The print head is cleaned when ink and dust clog the nozzles where the ink comes from. As a rule, this happens after a long inactivity of the device — the toners are covered with dust and slowly dry out, after which the user receives incorrect prints with various defects. The solution to the problem of dry ink is to manually flush the print head with special liquids. The procedure is not the most difficult, but it will require accuracy and attention. With the right approach and compliance with all the rules, the result will be cleaned elements in the printer and high-quality printing.
When to Clean the Print Head
When should the print head be cleaned?
- When the ink nozzles of one or more cartridges become dirty, the coloring toner will not flow properly. A malfunction is indicated by defective nozzle test printing when the printer prints with stripesincorrectly conveys color (one color is missing when the cartridge is full) or smears the picture.
- After a long period of inactivity it is also recommended to do a nozzle test, and if distortions are detected, then they are cleaned with standard software, and then the printer print head is manually cleaned with a special tool, if necessary.
- When changing ink. Toners may differ in their characteristics and composition, respectively, they must not be mixed. To replace the dye of one type with another, cartridges and CISS should be washed from residues. When changing ink from different manufacturers, it is also necessary to clean the cartridges and installed CISS with high quality.
Canon Service Specialists Say Flushing Is a Last Resort for Printer Maintenance. Incorrect printing may have other causes: air bubbles, misalignment of the print head, excessive pressure (when the CISS tanks are installed above the level of the head) or contamination from adhering dirt, dust. Another reason for a defect on the print is the failure of piezocrystals when the machine is overloaded (Epson technique) or burnt out heating elements (HP technique). With intensive use of technology, the print head is cleaned once a quarter or less.
Cleaning is not performed when the printer’s LCD displays system errors indicating low toner or the cartridge icon flashes.
Software head cleaning
Before proceeding with mechanical cleaning, you should test the system and run a regular cleaning program. The start of the program can be in the menu of the PC or the printer itself, depending on the model. If you use a computer, you need to go to the control panel, find the active printer and go to the «service» section, where a nozzle check and software cleaning of the print head are available. Then you need to run the software.
Experts recommend no more than 2 — 3 cleanings of the system. If the operation does not bring a positive result, manual mechanical cleaning is necessary.
Upon completion of the software cleaning, you need to re- test nozzles. Based on the print, it can be concluded whether a mechanical cleaning procedure is required or not. As a rule, this operation solves the problem of slightly dirty nozzles, if the ink is dry, the program commands will not help.
Printer maintenance begins with the preparation and verification of all nodes. Initially held visual inspection to evaluate upcoming work, dust, dried ink particles, and paper particles often accumulate in the printer.
You can manually wash all types of cartridges, except for models with a filler. Such elements can only be cleaned using specialized devices — a centrifuge or a vacuum apparatus.
Then check CISS for a break in the paint supply hoses, tightness of the connections between the gateway and the cartridge. If there are air bubbles in the gateway, first of all, the CISS is debugged and balanced. Donor bottles or cartridges should be full, if necessary, refill the printer and print a nozzle check test page.
Not so long ago, such a service device as ultrasonic bath. The benefits of the device have not been proven for certain (and it doesn’t matter if it is medical equipment or an apparatus for gentle cleaning of small parts). If you consult with experts, then the opinions are not unambiguous, but most often they are negative. It is difficult to detect the facts of successful use of an ultrasonic bath among masters, but observations indicate a negative impact on the printer’s print head (failure within a day or during the first use).
How to choose a flushing fluid
Perhaps one of the most useful recommendations is to use the same brand of cleaner as the ink. No one knows the exact composition of the dye better than the manufacturer, therefore, only the manufacturer himself knows how to effectively and safely remove it. Special flushing compositions are safe for printers and their elements. As a rule, there are several of them: for external cleaning, for removing water-soluble inks, pigment dyes, aggressive liquids for splitting dried toners and severe blockages.
To remove water-soluble ink the following fluids are suitable.
- Demineralized water (specialized liquid WWM W01).
- Distilled water.
