single printhead cleaning cycle and when it doesn’t work, assume that they need to replace the printhead or move onto more involved cleaning options. Here’s a pro-tip: you can run the printhead cleaning cycle again and again until your problem is resolved. This only works if you see some progress made with each cycle—if not, then move on. But assuming each cycle yields slightly better results, it’s a sign that the process is working, and you should continue with it.

3. Use your printer cleaning solution to Clean the Printhead Nozzles

If you use your printer regularly, there’s usually no need to clean the printhead nozzles. But if it’s been a while, you might just have a clogged nozzle caused by dried-out ink. Sometimes, even if you do use your printer regularly, the nozzles can clog. The culprit here is often cheap ink. There are very few products where generic or bargain brands are truly inferior to name brands. Still, you need to stick with high-quality inks from your printer’s manufacturer or known alternative and reputable inks when it comes to printer ink.


If you need to clean the nozzles, unplug the printer and take out the printhead. Then, use a lint-free cloth and your cleaning solution to remove dried ink gently. You can purchase kits that force the cleaning through the nozzles to clean them, but you can get the same results with a syringe. 

4. Soak the Printhead

If gently cleaning the printhead nozzles hasn’t been successful, you can soak the printhead to loosen any dried ink. Fill a bowl with warm water (or a mixture of water and vinegar) and place the printhead directly in it. Let it sit for five minutes or so. Pull the printhead out of the water and use a lint-free cloth or paper towel to remove the dried ink. Once you’ve done this, dry the printhead as much as you can, then place it on a towel to air dry. When it’s scorched, you can put it back into the printer and give it a test spin. 

5. Specialized Cleaning Devices

There are in the market highly specialized devices that help recuperate clog printheads. Our firm, with great success, is selling one of these solutions. This is made by a Canadian company long known in the Digital Printing industry as one of the leaders in printhead maintenance. Their main product is the Print Head Doctor, which comes in different models with different specs. They all vary in power and automatic features, even an app that helps controls the machine. 


They also have developed specialized adaptors for any type of printhead imaginable and are used with highly specialized cleaning liquids that differ in intensity, which helps complement the cleaning process. Every kind of liquid is compatible with the type of ink the printer uses like UV, Solvent, or water-based inks.


At All Print Heads, we have a number of specialized cleaning devices to fit your needs. View our assortment of Print Head Doctor products to learn more. 

Learn More About How to Clean Your Printhead

If you need instructions on how to clean your printhead or it’s time to replace your printhead with a new one, contact us today at 1-800-616-0584.


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