How to clean a print head on an ip3500

Updated February 21, 2017

The PIXMA iP3500 by Canon prints using four inks. These inks can clog the print head, reducing print quality by causing voids and blank streaks on printouts. To correct this problem, you must clean the print head. As cleaning a print head uses ink, Canon has designed the iP3500 to perform two levels of cleaning as needed -- basic cleaning and deep cleaning -- so that you can try to resolve the issue as quickly as possible with the least amount of ink.

Load the rear tray on your Canon PIXMA iP3500 printer with a sheet of unused white letter or A4 paper, then turn it on. Make certain that the front tray and extension are open.

Push and hold the "Resume/Cancel" button until the "Power" light flashes once to start the print head cleaning. If the button doesn't work, or you want to start the process from your computer, click "Start," "Devices and Printers," right-click the Canon iP3500 option in the window that opens, then click "Printer Properties." In the properties window, select "Maintenance," "Cleaning," an ink group to clean -- All Colors, Black or Color -- then click the "Execute" button.

Wait approximately 50 seconds for your iP3500 to clean the print head and the "Power" light to stop flashing green.

Move the paper thickness lever to the left, then press the "Resume/Cancel" key until the "Power" light flashes twice to print out a nozzle check pattern page.

Repeat the basic cleaning process again if the page has voids or streaks. If the issue persists after the second basic cleaning, deep clean the print head.

Turn on your Canon iP3500 printer, open the front tray and extension, if not already open, and load the printer with a sheet of unused, white letter or A4 paper.

Click "Start" and "Devices and Printers" on your computer. Right-click the Canon iP3500 option, then click "Printer Properties."

Select "Maintenance," "Deep Cleaning" and ink cartridge(s) to clean -- All Colors, Black or Color. Click "Execute," "OK," then wait approximately 100 seconds for your iP3500 to deep clean the print head.

Shift the paper thickness lever left, then press the "Resume/Cancel" key until the "Power" light flashes twice to print a nozzle check pattern page.

Turn off your Canon iP3500 and wait at least 24 hours if the pattern page still has voids or streaks. After this time, turn the printer back on and repeat the deep cleaning process


If only one colour isn't printing after you perform either a basic or deep print head cleaning, replace the ink tank before repeating the cleaning cycle. If print quality issues persist after performing the deep cleaning twice, contact Canon to help troubleshoot the issue.

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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.