What Is in Printer Head Cleaning Solution?

Updated March 23, 2017

To keep your printer operating at peak efficiency and ensure that the print quality on your pages remains high, the printer head should be cleaned regularly using an appropriate cleaning solution. You can make your own printer head cleaning solution from ingredients commonly found around the home.


The primary ingredient in any commercial or homemade printer head cleaning solution is water. Water has been called the "universal solvent," and sometimes dried ink and paper dust caked on a printer head can be removed just by using water.


Mild detergent is sometimes added to printer head cleaning solutions. Detergent helps dissolve any oil-based printer ink that has collected on the printer head. A very small amount of detergent is mixed with water. Avoid using excessive detergent, as this can leave an unwanted coating on the printer head assembly.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol is found in almost every printer head cleaning solution. It is useful for dissolving dried ink and it evaporates very quickly. Pure isopropyl alcohol will not leave a coating on the printer head assembly.

Homemade Cleaning Solution

You can make your own homemade solution to clean your printer head. Combine 473ml of warm water, eight drops of dishwashing liquid and one ounce of isopropyl alcohol. This formula is nearly identical to commercial cleaning solutions sold by printing supply companies.

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