Printer nozzles tend to get dirty and become clogged over time. This can cause your printer not to dispense ink, which will result in poor-quality prints properly. But what causes these problems? And how do you fix them? We’ll show you the best ways to keep your printer nozzle from getting too dirty, so it works as well as new! We’ll start by explaining the types of clogs you could expect with your Epson printer. Then we’ll go through some simple steps on cleaning out your printer’s nozzles yourself. Finally, we’ll share our top tips for keeping your printer working at its best.
What is an Epson Print Head Clog?
A clog occurs when something gets stuck inside one of your printer’s nozzles. It might be dirt, paper dust, dried ink, or even hair. The problem is that this blockage prevents the ink from flowing freely into the printing area. When this happens, your printer won’t work correctly because it doesn’t know where to ink it. If left untreated, a clog can eventually lead to permanent damage to your printer.
The most common type of clog is caused by dried ink. Over time, the ink dries up and becomes sticky. As soon as it touches any other object, it sticks there until someone cleans it off. To prevent this clogging, make sure you always use fresh cartridges. You should also regularly wipe down all surfaces around your printer to remove excess ink residue.
Other kinds of clogs include:
Paper Dust – Paper dust builds up between the rollers and the platen roller. This makes it hard for the ink to flow smoothly onto the page. Cleaning the rollers and the surface underneath them helps clear away the buildups.
Hair/Fibres – Hair and fibers often end up caught in the nozzles during regular operation. They can then stop the ink from moving forward. Removing these objects requires professional help.
These clogs can be classified into two categories: Simple clogs and tough clogs. A simple clog usually involves just one part of the system. For example, if only one nozzle has been plugged, it would be considered a simple clog. However, if multiple parts of the system were affected, such as the nozzles and the cartridge, it would be called a tough clog.
Cleaning Your Epson Printer Nozzle
Your first step towards fixing a clogged nozzle is to identify exactly what went wrong. Start by looking closely at the nozzle itself. Is it still sealed tightly shut? Does it look like it hasn’t moved since you last used it? Are there any signs of wear and tear? These things may indicate whether or not the nozzle needs replacing.
If the nozzle looks fine but isn’t working very well, then it means that it could be something to do with cleaning. There are two methods that you can try to clean your printer’s nozzle: using water and using compressed air. Water is used primarily to clean simple clogs, while compressed air may clean tough clogs.
Let’s take a closer look at each method. But before that, let’s see how to ready the printer for the task.
Identify the Print Head
For Epson printers, the print head is located directly on a fixed carriage. Before you start cleaning anything, you need to find out which specific nozzles have become clogged. To do so, gently lift the top cover. Once open, you’ll notice that the print head will slide downwards. That’s right! Now, move the print head back upwards until it stops. Then, turn the knob located next to the print head. Doing so opens the print head completely. From here, you’re able to determine which nozzle is causing problems.
How to Clean Epson Print Head Nozzles Which are Blocked or Clogged
Method 1: Using Water/Cleaning Solution
Water-based cleaners work best when dealing with simple clogs. The main advantage of using water over compressed air is that it doesn’t require special tools. All you need is some warm tap water. The cleaning solution will help dissolve any dried ink residue built up around the nozzle plate. You should notice an improvement in printing quality immediately afterward.
To clean your printer’s nozzle with water, pour some warm tap water/cleaning solution directly onto the nozzle. Make sure you don’t let the water run down the sides of the nozzle through. Instead, aim the stream right against the tip of the nozzle. Once you’ve done this, wait about 30 seconds before gently blowing the water back out again. Repeat this process several times until the nozzle starts, usually working again.
You shouldn’t need to worry about damaging anything with this technique. Many people prefer this approach because it is much easier than blowing dryer cleaner into their printer.
However, if the method doesn’t work, you might want to consider using the compressed air method instead.
Method 2: Using Compressed Air
Compressed air is ideal for removing stubborn clogs, especially those made up of large particles. It’s much more potent than regular tap water, and it can blow out anything blocking the nozzle. There are a few precautions you need to be aware of for starting with this method.
First, make sure you’re careful, though; compressed air can easily hurt people or break things. So please don’t leave it running unattended. Second, make sure you don’t touch anything else within the printer and avoid blowing compressed air directly above your hands. Also, never force the nozzle open; instead, apply gentle pressure. Finally, avoid blowing directly into the nozzle opening. Instead, aim the stream sideways to dislodge whatever got stuck in there. Off we go to the process!
To begin with, this method turns on the compressor and points the hose straight at the nozzle. Use the same procedure as above, except instead of pouring water. You’re going to blast the nozzle with pressurized air. Again, repeat this process until the nozzle begins to function normally once more.
If this fails, you’ll probably need to replace the entire printhead assembly.
Method 3. Professional Cleaning
In most cases, professional cleaning services are required to properly restore the regular operation of a damaged printhead. If you cannot handle the cleaning yourself, contact a trusted professional service provider specializing in repairing Epson printers. They will know how to remove all traces of old prints from the heads, so your new prints come out clear.
After-cleaning Maintenance Practices
Most users forget that even after cleaning the print heads, they still need to perform maintenance procedures regularly. This includes ensuring that all parts remain lubricated properly.
Also, remember not to use too much paper during normal operations. Most Epson printers come equipped with automatic feeders that automatically detect how much paper has been used. They also adjust themselves accordingly. However, if you keep feeding paper into the machine without stopping, then eventually, the system won’t know what size cartridge needs replacing. To prevent this from happening, stop feeding paper now and then.
Finally, always ensure that your cartridges are filled correctly. Some models only allow for two cartridges, while others accept three or four. Always check these details before buying new ones.
Prevention Tips for Keeping Your Printer Working
Prevention is perhaps the best technique of keeping those nozzles unclogged. Here are some ways to prevent them from becoming clogged:
1. Always keep the cartridge door closed while not in use. This prevents dust and other debris from entering the printer during operation.
2. Use proper maintenance techniques such as replacing toners every six months or sooner. Toner cartridges tend to wear out faster than most other parts of the machine.
3. Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight. UV light tends to degrade the plastic components inside the laser printer.
4. Clean the fan blades regularly by wiping them off with a soft cloth.
5. Make sure all cables are correctly connected to the motherboard. They could get damaged due to improper connections.
6. Keep the paper tray full whenever possible. This helps reduce jams and keeps the paper path clear.
7. Don’t forget to change the ribbon roll after one year.
8. When changing the toner cartridge, always remove the old one first.
9. Never try to fix something without knowing how to do it correctly. For example, if you see a small crack in the casing of your printer, don’t attempt to repair it yourself unless you know what you’re doing. Always consult someone who knows better.
Clogs are a significant problem when using inkjet printers because they can cause severe damage to the printheads. If left untreated, clogging may lead to permanent damage to the printer’s internal mechanisms. However, by following the right cleaning methods, you can avoid replacing expensive parts like the printhead itself. Whether you decide to use a cleaning solution or compressed air, make sure you follow instructions carefully, never to risk damaging any part of the printer.