How to Clean the HP Designjet 800 Printheads

Updated February 21, 2017

HP Designjet 800 series 24- and 42-inch wide printers provide business and technology professionals with high-resolution, large-format inkjet printouts including schematics and plans, line drawings and illustrations, presentations and posters. Over time, the Designjet 800 printheads and printhead carrier electrical contacts will become dirty with dust, paper particles and other debris resulting in reduced print quality including blurry or light images and void spots. When this happens, you must remove the printheads and wipe away the debris to improve printer efficiency.

Turn your HP Designjet 800 printer off. Turn it back on again and wait for it to finish initialising.

Press the "Down Arrow" key to highlight the double ink drops on the right side of the display that represent the "Ink" menu. Press the "Enter" key to access the menu.

Go to "Replace Printheads" on the display using the "Down Arrow" key. Press the "Enter" key. Lift up the top cover and then the carrier cover.

Lay a large piece of paper on a nearby counter or tabletop. Remove a printhead from its carrier slot and lay it on its side on the paper. Repeat with the other printheads.

Unplug the power cord from the back of your printer.

Wipe the electrical contacts on the printheads and carrier slots with a slightly damp coffee filter or lint-free cloth to remove the dust and other debris.

Insert the printheads back into the carrier -- making certain that the colour displayed in each slot and the colour on each printhead label matches. Lower the carrier and top covers.

Connect the power cord and check that you have plain paper or HP Bright White Inkjet (Bond) Paper, HP Coated or Heavyweight Coated Paper, HP High-Gloss Photo Paper or HP Satin Poster Paper -- loaded in the printer. Turn on the printer and wait for the printer to prompt you to align the printheads.

Scroll to the "Ink" menu icon using the "Down Arrow" key and press "Enter." Scroll to "Align Printheads" and press "Enter." Scroll to "Standard" if prompted and press "Enter" to start the alignment process.

Wait for the process to end in approximately 4 1/2 minutes and the printer to prompt you to run the colour calibration procedure. If the paper loaded in the printer is different than the type used the last type you calibrated the printer, load the type used before. Select the "Ink" menu again, select "Color Calibration" on the menu and then select "Calibrate Paper." Wait for the procedure to end and then begin printing your projects.


Never wipe the nozzle plates on the printheads when wiping the electrical contacts.

Things You'll Need

  • Coffee filters
  • Lint-free cloths (optional)
  • Paper
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About the Author

Based in Southern Pennsylvania, Irene A. Blake has been writing on a wide range of topics for over a decade. Her work has appeared in projects by The National Network for Artist Placement, the-phone-book Limited and GateHouse Media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University.