Cartridge Cleaning

by Karen Bates
(last updated June 15, 2015)

Have you ever been printing a document and realized that the pages were coming out with streaks on them? You might start to wonder if there is something wrong with your printer, or if the ink needs to be replaced. But if this is happening to you, odds are good that the ink cartridge is dirty. By cleaning the ink cartridge correctly, you can fix your printing problem without too much time or effort.

Over time, you may find that the quality of the pages your inkjet printer is printing out has decreased. There can be different reasons for this, but one likely possibility is the ink cartridge itself not being clean. A dirty ink cartridge still contains ink, but has a layer of dried-on ink obscuring the print head and causing smudges, streaks, and other printing issues. Before assuming that you are out of ink or that your printer isn't working right, take the necessary steps to clean the printer cartridge to see if this fixes the problem.

Fortunately for you, cleaning a printer cartridge is a job that your printer should be able to do itself. If you suspect that the cartridge is working poorly due to dried-on bits of old ink stuck on it, try the following steps to remove the clog:

  1. Be sure that your printer is properly attached to your computer and that any needed software is already installed.
  2. Turn your computer on and open up the printer menu. You can likely access this from the Windows Start menu. The location may vary depending on the way your machine is configured.
  3. Once you are in the printer menu, find and select the printer that you wish to clean the ink cartridge.
  4. Look through the printer's properties. You should find options for the printer you have selected, including cleaning and maintenance options. Click here once you locate it.
  5. Choose the option for the printer to self-clean the dirty cartridge. After cleaning, do a test print to make sure the printer is working normally again.

If for some reason you are unable to get the printer to self-clean the cartridge, you may be able to manually clean it instead. Remove the cartridge, and then use a cotton swab and a tiny amount of water to clean away clogs from the cartridge contact. Make sure it is dry before replacing the cartridge in the printer.

Author Bio

Karen Bates

An English student who enjoys writing and art, Karen has had her poetry published in her university's literary journal and has several novels in the works. ...

MORE FROM KAREN

Wine Gifts

Wine can be a great gift to give to someone on a special occasion. You might also give accessories and other items ...

Discover More

Buy Meat Online

Are you looking for more variety than the meat offered at the butcher shop or grocery store? Try the convenience of ...

Discover More

HEPA Filters

Having and air purifier or other air cleaning device in your home can help reduce particles in the air. A HEPA filter is ...

Discover More

Remove Stubborn Stains Quickly Get everything looking clean again: Walls, floors, baseboards, counters, blinds, appliances, and more. Micro-scrubbers easily reach into surface grooves, lifting dirt away. This low-cost 8-pack is great for stubborn stains and touble areas. Check out Mr. Clean Magic Eraser 8-Pack today!

More Cleaning Tips

Keyboard Cleaners

Your keyboard is a vital part of your computer. By keeping it clean, you can ensure that it will continue to work well.

Discover More

Computer Cleaning Software

If your computer is running slow, there may be a problem. Computer cleaning software can help you tidy up your computer ...

Discover More

Cleaning a Computer

Chances are you have spent a lot of money on your computer. Keep the hardware and software nice and in good condition by ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight minus 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.