- A solution from a mixture of distilled water and 5 — 10% ammonia (not to be confused with ammonia) in proportions of 1-10: 1 (the exact proportions are calculated empirically). The finished solution based on ammonia must be filtered through a mesh with a size of 0.01 micron.
Pigment dyes dissolve with other compounds:
- isopropyl alcohol;
- various specialized fluids.
In addition to branded cleaners, there are companies that carry various fluids for specific purposes. For example, WWM company boasts a good line of cleaners.
- Demineralized water W01.
- Powerful cleaner CL-10.
- Cleaner for water-soluble ink, upper surfaces of Epson CL-04 printer parts.
- Liquid for removal of black or color pigment dyes CL-06.
- Special solution CL-08 for rinsing or soaking, suitable for Epson Quick Dry inks.
You can also choose an analogue, for example, workshop specialists have been using the usual for this operation for several years. glass fluid Mr Muscle. The main thing is to choose the right liquid for ink: water-soluble dyes are green and pink composition based on ammonia (ammonia), pigment remove blue and orange, based on isopropyl alcohol.
To enhance the effectiveness of any solution, heat it to a temperature of 30-60 ° C.
If you do not know what kind of ink was used, do not rush to start flushing. An incorrectly selected composition can quickly and permanently disable the print head. Take some ink and dissolve it in different compositions (or one, to choose from). After a couple of hours, analyze the result. When exposed to distilled water on pigment dyes, a precipitate is released. The transition of the liquid to a jelly-like consistency also indicates that the cleaning liquid was chosen incorrectly, the correct solution dilutes the ink and loosens the dried dye clots.
Flushing the ink channels and printer head
To flush the ink channels and the printer head, you should acquire a number of tools:
- cleaning liquid (can be bought at a specialized store);
- a flexible tube with a cross-sectional diameter that will allow you to put it on a syringe.
Cleaning the printing mechanism is performed as follows.
- Cartridges should be removed and placed on a surface that is not afraid to get dirty.
- In order to get to the printing mechanism, it is necessary remove the top cover. To do this, unscrew the bolts holding it. Next, the cable is carefully removed from the board, which will allow you to remove the head.
- A cleaning agent is drawn into the syringe and a tube is put on. With its free side, it must be attached to the place where the ink was taken and gently squeeze out the liquid. You should try not to spill it. To flush each channel, it is enough to squeeze out about 1 ml of liquid.
- After a few minutes, the liquid is pulled back. If everything is done correctly, then it will turn into the color of the paint. The services recommend repeating these manipulations several times with each channel.
- Cartridges are installed in place.
- Now the carriage should be moved to the side and blot the print head with a cloth dampened with water.
- If moisture or cleaning agent remains on the housing, they are removed with a rag.
- After installing the cover in place, you should clean it programmatically.
Soaking and removing the printhead
If the method described above did not help, then the printing mechanism must be removed and soaked.
Before proceeding with its removal, the device must be completely de-energized.
- After turning off the printer, the cartridge carriage should remain in the center. This will make the process easier.
- The cartridges are removed, after which the printer cover is removed and the cable is disconnected.
- The printhead is attached using special latches that you need to press to disconnect the device.
- Now, jars of cleaning agent should be put on the fittings through which the paints are taken. And the head itself must be placed with its lower part in a container with a small amount of cleaning agent. Extremely important prevent liquid from getting on the back with contacts, otherwise, when you install the device in place, it will fail. If this still happened, then you should gently blot them with a rag and make sure that everything is dry before returning to the place.
- Keep the printing device in the cleaning liquid for at least 2-3 hours, but sometimes the procedure may last several days. After its completion, the mechanism is put in place, and cleaning is carried out by software, as well as test printing.
When buying a printer, you should not forget that inkjet models do not tolerate long periods of inactivity, which leads to the need to clean the print head. If the device is not planned to be used constantly, then it is worth stopping at the laser model.
Cleaning the print head can be a long and tedious process, but the procedure itself is quite simple. It is important to observe accuracy and safety rules: disconnect the printer from the network and PC, protect the printer print head and electronics from moisture.