How to clean an ip4000 print head

Updated February 21, 2017

The Canon PIXMA iP4000 photo printer creates printouts with ink from five tanks -- Canon BCI-6Bk Black, BCI-3eBk Black, BCI-6Y Yellow, BCI-6M Magenta and BCI-6C Cyan. The tank print heads can clog with regular use, resulting in poor quality images and text. This issue typically appears as spotting or streaks on printouts, as well as on the nozzle check pattern test page. To restore the print heads, you must instruct the iP4000 to perform one or more standard or deep print head cleaning cycles.

Turn on your Canon PIXMA iP4000 printer. Load the cassette or sheet feeder with a sheet of letter or A4 paper.

Go to "Start" on your computer and select "Devices and Printers."

Right click the Canon iP4000 printer icon and select "Printer Properties." Select "Maintenance" and "Cleaning" to open the Print Head Cleaning window.

Select an ink tank print head to clean. Choose from "All Colors," "Black" or "Color." Select "All Colors" to clean all the print heads, "Black" to clean the BCI-3eBk ink tank print head only, or "Color" to clean the BCI-6Bk ink tank print head and colour ink print heads.

Click "Execute" to start the cleaning process. Wait approximately 40 seconds, then click "OK" when prompted. Click "Print Check Pattern" to print out the nozzle check pattern page. Review the page for streaks or spotting.

Repeat the entire process up to two additional times as needed. If you continue to see print issues after two more standard cleanings, instruct the iP4000 to perform a deep print head cleaning cycle.

Load the cassette or sheet feeder on your iP4000 with a sheet of letter or A4 paper.

Click "Start," select "Devices and Printers," right click your printer and select "Printer Properties" from the pop-up menu, then click "Maintenance" and "Deep Cleaning."

Wait for the Deep Cleaning window to open, then choose an ink tank print head to clean. Click "Execute," then choose "OK" to begin the process. Wait about 60 seconds.

Print a nozzle check pattern page. Press and hold the "Resume/Cancel" button until the "Power" light flashes twice to print it from the printer. Open the Printer Properties window again, select "Maintenance," "Nozzle Check" and then "Print Check Pattern" to print it from the computer.

Review the page for print quality issues. If necessary, turn off your printer, wait 24 hours and then instruct the printer to perform the cleaning again.


You can also perform the standard print head cleaning by pushing the "Resume/Cancel" button on the printer until the "Power" light flashes once. Replace the ink tank and try the standard print head cleaning again if only one colour isn't printing after you try the standard cleaning three times. If deep cleaning the print heads doesn't fix the issue, contact Canon at (800) 652-2666.


Both cleaning cycles use ink. Always check the amount of ink in the tanks to confirm that the issue isn't the result of low ink before running the cleaning cycles.

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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.