Inkjet printer users all have the same problem with their machines. After a year of constant use, the print quality just deteriorates. This problem is worsened when the printer is not frequently utilized causing the ink to dry up and cake over the nozzles. Cleaning an inkjet printer is rather easy if you have the patience and time to spare over one weekend. These instructions intend to teach cleaning of inkjet printers that use ink cartridges with built-in printer heads.
- Pull out the ink cartridges from their respective slots. Check your printer user's manual for correct removal of the ink cartridges. Most printers will need to be plugged in first before you can remove the said cartridge. If this is the case, then open the lid covering the printer first, connect it to a power source and then switch it on. Notice how the compartment holding the cartridges moves when you do so. Turn the printer off once the cartridges have been adjusted to removal position. Unplug the printer from the power source to avoid accidents. Now, pull out the ink cartridges. Depending on your inkjet printer, there may be more than one cartridge. You may want to use disposable gloves before you do this to avoid messing your hands with the stubborn ink.
- Clean the printer head with appropriate cleaning agents and materials. Isopropyl alcohol is your best bet for this project as it evaporates into the air after some time without leaving any residue that may damage the inkjet components. First, clean the printer heads using paper towels that have been adequately moistened with alcohol. You may want to use thick paper towels so as to minimize the problems of paper residue. Better yet, grab some microfibre towels for the purpose although they may cost a lot considering that you'd have to throw them out afterwards. Unless of course you'd be patient enough to wash the ink off of it later.
- Clean the other compartments of the inkjet printer. The ribbon will most likely have some thin layer of dried up ink. Clean that off using moistened fresh paper towel or microfibre cloth. Make sure that you do so carefully to not damage the ribbon. Check the other components of the inkjet printer as well. Rollers that pick and slide paper out of the printer may well be holding some stubborn ink goo. Clean the rollers using Q-tips moistened with alcohol to get to the hard to reach areas. You may also need to pry out caked ink found at the left and right edges of the ribbon.
These instructions are for educational purposes and meant for those brazen enough to perform the process on their own without seeking a professional's help. Bear in mind that any damage to the machine will be your sole responsibility.