How to Clean the Printhead on a Canon MX850

Written by irene a. blake
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The Canon PIXMA MX850 all-in-one office machine prints with five ink cartridges -- pigment black, black, yellow, magenta and cyan. With use, ink from these cartridges can clog the printhead. Blank spots or lines on printouts usually indicate clogs. To remove these clogs, Canon has designed the machine to clean the printhead for you when needed. You simply need to prepare the machine for the cleaning process and then turn on the cycle through menus on the machine's console.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Turn on your Canon MX850. Load the cassette or rear tray with plain letter or A4 paper.

  2. 2

    Push the "Open" button to open the paper output tray. Open the tray extension.

  3. 3

    Press the "Feed" key on the console to select the cassette or rear tray -- whichever paper source you chose -- and then press the "Menu" key to show the main menu options on the LCD.

  4. 4

    Highlight "Maintenance/Settings" on the menu using the right or left arrow key. Press "OK" to select the option. Highlight and select "Maintenance" from the Maintenance/Settings menu.

  5. 5

    Move the up or down arrow key to highlight "Cleaning" on the Maintenance menu and press "OK" to select the option. When prompted, highlight and select "Yes" and then wait for about a minute for the machine to clean the printhead.

  6. 6

    Print the check pattern report by highlighting and selecting "Yes" and then check the nozzle pattern for blank spots and lines. If the printout looks good, discard the page and begin printing as usual. If the printout looks poor, repeat the cleaning and pattern check process.

  7. 7

    Perform a deep printhead cleaning if the printout looks poor after the second regular cleaning by repeating Step 3, selecting "Deep Cleaning" on the Maintenance menu and then selecting "Yes" to begin the cycle. Follow the prompts after the cleaning cycle ends to print the nozzle pattern. If voids exist on the printout, turn off the printer, wait a day and then repeat the deep cleaning.

Tips and warnings

  • If the MX850 continues to have print quality issues, change the ink tanks and try printing.
  • If the printouts continue to have voids, contact Canon at (800) 652-2666 for additional assistance.
  • Cleaning the MX850 printhead will use ink.

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