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Cleaning the Epson print head: This is how it works

Even Epson inkjet printers are not immune to the fact that they print streaks or even get almost no ink on the paper or no ink at all, the pages remain white . Unless the Epson print head is defective, it is contamination on the print head nozzles that is causing the phenomenon. Above all, dried ink or ink residues from the cartridges, mixed with dried dust, cause these printer problems, which can often be eliminated by cleaning the print head.


Even Epson inkjet printers are not immune to the fact that they print streaks or even get almost no ink on the paper or no ink at all, the pages remain white . Unless the Epson print head is defective, it is contamination on the print head nozzles that is causing the phenomenon. If you want to sell your ink cartridge then visit us.

Cleaning the Epson print head is the measure that can help you to print properly with your Epson printer again. We describe the most promising methods for cleaning the printhead of Epson inkjet printers .

Cleaning the Epson Print Head: Which Colors and Nozzles Are Affected?

To find out which colors and nozzles are affected when cleaning your Espon inkjet printer’s printhead, do a nozzle test . With Epson printers, this item is usually found under Utility in the driver menu of the printer driver. To do this, open the printer properties via the Control Panel in the Hardware and Printers area and start the nozzle test. With some Epson printers, such as the Epson WorkForce series, you can also print the nozzle test via the menu on the devicestart. The printout shows a “staircase pattern” of all inks. At these points, the print head cleaning is necessary.

The print result of the nozzle test shows you which colors are having problems, and you can specifically tackle the following steps:

Clean Epson print head: automatic cleaning of the print head

If the printer software detects a problem during the nozzle check – which you can assume with streaky printouts – the software usually recommends automatic cleaning .

It may be sufficient to use Epson’s automatic printhead cleaning. Some even recommend repeating this cleaning process several times. From our point of view, this is only worthwhile if there is a chance of success in getting rid of the impurities. For example, if your Epson printer has not been used for a long period of time and the print quality is poor, this ink-wasting automatic cleaning is usually not enough. If that’s the case, you’d better go to the next step:

Instructions: Manually clean the Epson print head in the printer

With Epson inkjet printers, manual cleaning of the print head installed in the device using a nozzle cleaner with a syringe and silicone hose has proven its worth. There are (online) shops for nozzle cleaner sets especially for Epson printers, which contain the syringe, the hose and the cleaning fluid.

Use the three utensils to clean the Epson print head as follows:

  1. Allow the print head to move to the cartridge removal position. You do this with the cover open *. As the printhead moves to this position, unplug the power cord. This allows you to move the print head back and forth in the carriage by hand.
  2. You remove the cartridges from the device. Below these are the spikes on which the cartridges are placed.
  3. You take a towel from kitchen roll , fold it to the right size and place it under the printhead by moving the carriage to one side, placing the towel underneath and sliding the carriage over it. The cloth will catch the cleaner and ink residue during the printhead cleaning process.
  4. Take some nozzle cleaner (approx. 30 ml) with the syringe and leave some air in the piston.
  5. You put one end of the silicone tube on the syringe , the other on the mandrel for the cartridge, which you assume is contaminated on the Epson print head. The hose must sit snugly on the mandrel.
  6. Now you have to be careful: Squeeze some(!) of the nozzle cleaner into the print head with the syringe and draw back some(!) of the liquid. As if you were pumping the liquid – something in – something out. If you encounter greater resistance, do not force liquid into it! This could cause damage! Better to leave the solution on for a while (10 minutes to 1 hour) and then try again. And again: Always proceed carefully and with feeling during the entire process!
  7. Now you have to remove the cloth from the kitchen roll . First, use the carriage to move the print head over the kitchen roll a few times before removing it. This is also how you clean the lower area of ​​the printhead .
  8. Now you can reconnect the device, insert the cartridges and print a nozzle check or test page . If the colors are still pale , it’s from the cleaning liquid. After a few print pages, this is printed out and pure ink comes out again , resulting in strong colors on the paper again.

If the manual Epson print head cleaning did not help

Cleaning attempts such as automatic print head cleaning and with a nozzle cleaner (without removing the Epson print head) were unsuccessful? Are there no warranties or guarantees? (Which, by the way, you should definitely take note of if it still fits from the date of purchase before you lend a hand!) Then the only thing left for you to do is remove and clean the Epson print head as a last resort .

However, it must be said that unfortunately the print head in some models of Epson inkjet printers is complicated and is usually difficult to remove

Remove Epson print head

Depending on the Epson inkjet printer model, we have to warn you beforehand : the removal can be complicated. And to make matters worse, the installation is often associated with complications . Unfortunately, on top of that, it often happens that the Epson printer can no longer be made to run after a nerve-wracking installation .

Removing the Epson print head with video

In particular, there are some English-language videos there, which you can also find with the German search terms “Print head – (your printer model)”. As an English search term you can test “remove epson print head” plus your printer model. Or also “replace epson print head” (replace = replace).

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This video is an example of how to remove the printhead on the Epson WorkForce WF-3640 and WF-3620. (The video is in English.)

Remove Epson print head: service manual?

During your research, you may have noticed that you should look for a so-called service manual for Epson inkjet printers or for your Epson printer model. These instructions go in-depth through real-world use, including how to remove various components such as the Epson print head. Before you dare to take this step, it usually makes more sense to contact oneContact printer repair shop.

Note each step carefully when removing the print head

As you begin to remove the Epson printhead from the printer, make note of each step . Prepare your workplace for this and make sure that nobody can mess things up. Take a picture of each step in the build and place each screw and part in a safe place in the correct order .

Clean the Epson print head: Ultrasonic bath

An ultrasonic bath for home use is relatively cheap and you can also use it to clean glasses, jewelery or cutlery in no time at all. Come as a cleaning liquid

  • Distilled water (please no tap water, the suspended particles and minerals in it could in turn burden the print head),
  • a universal solution for ultrasonic baths or also
  • special ultrasonic bath solutions for circuit boards and conductor tracks

in question. Then start the ultrasonic bath as described in the instructions that come with it. The whole process doesn’t take very long. Then you let the print head dry and reinstall it in your Epson printer.

Clean the Epson print head with distilled water, nozzle cleaner or rubbing alcohol

To do this, fill a flat container with a little nozzle cleaner or one of the alternatives – and please only use this and no other cleaners – and place the nozzle plate of the print head in the liquid. Leave the head on for 10 minutes, then swivel the component a little and put the print head back again.

If removing and cleaning the Epson printhead did not help

In such a case, you must assume a defect. In terms of sustainability, it would be nice if you bought and installed a suitable print head or had the Epson printer repaired in a repair shop .

Unfortunately, most households have to think economically. Epson printhead prices are often relatively expensive, especially when compared to a new printer. Here you have to weigh up what makes more sense for you.

Avoid clogged print head

 You should also make a printout with all the printing colors at least once a week. The nozzle test is also suitable for this. This keeps the nozzles of the Epson print head clear and you ensure consistently good print quality .


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