A blocked printer head can waste a lot of ink and paper. Regular maintenance can easily avoid this problem. Here are some steps that you can do to help maintain your printer's performance.
1. Use the printer's self-cleaning mode.
Most printers have a button on them that you only need to push for the printer head cleaning function to start. Check your printer's manual to help you locate this button.
Meanwhile, other printers go to the cleaning mode through a program on your PC. Access the Printers and Faxes folder to view the maintenance options of your printer. There are usually two options, the Cleaning and Deep Cleaning modes. The first one isn't as time consuming but will not guarantee a squeaky-clean printer head. The latter will require some patience as it takes longer to finish but will thoroughly clean your printer head for you.
2. Opt for the test print.
Others who are less than satisfied with the results of the printer's self-cleaning mode usually resort to going through a series of test prints to unclog the printer head. However, doing this will require more than a dozen test prints which could use a lot of printer ink.
3. Do it yourself - wipe the printer head.
This is a last resort solution if the first two options prove to be useless in taking out that stubborn dried-up ink on your inkjet printer's head. To do this, you will need some cotton swabs and lukewarm water or isopropyl alcohol. First, remove the ink cartridge from your printer. Next is to clean the printer head by gently wiping it with a slightly moist cotton swab. Doing this repeatedly will eventually soften the crusted dried ink.
4. Do it yourself - soak the printer head.
For tougher clogs, it might be a good idea to soak the printer head in a bowl of isopropyl alcohol and warm water. Leave it for at least an hour. After that, air-dry it and re-install in your printer. Make sure to run the self-cleaning mode to remove any remaining dried ink.
Blocked heads are one of the most common problems with printers. Learning simple cleaning methods for printers can save you a bundle by not having to hire professional services. It's always advantageous for regular home users to know how their peripheral devices work and how to maintain them.