Okay, so this post might seem a little out-of-the-blue, particularly coming right after a post about bed frames. But knowing how to clean printer heads is one of those things a person should know how to do. Have you ever printed a photo and it had lots of lines going across the image? That’s a clogged print head. It can be fixed, but there are a few caveats:

  • Not every print head can be cleaned. Sometimes you’re just out of luck.
  • No printer manufacturer will recommend that you clean your own print head, so do it at your own risk.
  • Seriously, clean it your own risk.
  • You could end up ruining your printer.

If you ruin your printer, it’s your own dang fault. Don’t hold me responsible for following my half-baked advice.

This little tutorial is specific to the Canon Pixma Pro-100. I have no idea if these steps will work with your particular printer. Proceed at your own risk.

Before the big move, I tossed the old ink cartridges and went ahead and cleaned the print head. No sense in letting the old ink dry up inside there, amiright?

First things first. Remove the cartridges and take out the print head. For the Pixma Pro-100, you have to lift a little gray lever and then the head comes right out.

Put a few drops of dish soap in the bottom of a dish large enough to hold the print head. Add a little warm water (distilled is best) and place the print head into the dish. DO NOT GET THE ELECTRONICS WET.

A lot of old ink will start to come out of the print head. To speed the process along, get an eye dropper and start dropping water into each space that holds a cartridge. Flood the spaces and let the print head sit for about 10 minutes to let the water loosen up any dried up old ink.

Change out the water as it gets dirty. Don’t use any more dish soap. Use regular old water to flush the remaining ink and soap out of the print head.

This will take awhile. It usually takes 8-12 flushes with the eye dropper to really get everything out. Keep going until, if you set the print head on clean paper towels, it doesn’t leave behind any ink.

When the head is completely clean, set it on a rack or balance it on something (anything, as long as air can circulate around it) and let it dry for at least 48 hours. Once the head is completely dry, place it back in the printer and replace the cartridges. Done.

As I said, I don’t know if this will work for everyone. But it certainly helped me out when my print head clogged and Canon said I’d just have to buy a new print head.


See you later!