How to Manually Clean the Heads of a Stylus Printer

Updated February 21, 2017

An Epson Stylus printer utilises an ink cartridge for ink. The ink cartridge evenly releases ink through inkjet print heads onto paper being fed through the printer. Over time, especially if the printer hasn't been recently used, the inkjet print heads can become clogged. The clog can obstruct one or several inkjets, resulting in uneven printing. Although most printers have a cleaning cycle that can help dislodge the clog, the cleaning cycles use large amounts of ink and are not always easy to use. Manually cleaning the inkjet print heads is much simpler.

Open the cover of the Epson Stylus Printer. Once the cover is lifted, the ink cartridges will move to the side. Do not touch them until they have stopped.

Lift up on the ink cartridge tab to remove the ink cartridge.

Fill a bowl with enough isopropyl alcohol to cover the inkjet print head. If isopropyl alcohol is not available, hot water can be used, however, it isn't as effective as isopropyl alcohol.

Place only the print heads, located on the bottom of the ink cartridge, in the liquid. Do not submerge the cartridge, as this can cause irreparable damage. Allow the print head to soak in the liquid for eight hours.

Remove the ink cartridge. Place on a cloth, with the print heads facing downward. Do not place sideways or upside down as this will cause moisture to travel into the entire ink cartridge. Allow the print heads to completely air dry.

Place the ink cartridge back into the printer. The ink cartridge will just snap into the cartridge housing unit.

Test the printer by attempting to print something. If the cartridge is still clogged repeat the process.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl
  • Isopropyl alcohol
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About the Author

Kallie Johnson began her writing career in 2009, contributing to various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She enjoys writing home and garden topics and considers herself an expert on do-it-yourself home improvement topics.