How to Clean the Print Head in a HP 1200

Updated March 23, 2017

On occasion, it may be necessary to clean the print head of your HP 1200 printer. This is because over time, the print head become clogged up and print quality can degrade significantly as a result. Fortunately, cleaning the print head is possible directly from the printer's own control panel, making for a reasonably straightforward experience.

Press and hold down the "Power" button on the control panel.

Press the "Cancel" button twice to perform a basic cleaning. If this does not help the problem, repeat Step 1 and press the "Cancel" button twice. Then press the "Resume" button. If you still do not see improvement, you can try a "level 3" cleaning, which will perform the heaviest cleaning possible. Repeat Step 1, press the "Cancel" button twice and then press the "Resume" button twice.

Take your finger off the power button. The cleaning process will now start. Wait for it to finish.

Print a test sheet once the cleaning process has completed Ito make sure that the printer head is now properly cleaned and working.


You can start with the first level of cleaning and then work your way up through the various levels. This ensures that your print head will last longer, since the more intensive cleaning will wear it down more quickly. You can also check the printer to make sure that the problem is with the print head.


Never attempt to clean the print head by reaching inside with an alcohol swab. This may damage the inside of your printer. You can, however, clean the outside of the printer with a light alcohol swab.

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About the Author

Eric Hammer has been writing professionally since 2005. His work has appeared in "The Jerusalem Post" and "The New Standard" newspapers. In addition, he writes for various websites. Hammer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal arts from Excelsior College.