A clogged print head on your inkjet printer can stop your print job dead in its tracks, but this can be overcome with a little attention.
If there has been a long period of no printer use, or if you have brought an old inkjet printer or ink cartridge out of retirement, you may be faced with less than optimal prints.
As you print, small droplets of ink can get stuck around the many tiny holes that make up an inkjet printer head. Once these drops of ink dry, they can form a crust around the print head opening, clogging it with dry ink and causing it to print poorly.
If you are seeing poor quality print outs, your first step should be to perform a printer head cleaning. Simply open your Printer Settings on your computer and find your Printer Maintenance menu, as seen above, to clean the print head. Each menu will vary, but you should find a “Head Cleaning” option within any inkjet printer menu.
Once you have performed the built-in cleaning functions and followed up as needed, if this does not seem to do the job and is draining your precious ink there are a few ways to clean your print head manually.
If you have an inkjet printer like Epson or Brother, where the print head is usually part of the printer itself instead of the cartridge, you can use traditional rubbing alcohol on the print head to clean and remove dried ink residue. If you have an inkjet printer like Canon, HP, or Lexmark where the print head is usually part of the ink cartridge, you can clean the print head on the cartridge with a dry, soft cotton ball or clean cloth.
Don’t scrap an old inkjet printer that yields inferior printouts, what a waste to just throw the old one in a landfill. Make cleaning nozzles, unclogging print heads and dusting the exterior of your printer a regular part of your routine maintenance. You will maintain superior print quality and save yourself quite a bit of money.