Nothing is more annoying than a clogged printhead in the inkjet printer. You may not be familiar with this term, or you may not have heard of this before, so let us explain a bit about a clogged printhead or nozzle.
In this article, we will explain how to know that your printer is a clogged head or nozzle and a very easy process to clean them.
What Is a Clogged Printhead Or Nozzle?
If your printer starts throwing streaks, missing colors, white lines, fades, it is most likely clogged.
A nozzle or printhead is an integral component of an inkjet printer that houses the ink cartridges.
Generally, the printhead is located under the access panel of your printer.
A printhead or nozzle usually gets blocked with dust, debris, residue, and dried ink. This term is referred to as clogged printhead or blocked printhead.
If your printer head gets blocked with dust particles and dried ink, you will get low-quality faded prints that may contain white lines, streaks, missing colors, and other such problems.
How Can You Know That Your Printer Is a Clogged Head Or Nozzle?
Identifying a clogged printhead or nozzle is very easy. Whenever you see the printout quality is low, the issue is highly likely to be in the printhead or nozzle.
There are various signs to identify a blocked or clogged printhead or nozzle. A clogged printhead cannot only provide you with low-quality prints but can also introduce other problems to your printer.
For instance, your printer can be damaged badly, paper jams in the printer, and more.
Below are some signs that tell you about a blocked or clogged printhead or nozzle:
- The printer is delivering low-quality prints.
- The printout has steaks and the faded text.
- Text on the printout is blurred, or the printout has missing colors.
- The printout has random lines.
- A half-page is printed blank or a random blank on the printout.
- Random white lines across the printout.
- Random trace marks and smear marks on the page.
- Grid patterns on the paper sheets.
- Misprinting of text
- Ink cartridge running empty faster than usual.
How To Clean A Clogged Printhead Or Nozzle?
There are various ways to unblock or unclog a printhead or nozzle. This includes automatic cleaning and manual cleaning for a detailed guide click here.
As most modern printers come with an automatic printhead cleaning utility, you can clean the printhead with a computer or laptop.
In automatic cleaning, you will have to connect your printer to the computer and run the utility to perform cleaning.
Also, you won’t have to physically do anything, and no need to gather supplies for automatic cleaning.
Unclog print heads with Automatic Cleaning
You don’t have to open the printer’s access panel to perform automatic cleaning. Instead, the printer will self-clean the printheads in just a couple of seconds.
Before proceeding with the automatic cleaning process, make sure the ink cartridge has sufficient ink.
- Open the computer and click on the Windows button.
- Search for the Control Panel and click on the first result from the search.
- From the Control Panel page, select Hardware and Sound.
- Next, select Device and Printers.
- On the next page, you will see all the printers that you have connected your PC to.
- From the list of devices, you have to select the printer you want to clean the printheads.
- Right-click on the printer and click on Printer Properties.
- A pop-up will appear. Select the Cleaning tab here.
- Now, click on Clean or something similar to it.
- Follow the on-screen instructions.
- Finish the process, and the printer will self-clean the heads or nozzles.
- Try taking some test printouts to check if the issue is resolved or not.
Unclog Print Heads or Nozzles Manually
To manually clean the printheads, you have to gather some cleaning tools and supplies, including a lint-free cloth and a cleaning solution or water.
- First of all, turn off the printer and let it cool down for a couple of minutes.
- Remove the USB cable and power cord from the power source.
- Open the access panel of the printer.
- Remove the ink cartridges and locate the nozzles.
- Check the ink nozzles which allow the ink to come out of the cartridge.
- First, clean the nozzle with a dry cloth and then damp the cloth into a cleaning solution or water.
- Gently wipe off the dust particles, debris, residue, and dry ink from the nozzles. Try to remove as much as possible so that that printer can work flawlessly without any issue. If the dry ink is not coming out, you can put the printhead into a bowl full of water for about 5-10 minutes to easily remove the ink.
- Next, use a dry cloth again to dry out the printer heads.
- When completely dried out, install the printheads back into the printer.
- Close the access panel and put the USB cord into the computer.
- Next, plug the power cord into a power source and turn the printer on.
- Additionally, you can run the printer cleaning utility to unclog the nozzle completely.
- Try taking some test printouts and check if the printer is working fine or not.
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Tanmoy Misra found his love for tech early in life when he got his first Nintendo (NES) console. He spent many hours blowing into cartridges to no avail until inspiration struck and he started taking apart and rebuilding anything that didn’t work. After dropping console gaming at the end of high school, Tanmoy entered the world of PC online gaming. His love of gaming and problem-solving soon led him to build his computers. As per expertise, he is an ISF-certified video calibrator and covering AV for a number of publications since 2018.