Digital Photography Review

How to Clean Epson Printer Printhead – PRINTERS JACK


A Japanese electronic brand, Epson is the largest computer printers and other images related equipment manufacturer in the world. It has a wide range of home and office computer printers. Businesses prefer Epson printers as it simplifies the printing process and offers a range of connectivity features, thus making Epson printers compatible with various devices.

When your Epson printer prints incomplete, streaked or faded lines, it is likely that there is a clogged nozzle. Although Epson printers have permanent built-in print heads, having clogged nozzle is a very common problem. The permanent built-in print heads allow you to opt for highest quality print heads. If you have replaced your Printhead after your warranty expiration, you must know that a new Printhead is more expensive than buying a new printer.

Either using the Compatible Epson cartridge or original Epson cartridge it always leads to one or more clogged and blocked nozzles that require cleaning. Sometimes, even the cleaning cycles of Epson printers are not able to solve the issue. Printhead clogging issue is inevitable because ink residues dry up over time and are collected in the nozzle. Promptly replacing the ink cartridges when you see the low ink notification is a very sensible thing to do. As it helps the nozzle from not drying but however clogging can still occur due to several other reasons.

The Common Reasons for Clogging

There is a very old saying, “prevention is better than the cure”. That is why knowing the causes of printer’s print head clogging in Epson can help us prevent the clogging issue from happening. The common reason for clogging are detailed below:

  • Printer print heads can clog due to air or ink, both.
  • Print heads commonly clog when the Printhead alerts you about the low ink but you don’t replace it at the right time.
  • When you replace the old cartridge with the new one, your printer starts adapting the new ink cartridge and this process is called priming. During the priming process, Epson printers push out the ink through nozzles which is good to unclog. But, however, at times the printer push out too much ink which ends up smearing the ink all over the Printhead which blocks more nozzles than before.
  • The dried ink from the priming process, not just clogs the nozzles but also harms the printing quality. In short, it goes from few ink blocked nozzles to even more blocked nozzles due to smeared ink.
  • Another very common and overlooked reason for clogging is not turning off the printer when you are not using it. As the ink dries in the cartridge when the printer is not used regularly. When you turn on the printer, it runs a small cleaning cycle to get the ink flowing, thus, it’s good to turn it on again when you need to use it rather than leaving it on all the time.
  • Clogging occurs in almost every printer but it occurs more often in Epson printers, although Epson is known for its quality. The reason being, the correspondence between the shrinking product size and technology advancement. You must have seen around you that all the technologically advanced electronic products are shrinking in the size, be it a desktop computer or a hair straightener. In case of printers, the reduced nozzle size of printer tends to increase its printing quality. Thus, Epson printer’s print excellent quality but ou will have to bear the clogging issue.

The easiest and well-known method to solve this issue is to take out all the Printhead cartridges one by one and clean it with a “Printers Jack Printhead cleaner” damped cloth or paper towel. If that does not solve the issue, then you can use the priming clip to suck out the ink from nozzles. As Epson print heads cannot be removed and it makes manual cleaning difficult, you can refer to the alternative methods mentioned below.

Printhead Cleaning Methods

The Epson Printhead are cleaned through its Printhead cleaning cycle as well as manually. However, it is recommended to run the Printhead cleaning cycle before manually cleaning the print head.

Printhead Cleaning Cycle

Epson is well aware of its clogging issue and considering that it has included very efficient print head cleaning cycles in its all printer model features. These cleaning cycles normally clean the nozzles within one or two times. However, the latest models consume more ink than the old ones as its cleaning cycles are longer. The steps are explained below:

  1. Before beginning, ensure that there is no notification or alert from the printer on your screen.
  2. Go to the home button, click setup and then click on the maintenance.
  3. Then, select the “Printhead Nozzle check” from the list.
  4. Once you press the button, you will get a page from your printer with 4 colored grids to determine or specify which nozzle is clogged and which is not.


  5. If there are no gaps, then click done.
  6. In case, there are gaps or you see the faded lines then select the “clean the Printhead” button and press continue. It is advised to not turn your printer off when a cleaning cycle is running as it permanently damage your printer.

Points To Keep In Mind

There are several points to keep in mind, in order to avoid the Epson print heads clogging.

