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Do you know how to remove your Printhead from the Printer?
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Manually clean Epson print-heads: Whilst there are a number of slightly different approaches to cleaning your print-heads, we do suggest that you try the following methods in the order listed. You can purchase dedicated Cartridge Flush and other cleaning solutions, however it is possible to mix your own cleaner using distilled water (if you have it) and a window cleaning solution (50/50 mix).
Method (1) Saturate Head assembly sponge. With the Epson print-head in its resting or 'off' position, the heads sit on a single (or sometimes double sponge). By saturating those sponges with the cleaning fluid, any excess or dried ink on the print-head will soften and mix with the water before being sucked into the sponge, away from the head and in to the waste tank/internal waste pads.To move the print-head assembly to the centre position or cartridge change position you can follow the Epson software called “replace ink cartridge”. With the head assembly “parked” in the middle of the printer use a syringe or eye dropper to soak the sponges on the right hand station. Once filled, allow the head assembly to return to its “park” position and wait for at least 30 mins before running a head cleaning cycle. You may wish to repeat this procedure two or three times. It can also help if the printer is returned to its parked position (after soaking the sponges) over night.Method (2) Add cleaning fluid or head cleaner directly to the ink ports. Using the Epson software, remove all of the ink cartridges from your printer. Viewing the print–head assembly from above you can now see the small cone shaped ink spikes or ink ports that pierce the ink tanks. Those spikes take the ink from the cartridge directly to the print-head itself. Using a syringe (with a blunt needle), put a few drops of the cleaning solution in the cone that is blocked. The spike colour is determined by the colour of cartridge that sits upon it. Try to print several pages of dense print or graphics on the “best photo setting”.Method (3) Clean print-head with tissue. Turn the printer “off”, fold a paper towel or toilet tissue to create a strip approximately 25mm wide, length is not an issue but it should be kept less than 400mm in length in order to fit in the printer (long and skinny). Open the cover of your Epson printer to view the ink carriage. You will note that it is parked to the right hand side; most Epson printers use a mechanical lock to hold the carriage in this position.Turn the printer on and when the lock is released, the carriage will move to the left, when it is clear of the “park” station, unplug the power lead. The carriage will stop but it will now move freely by hand (the lock has been disabled).Move the print-head assembly slowly from right to left and over the paper towel/tissue. Slowly feeding the tissue under the print-head assembly “DO NOT FORCE THE TISSUE UNDER” if the tissue is too thick then reduce the thickness until it slides under the head assembly. The tissue should sit in the bottom track of the printer in-between the feed rollers. Once through, the tissue should protrude on either side of the carriage.With the heads resting on the tissue, apply drops of cleaning solution to the tissue on the left and right of the carriage, the tissue will immediately soak up the fluid and expand the tissue so that it touches the face of the print head. Let the print-head sit on the damp tissue for at least 15 minutes. This will soften any dried ink and it will begin to draw liquid ink through the head and on to the tissue.After about 15 minutes, slide the head assembly back to its park position while holding the damp tissue. The tissue will become “black” because it has drawn ink from all cartridges on to the tissue; it has also removed air bubbles and any dried ink that may be present. Repeat the above procedure until you can see evidence of the three primary colours and black (CMYK). You may have to use several strips of tissue.Please ensure that “all” tissue has been removed and the carriage can move freely before plugging the power lead in and turning the printer back 'on'.Having removed excess dried ink from the print-head the blocked and clogged nozzles should be clear and a “standard” head cleaning cycle can now be used. However, it may take two or three cleans before the ink flows correctly (given the tissues has drawn ink out of the nozzles). You may also have to replace the ink tanks to ensure that ink is now flowing correctly.Method (4) The above method (3) is completed while the ink cartridges remain in place, the advantage here being that the ink is drawn to the tissue through the nozzles. However if the dried ink is particularly thick it may be necessary to soak the head assembly overnight. Follow the Epson instructions for “removing” all ink cartridges. Power the machine off and then turn the printer on again, when the lock is released, unplug the power lead. The carriage will stop but it will now move freely by hand (the lock has been disabled).Add tissue/paper as described in Method (3), add cleaning solution and leave the print head to soak for at least 12 hours. Ensure the tissue remains damp and moist while the head is allowed to soak. Remove the tissue (after 12 hours). “IMPORTANT” power the machine on before the cartridges are inserted. The ink light indicator will flash indicating missing cartridges. Re-insert the cartridges as instructed, this will then “prime” all ink tanks. Perform basic head clean cycles and test. Please note it may take two or three cycles to before the ink flows correctly, the tissues will have sucked “all” ink from the print-head and feed pipes.
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