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How to clean a printer head Step by step guide

How to clean a printer head Step by step guide

The printer head, or printhead, is one of the most essential components of a printer. It is the device within a printer that transfers ink onto paper.

There are a variety of different types of printheads available depending on the printing method of your chosen printer. For example, thermal printers, inkjet printers, and electrophotographic printers require a different type of printhead.

No matter the type of printhead in your printer, it is important to regularly clean the printhead to ensure ink can be delivered through the nozzles. If you do not clean your printhead, you may find that the quality of print becomes faint.

While most printers run self-cleaning programs, it is recommended to carefully wipe clean the print head for crisper and more accurate prints.

This guide will explain how to manually clean your printer print head to increase the lifespan of your printer.

What is a print head?

A printhead is the device in a printer that sprays droplets of ink onto the paper. In all types of printers, the print head function is to transfer the image, colour, or data to the chosen media.

There are a variety of printheads available. The one you need is dependent on the printing method of your printer. For example, you may need a thermal, inkjet, or electrophotographic print head.

The print head is a self-cleaning component in a printer but requires periodic manual maintenance to improve the quality of prints, prevent clogs in the nozzle and ensure your printer lasts for years to come.

Printer head cleaning guide

You can clean your print head both from the PC and manually. Keep reading to find out how to clean your printhead using both methods.

Cleaning the printer from the PC

To run automatic cleaning, check your printer display menu and select Printer Maintenance. Then, choose Clean Printhead. Once cleaning is complete, run a test print to check it has worked. If the cleaning was successful, the colours should be vibrant, and the quality should be crisp.

How to clean the printhead manually

You can also clean your printhead manually. To do this, turn off your printer and tear one sheet of kitchen roll or a paper towel in half. Then, open the top of your printer and locate the rubber roller that transports the paper through the printing process. This is where the printhead runs over when printing. Secure the paper towel to the roller with tape. Next, apply distilled water or cleaner to the middle of the sheet. Move the printhead over the towel and leave for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Overtime, you will see ink begin to dissolve and a collection of ink dots appear on the paper towel. Repeat this process until you see individual colours from each ink port. Finally, ensure the printhead is back in its ready position and turn your printer back on. You can check if the printhead has been successfully cleaned by printing a test page.

Printer head cleaning FAQs

Can I use acetone to clean printer heads?

Yes, acetone solutions are often recommended for printhead cleaning.

Can I use isopropyl alcohol to clean printer heads?

Yes, isopropyl alcohol is considered a good material for cleaning out printheads.

Can I use methylated spirits to clean printer heads?

Methylated spirits can be used as rubbing alcohol to clean your printhead. However, it is important that it is diluted down to protect the skin and surrounding surfaces.

Can you clean printer heads with alcohol?

Rubbing alcohol is an effective solution for cleaning printheads and is often used as a disinfectant and antiseptic.

Why is it important to keep the printer heads clean?

If you do not clean your printhead, you may find that the quality of print becomes faint. Periodic cleaning also helps to prevent clogs in the nozzle and ensure your printer lasts for years to come.

When should I clean the printhead?

You should clean the printhead if you find the print quality is faint or ink dots appear.

Contact Perfect Colours if you need more information on how to clean your printhead

At Perfect Colours, we know printing. Our team of dedicated experts are on hand to help you with any printhead issues. Whether you have a printhead problem, a printer, a printhead or ink we offer a wide range of printing solutions to fit your requirements.

Get in touch today and discover your next printer with Perfect Colours.

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