How to Manually Clean an Epson Inkjet Cartridge

To keep your Epson inkjet printer running properly, perform regular maintenance such as cleaning the cartridges. This can prevent problems such as ink getting clogged in the printer.

Turn on the printer and press the paper release button for three seconds. This should cause the ink cartridge and print head assembly to move to the center for easy access.

Turn the printer off and unplug the power cord. Once the printer is turned off, you should be able to manipulate the print head assembly with ease.

Dampen a cotton swab with ethanol and swipe it inside the nozzle-the aperture through which ink is sprayed onto the paper. Do this up to three times with progressively dyer swabs. If it is difficult to reach the nozzle, dampen a cleaning cloth with ethanol and wipe it underneath the print head assembly.

Remove the ink cartridges and clean their nozzles with cotton swabs dampened with ethanol. Wait five minutes for everything to dry.

Reinsert the ink cartridges into the assembly. Plug in the printer and turn it on.

Print a test page to check the results of your cleaning.


Run your computer's printer diagnostics before and after manual cleaning. This will ensure the best results. Do not touch the printer with dirty hands. Do not touch the print head or nozzles directly with your hands. Have an extra cleaning cloth available to use on your hands. If you still have printing problems after you've cleaned the cartridges, try using a commercial printer cleaning kit, available at printer supply stores.


Do not use too much ethanol. Your cleaning swabs and cloths should be damp but not dripping wet.

Things You'll Need

  • Ethanol
  • Epson inkjet printer
  • Cotton swabs
  • Cleaning cloth
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