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How to clean Epson Printheads

How to clean Epson Printheads

If you have an Epson printer and your prints are coming out faint, incomplete, or streaked with lines, chances are you have a clogged nozzle–a common problem many users have with Epson printers.

It’s unavoidable that print heads clog over time as small amounts of ink residue dry up and collect in the nozzles. Being judicious about replacing cartridges promptly when the low ink alert goes off can do a lot to prevent ink from drying inside the nozzles, but you still may end up with one or several may still get clogged for a different reason. Blocked printheads can happen regardless if you use original Epson or aftermarket cartridges.


The Cause of Clogs

Printheads clog because nozzles get blocked by either air or ink. Clogs usually happen when:

You don’t change your ink cartridge right away when you get a low ink warning and instead you keep printing until you see faded printouts. When you put with a new cartridge, your printer prepares the printhead for the new ink cartridge, this is called priming. Priming is when the printer pushes ink through the nozzles to force air out. The downside to this is sometimes the printer can push too much ink and the excess would smear all over the printhead where it ends up blocking more nozzles. And when the smeared ink dries, you once again end up with clogged nozzles and worse printouts than before.

You don’t turn off your printer. Ink dries up in the nozzles when you don’t use it regularly. Turning your printer on triggers the printer to run a mini-cleaning cycle and gets the ink flowing again.

You don’t use your printer regularly. As mentioned previously, ink dries up when unused so if you only use your printer about twice a month, we suggest you choose a laser printer. Laser printers use toner powder and don’t dry up.

Knowing the common causes of clogged printheads can help you take the necessary steps to prevent them from happening. As the old adage goes, prevention is always better than cure.


Ways to Clean Your Printhead

Check your nozzles and run cleaning cycles using the menu on your printer. 

Printhead Cleaning Cycles.

Epson printer models feature a pretty efficient cleaning cycle that will usually clear out the nozzles in one or two cycles. Keep in mind, however, that the newer models have longer cleaning cycles that unfortunately use more ink every time. Here’s how to get started:

Before you do anything else, make sure the printer isn’t showing any errors on the LCD screen.

Press the Home button and select “Setup” then select “Maintenance.”

Select “Printhead Nozzle Check“

Your printer will produce a page with four colored grids designed to illustrate which nozzles are blocked (and which are not).

If no gaps are present, select done.

If there are gaps or some lines are faint, select “Clean the printhead” and continue.

Caution: Never turn off your printer during a cleaning cycle. Doing so can cause permanent damage to the unit!

PLEASE NOTE: This process is specific to select Epson Workforce, Artisan, and SureColor model printers, but can be broadly applied across several different models, including most Expression models. Please consult with your printer manual if you have any questions about your particular printer.

If you run two or three cycles with no improvement in your print quality, then you will need to drop your Printer off to us for a professional clean and service, please make sure there is plenty of ink in the printer before you drop it off, you will need to leave your printer with us for 2-3 days.


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