Steps for Manually Cleaning the Printer Head
Step 1 – Remove the ink tanks and printer head. Remove the ink tanks from the print head (tank holder) and seal them in a zip lock or other sealable plastic bag. Set them aside, preferably propped upright.
Next remove the printer head (it snaps out). NOTE: You may want to wear latex gloves to help keep ink off your hands.
Step 2 – Soak the printer head. There are multiple suggestions on ways to clean the printer head and all have some variation on the following:
Get a small, shallow pan and lay down a layer or two of paper towels in the bottom of the container to protect the printer head circuitry from contact damage.
Heat up (via microwave) enough purified/bottled water to cover the paper towels. You can also use a 50/50 mixture of ammonia and distilled water (about a pint will do). Heat the mixture in the microwave for about a minute or so – it should NOT be boiling.
Slowly pour the water or mixture over the paper towels so that you have approximately 1/2 inch of liquid in the bottom of the pan.
Set the printer head into the container on top of the towels. You should see ink ‘bleeding’ out. Move the print head to several different spots (about a minute each spot) and shake gently. This will dissolve the ink clogs.
If the printer head is badly clogged let it soak for 3 to 4 hours or overnight. You can move it slightly to a different spot every hour or so
Step 3 – Flush the printer head with water.
Hold the unit under a softly running warm water tap. Place your finger over the tap to create back pressure to allow you to squirt the water into all crevices of the printer head. You should see the gunk build up flow out. Do this until the water runs clear.
Step 4 – Dry the printer head and replace.
Remove the unit and rinse it thoroughly with distilled water. Shake it dry and set it on folded paper towels to air dry. (Some folks use a hair dryer on a low setting to dry the printer head.)
Reinsert the printer head and ink tanks. The printer should automatically do a “Printer Head Alignment.” If it doesn’t, manually perform “Printer Head Alignment” through the printer’s utility. Next run a printer head cleaning cycle or two followed by printing a nozzle check pattern to check your progress.
Repeat as necessary.