Printhead Cleaning Kits

For Epson, Canon, Brother and HP Printers

With a PERFECT PRINT guarantee

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How to Clean Printheads

This article explains how to use the Printhead Hospital cleaning kit but we encourage you to use the printer's own cleaning routine before resorting to manual cleaning.

Software Printhead Cleaning

A nozzle check pattern will indicate which colours are blocked and offer the option of cleaning the printhead. This fires all the printheads continously to clear any air bubbles and dried ink deposits. It is reasonably effective but should not be repeated unless the nozzle check pattern improves: it uses about 10% of each cartridge and can make the blockage worse in some cases.

An alternative (and more effective in our experience) method of cleaning is to force the printer to reprime the cartridges by following these steps:

  1. Remove the cartridge(s) for the blocked colours
  2. Attempt to perform a nozzle check
  3. Replace the cartridge(s)
  4. Perform a nozzle check

Manual Printhead Cleaning

The videos show the procedure for each type of printer: the procedure is briefly as follows:

  1. Remove the cartridges
  2. Place blotting paper under the printhead
  3. Inject 1-5ml cleaning solution
  4. Leave for 5 mins - 18 hours
  5. Inject a further 1ml solution
  6. Replace cartridges and run a nozzle check

No disassembly or technical ability is required. Detailed instructions and a troubleshooting guide are included

Refillable Cleaning Cartridges

Some printers have non-return valves or diverters (e.g. wide-format printers), so manual cleaning isn't possible. In this case we recommend using a refillable cartridge filled with cleaning solution as follows:

  1. Remove the cartridges for the affected channel(s)
  2. Fill the corresponding refillable cartridge with cleaning solution
  3. Install this 'cleaning cartridge'
  4. Run 3 software printhead cleans or until ink is flushed through (use nozzle check pattern to verify this)
  5. Leave for 1 hour
  6. Replace cartridges and run software printhead cleans until print returns


Cleaning Stubborn Printheads

The following steps improve the effectiveness of cleaning but pose a greater risk of damaging the printhead.

Heating the solution to near-boiling point

Pushing 4ml solution through the head at high pressure. It may help to cut the tubing shorter so the syringe can be pushed onto the printhead more firmly.

Sucking the syringe back and forth during the first stage of cleaning (this frees up debris caught in the printhead prefilter)


Wide-format Printers

Wide-format printers use pigment ink and cannot be cleaned with the kit


If Print Deteriorates After Successful Cleaning

This is a common problem with Canon printers and is caused by blockage of the pressure equalising vent in the front compartment of the cartridge. Take a hot needle and pierce the top surface of the cartridge, directly above the ink outlet.

Epson printer head cleaning

Canon printer head cleaning

Brother printer head cleaning

HP printer head cleaning

(Fixed printhead)

HP printer head cleaning

(Removable printhead)

Lexmark printer head cleaning

(Removable printhead)

Epson printer head cleaning