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Printhead Cleaning : How to...

When a printhead starts showing missing lines, banded output or just doesn't print at all there are often a number of possible causes often revolving around:

  • ink becoming clogged in one or more of the nozzles (often due to lack of use, poor quality ink or environmental factors such as heat, etc...)
  • air "pollution" reducing or even replacing ink flow (frequently caused by leaky cartridges, insufficient fills, etc..)

Whatever the cause it's pretty unwelcome and I regularly get queries from customers asking how best to unclog their printers.

Until recently we relied heavily on the generosity of Art Entlich and his email guides. These still contain a huge amount of information and experience responsible for resurrecting numerous Epson inkjet printers. However they are pure text and we're long wanted to not only make these materials more accessible but also deal with a number of issues that are not covered.

To that end, we have started developing video guides and other resources of our own.


  • Passive Head Cleaning (Epson)
    Allowing cleaning solutions time to work a clog without force/pressure.
  • Active Head Cleaning (Epson)
    Using tools, solution to inject/force/push into the printhead...
  • Re-Priming Epson PX700W - Artisan 837 (flushing out air) inkjet printers
    Resolves the issue where air has replaced ink in the internal CIS system of these printers.
    IMPORTANT:This approach will invalidate your warranty and should only be attempted by individuals who can accept the responsibility for potentially breaking their printer. This is entirely at your own risk so if you want it fixed for you, talk to an authorised/recognised Epson Service Centre/Technician.


Related products

Art Entlich Printhead Cleaning Guide

We still recommend and embrace Art Entlich's work so you can get a copy of the guide by emailing * with a polite request for a copy of the manual along with your printer model.

The guide deals primarily with Epson printheads but many of the techniques and tips are also useful for other inkjet printheads so it is well worth the visit.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you add the above email address to your spam filters whitelist and/or check your spam folder regularly so you do not miss the email. It is a very long document that is often interpreted as spam. In almost all cases where requesters complain that they didn't get a reply, the requesters spam filters are to blame... NOT Art.

Please remember that the guide is free and comprehensive so remember to be polite/civil if you have problems. Thank-you.



Note: A seperate article dealing with Canon pixma printheads will be provided when time allows



*The email address is obfuscated for non Javascript users (or those with NOScript enabled) to reduce the likelihood of spam harvesting bots so please enable Javascript for this site to see it properly.

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