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Homemade solvent to clean a print head

Updated February 21, 2017

Many printers have a built-in function to clean the print head when it is clogged. However, this cleaning process is not always effective, so you may still need to clean the print head manually. You can avoid the expense of hiring a professional printer service by making your own cleaning solution and cleaning the print head yourself.

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  1. Make a mixture of ammonia. Mix one part ammonia with 10 parts of distilled water. For instance, mix 5 ml (1 tsp) of ammonia with 50 ml (10 tsp) of distilled water.

  2. Mix 250 ml (1 cup) of distilled water with a squeeze of washing-up liquid and 60 ml (2 oz) of alcohol. Strain the mixture with a coffee filter then store it in a tightly capped bottle.

  3. Try a solution of denatured ethanol and water. Make a mixture that is half denatured ethanol and half water and mix well.

  4. Use one of the solutions to clean the print head. If the print head is on a removable cartridge, pour a small amount of the solution of your choice into a saucer. Sit the cartridge, print head down, in the solution and leave it for about an hour. Wipe the print head and replace the cartridge. If the print head is attached to the printer, wipe it with a cottonwool ball dipped in the solvent. Repeat this as many times as necessary until the print head is clean.

  5. Tip

    You can clean a print head effectively with an application of isopropyl alcohol, distilled water and even a commercial cleaning product.

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Things You'll Need

  • Ammonia
  • Distilled water
  • Washing-up liquid
  • Denatured ethanol
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Windex

About the Author

Tina Amo has been writing business-related content since 2006. Her articles appear on various well-known websites. Amo holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in information systems.

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