You need to print an important document. You turn on your Epson printer, you define the print setting and you press “print”. Then, a document with skipped lines and distorted images comes out.
Panic might start to kick in and you might think you need to replace your printer. But, there is one thing that you should check before deciding to purchase a new printer, and that is the printheads, which might be clogged or blocked.
The printheads are a very important part of any printer. They play a crucial role in getting a great printout. If your printheads are clogged, you will not be able to get a clean printout.
A clogged printhead may distort the printed pages and could also result in damaged or broken ink cartridges. So, it is important to examine the printhead, as this might save you a lot of money.
Nevertheless, you need to make sure that you have the proper tools for cleaning your printer’s printheads. This article will give you some tips on how to clean your Epson printer’s printheads.
What Causes the Clogs?
Clogs can be quite harmful to your printer if they are not cleaned on time. So, before you do any cleaning, you must find out what causes the clogs in the first place.
There are a few ways that clogs can appear in your Epson’s printer’s nozzles. Surely the most common way you can get clogs in your printer heads is when the ink cartridge in your printer gets all dried up. When you get a notification from your printer that the ink is very low, and you don’t change the ink cartridges for some time, what can happen is that a lot of ink may be forced through the nozzles, hence making a mess, jamming the nozzles when the ink dries out.
Another very common situation is that the paper dust builds over time inside the printer’s plater rollers, which are essential for printing immaculate printouts, and the rollers.
Ink can also get dry and mess up with your printer’s nozzles if you use the printer very rarely. So, turning the printer once a month may be bad for it, and, not saying that it would mess up the nozzles a hundred percent, but it may happen.
Identifying the issue
Now, before you start cleaning the printheads, you should open the printer carefully and identify what exactly has caused the clogs in the nozzles. Look at the nozzles closely and identify what went wrong so you can know which cleaning process to use.
Cleaning the Epson Printheads
We will now explain all the different ways that you can properly clean the printheads and get your Epson printer running like it is new. There are a couple of types of clogs, and each one requires a different cleaning process.
These can range from very simple clogs that can be removed by starting a head cleaning cycle with a press of a button, to more extreme ones that will require more time and patience.
We will explain each cleaning solution in detail. So, let’s start with the first one, and that is the printhead cleaning cycle.
Solution No.1: Printhead Cleaning Cycle
Many new Epson printers feature a pretty good cleaning cycle. When a simple clog occurs, the pretty straightforward cleaning cycle will in many cases get rid of the issue and clean the printheads.
You should keep in mind that this process takes up a lot of ink, so it’s definitely not the cheapest option, but it’s the simplest one. However, if your printer does not have a cleaning cycle, then you may want to look for one that has this option.
There are two ways that you can start this process. The first way is to go into the Settings menu on the Epson printer and navigate to the Maintenance section. The other way is that some printers also have a button on the front panel that will allow you to start the cleaning process manually.
Once you have done this, then you should just wait until the cleaning cycle is completed. You should get a notification from your printer if you want to know how it went. If the printed paper has perfectly straight lines, without any mistakes like skipped lines, the printing cycle was a success and your printer heads will be cleaned.
Make sure you don’t turn off your Epson printer while it performs that cleaning cycle, because interrupting in may cause some damage.
If the cycle doesn’t show results from the first try, you can also do several more cycles, but be sure to “rest” the printer in between them for 5-6 hours. You can do this during the night while you are asleep so that the printer will be all fresh for a new cleaning cycle in the morning.
Solution No.2: Using Water
This is another simple process that will clean your simple clogs. You don’t need a ton of tools or materials, you just need a bit of warm water, patience, and focus.
If your nozzles have been blocked due to dry ink, the solution is to dissolve that ink with a bit of tap water. To perform this cleaning process successfully you should pour just a little warm water on the printer’s nozzles.
But, be careful not to spill it all over the printer or on the nozzle’s sides. When you’ve poured just enough water onto the nozzle, you should wait a minute before doing it again, and be sure to turn off and unplug your printer from electricity when doing this.
Solution No.3: Using a Wet Towel
Like with the previous cleaning solution, your printer should be turned off and unplugged while you try this method. This method is also recommended for nozzles clogged by dried ink.
Starting this process, you need to pull one sheet of paper towel, fold it end-to-end and wet it a bit. Now that you have done that, open your printer and search for a printhead. Once you’ve found it, put the paper towel in the middle and slide the printhead over it.
Now you should wait a couple of hours until the process is finished and the ink is softened enough that the printer will work correctly.
Solution No.4: Compressed Air
First and foremost, this is the cleaning method that you should be most careful and focused on while doing. While using compressed air, be aware of the pressure and be careful not to create some leaks inside the printer.
Compressed air is recommended for more serious clogs, ones that have larger bits and fragments than those you see on simpler clogs.
To perform this cleaning method you will need compressed air, which can be bought from any local hardware store. Just be aware not to blast the air straight into the opening of the nozzle as it can cause severe damage.
Solution No.5: Pro Cleaning
If none of these solutions work for you, or you are scared to do it yourself, our recommendation is to hire a professional cleaning service that will clean the printheads or replace them if necessary. This is the most expensive solution, but it’s surely the best one.
The best thing that you can do is maintain your Epson printer regularly and don’t let it create problems like these ones. Therefore, you won’t have the headaches that many Epson printer owners have with the blocked or clogged printheads.
Here are some tips that will help you to prevent nozzles from being blogged:
- Regularly replace the ink cartridges;
- Paper tray should be full;
- When refilling, suck the air out of the cartridge;
- Prevent the dust from coming into the printer by always keeping the cartridge doors closed;
- If you are not sure about some cleaning method then you shouldn’t do it yourself. Consult someone who had similar experiences or get some professional service.
Clogged or blocked nozzles can be a big headache, especially if you need to print something important quickly. Many Epson printers have an issue with clogged nozzles, like the Epson WF-7710, but that is nothing to be afraid of. However, the best option is to maintain your printer in pristine condition, but if the problem occurs, try some of the solutions that we’ve mentioned. Good luck!