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How Do I Clean an Inkjet Printer?

While you may need to do a deeper cleaning at some point, the best place to start cleaning your printer is with the software itself. Almost every printer has a program installed to help with cleaning, and finding it is just a matter of clicking on the printer icon inside the “control panel”. Choose “properties”, and you’ll quickly find the printer cleaning program. Depending on the printer model you have, you’ll want to do a nozzle check, a head cleaning, and a print head alignment.

If that doesn’t seem to do any good, don’t even bother trying more than twice. You’ll only end up wasting your printer ink. Instead, grab a pair of rubber gloves, some isopropyl alcohol, a multipurpose surface cleaner, and a lint-free towel.

  1. 1. Turn the printer off and unplug it.
  2. 2. Take the printer cartridges out of the printer. Make certain that you don’t touch any of the metal on the cartridges with your bare hands, as you could damage them.
  3. 3. If your cartridge has the ink and a print head together, you’ll want to use a paper towel with alcohol on it to wipe the bottom of the cartridge and clean the print head. If they’re separate, just clean the print head.
  4. 4. Once you’re done with the cartridges, use your lint-free towel and your multipurpose cleaner. Wipe the printer ribbon off. You’ll also want to clean your feed roller at this point.
  5. 5. Using canned air, blow out any dust or debris inside the printer. Be careful you don’t get it too close to any of the printer’s most delicate parts.
  6. 6. Reassemble your printer and plug it back in. Pour a bit of alcohol on the middle of a sheet of standard paper. Make certain that it’s only on the middle of the paper. Run it through a blank print cycle a few times to clean any remaining ink from the printer.

If you’re having trouble with your printer, don’t automatically assume it’s time to get a new one. Do a bit of cleaning and maintenance - you may be surprised with the results.