  1. Do not run more than 3 cycles on Epson print head cleaning cycle, as mentioned earlier, the cleaning cycles of this particular brand have increased over time. Epson increases the ink consumption consistently with its every updated model to wipe clean all the clogs. However, due to the same reason, the ink from the clogs start smearing on the Printhead after two or three cleaning cycles. That is why it is recommended, not to run Epson cleaning cycles more than 3 times at a time.
  2. Instead of running the Printhead cleaning cycle third time, it’s better to print out 10 or more pages to clean the nozzles, if it’s still not unclogged then it’s a cue for you to stop cleaning through cycles and move on to manual cleaning.
  3. Epson printers run mini-cleaning cycle whenever it’s turned on, thus it is advised to turn it off at night. This does not only saves energy but also helps ink flowing across print head after it is not been used for a while. If your printer is always on, you will witness the print head clogging more often.
  4. For Epson printer users, it is recommended to print several color pages once a week, at least. It prevents ink from drying in the nozzle. In general the product life of the printers which are used daily last longer than seldom used ones. If you only use your printer twice or less in a month or your cartridges last more than 6 months, then you should opt for another brand. Certainly, Epson is not for you! Go for a laser printer.
  5. Only use the high-quality cartridges as Epson printers are made with precision and known to produce high-quality prints and it will depreciate its quality.
  6. If the printing quality is still the same after running the print head cleaning cycle two to three times, let your printer rest for some time, Epson recommends at least six hours rest. After that, run the cleaning cycle again but do not exhaust your printer as it will worsen your clogs than improving it.
  7. Another important thing to keep in mind is warranty expiration date, if you are still under warranty, contact Epson help center, and otherwise go for the manual cleaning.

List of Material Needed for Manual Cleaning

  • Printers Jack-Printhead cleaner
  • Distilled water
  • Hand gloves
  • Dropper or syringe
  • Paper towels or lint free wipes

Manually Cleaning the Epson Printhead

There are several ways of cleaning the Epson printers manually, some are challenging to follow and others are complex. Mentioned below are some common solutions that are effective on most of the Epson inkjet printers, few of them are mentioned below:

Cleaning the Sponges

  1. First of all, turn off the printer and open the printer’s top to see the print head assembly.
  2. On the left side of the Printhead assembly, you will see a small plastic rode popping up, in case the printer isn’t working. To release the print head, press it down in the forward motion and then push it towards the right. It will hardly move an inch but you need to push it until it stops and you will hear the click sound. This will completely release the printhead assembly to put it on a side.
  3. Then, if you do not see the lever next to printhead assembly, print a page keeping the top open and printhead assembly unlocked in the center.
  4. Sponges that stores cartridges ink in the carriage are also placed near assembly. You can use the plastic syringe as shown below or a dropper filled with distilled water or Printers jack Print head cleaner to saturate the sponges. blog2-3 PJ Printhead Cleaner Kit for Epson
  5. Put assembly back at its place by moving it towards far right.
  6. Allow the liquid to set for 15 minutes at least.

Tip: for better results, let it soak overnight.

To ensure its all clean and nice, print six or seven pages with graphics and text. If you still don’t get the desired results, then proceed to the next step.

Cleaning the Ink Port

  1. Open your printer top and withdraw cartridges from the Printhead carriage.
  2. When you remove the cartridges, there will be cone shaped and small indents, used for transferring ink from cartridge to Printhead which is called ink ports. There will be one ink port for each color or black cartridge.
  3. Similar to sponge cleaning, you can use the plastic syringe or eye dropper filled with filled with Printers jack Print head cleaner to clean. However, for ink port cleaning you can put a few drops of the print head cleaner in the plugged ink port. If you are unsure of the color in the ports then do not put print head cleaner in all ports.
  4. To check, which color is where look at the ink port’s bottom. Typically, black is on the far left, and going right its cyan, magenta and finally yellow on the far right.
  5. Before replacing the ink cartridges, make sure that Print head cleaner is not dripping off the print head (otherwise wipe it with a towel or wipe) and then wait for the printer to accept the new cartridge before proceeding.
  6. To test the clarity, print some pages with text as well as images. Still not satisfied with the result? Move to the next method.

Cleaning the Printhead

  1. Turn off the printer.
  2. Cut a paper towel in half and lengthwise, fold it in a manner that it’s about one-half inch wide.
  3. Open your printer’s top, you will see a rubber roller there, it transfers paper across the feed system (the place, where Printhead runs over during printing). Tape the paper towel on the rubber roller and spray few drops of the Printers jack print head cleaner in the middle of the towel.
  4. Next, move the assembly of Printhead over the paper towel and leave it for almost fifteen minutes. Also, let the dried ink on the Printhead to dissolve. When you remove the paper towel, you will see the black ink on it. It’s not just the smeared black ink but a mixture of all the colors.


  5. Repeat the same cleaning process of placing the damped towel on rubber roller until you start seeing each color separately. You might have to do it several times to achieve your desired result.
  6. After cleaning, put the Printhead assembly back to its place and turn on the printer.
  7. Again, print several pages to check all the ports are ink free.

Video : Printhead Cleaner Usage Instruction for Epson

Faster printers like Epson inkjet printers tend to damage Printhead more often, thus its crucial to maintain it and keep print head cleaners like Printers Jack print head cleaner on hand. You can buy this cleaning solution from In order to benefit from Epson printer’s good quality, you must know how to prevent Printhead nozzle clogging.

How to Clean Epson Printer Printhead - PRINTERS JACK PJ Printhead Cleaner Kit for Epson

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