How To Clean Epson Printer Heads 2022

Did your teacher instruct you to submit a task, but you were in deep water due to your printer? How often did you take printouts at your friend’s place? There is a possibility that your printhead and nozzles are clogged up by ink each and every. It is because a small amount of ink keeps collecting and solidifies over time. Several underlying causes lead to this problem which negatively affects the performance and output of the printer.

However, you do not need to panic or purchase another expensive printer. It might be surprising that you will not need much effort to solve this problem, and you do not need many items for unclogging. Epson printers are among the best printing devices that most people use. Thus, I have chosen this brand to give you in-depth knowledge regarding this topic. These methods are applicable to most of the models.

How to clean epson printer heads
How to clean Epson printer heads

How To Clean Epson Printer Heads 2022

Cleaning Printhead Blocked Nozzles through Commands

Epson printers include a feature to clear out the clogged or blocked nozzles in mostly one to two cleaning cycles. However, recent models involve time-taking cycles. They also utilize more ink each period. So, you might run out of available ink. The procedure involves these simple steps:

  1. Check if your printer is showing some error on the Light Emitting Device or LED screen. Make sure there are no errors.
  2. Now go to the setup by pressing the Home button. In Setup, press Maintenance.
  3. Click on the option Printhead Nozzle Check. This step is a must to make sure that the printhead and nozzles require cleaning.
  4. It will result in a page on which grids will be printed. These grids will be four-colored and illustrate the number of nozzles that are clogged by air or ink.
  5. You have to make sure that the printer remains connected to the source during this cycle. If it turns off, there can be permanent damage to the device. You might still face the problem in the quality of print after running one to three cycles. I recommend not using the printer for some hours. For Epson, one should keep it in the resting phase for up to six hours.
  6. After waiting for this period, repeat the process.

Generally, people solve this problem after eight to ten cycles. It might use all of the ink available. More frequent application of this task can also worsen the clog since the ink possibly dries and collects again. If there is no improvement, you should contact the company for guidelines if the warranty period has not finished. If you are not under warranty, you can also try one of the several manual cleaning methods that I have listed below to restore the better performance of the printer.

Manual Cleaning of Epson Printhead

1. Distilled Water in Sponges

It is one of the easiest procedures on this list. For this, turn off the device and uncover the top. Printhead assembly will be visible to you. You will find a small, popped-up plastic lever present on the left side of the assembly. Now, first, push it forward and then downward. It will free the printhead.

Push the assembly towards the side by moving it toward the right. Keep moving until it reaches the stop and clicks. This activity will completely release the assembly. In case you do not find any lever in the mentioned area, you will have to print a blank page with the top above. Remove the electricity source of the printer with the assembly locked.

Next, you will have to deal with the sponges. They act as ink storage that releases from cartridges. These structures are present in the cartridge. Carefully fill the sponges with Windex solution or distilled water via a syringe or an eyedropper. After this, bring the assembly back to its position and cover the sponges.

Allow the liquid to set in the sponges for a minimum of fifteen minutes. It is better to let the device soak the whole night to ensure the best output. As a final step, print seven to nine written pages that also contain some images. Keep doing it until the prints are clear and clean. If this does not work, consider trying other methods.

2. Distilled Water or Printhead Cleaner in Ink Port

Both distilled water and printhead cleaners are readily available in the market. In this procedure, you will remove the cartridges that are located in the printhead carriage. You will observe small cones, which are called indents. Their function is to transport the ink to the head. These ports exist for every color that the printer uses.

Add a few drops of cleaner or distilled water to the cartridges through an eyedropper or syringe. Only fill some of them. If you are having difficulty recognizing a specific ink port, notice the bottom of all ports and check if there is any residue of color. Generally, a yellow ink port is present on the right, and a black one on the left with magenta and cyan in the middle.

If you drop some water or other liquid from the printer head, do not forget to clean it with a towel. After this, remove the cartridges and allow the printer to place another one. As the last step, test the output by printing out a minimum of six and a maximum of eight pages that contain some text and pictures. There are fair chances that you will be successful this time.

3. Using Paper Towels for Cleaning

The crucial first step of this method is turning the printer off. Now take a paper towel sheet and divide it in half. Join the left and right sides of the towel to fold it. The width should be one and a half inches. Now, search for a rubber roller after opening the top of the hardware. It allows the paper to transform through the input system. The printer head moves over the same feed system.

Connect the paper towel with the roller through tape. It is followed by applying sufficient distilled water drops close to the center of the towel. Place the assembly above the paper towel and allow it to sit for fifteen minutes. Wait until the ink dried on the head starts to dissolve in the towel. You will visibly notice a large amount of black ink staining the sheet. This ink is a combination of inks of several colors.

Repeat the process with the clean wet paper towels until you begin observing different colors from ink ports. For best results, you can perform this activity multiple times. Now check again whether the assembly is in the ready position and not in the resting position. Lastly, print seven to eight pages to ensure the clarity of each port.

4. Using Alcohol

Alcohol also can unclog printheads. For Epson models with printheads in the printer, add six to ten drops of isopropyl alcohol via a syringe or a dropper in the ink receptacle hole. Through this part, the ink flows from the cartridge to the printhead.

Then, run the self-cleaning function. If you do not achieve the required and satisfactory results, then it is recommended to wait for the rubbing alcohol to sit and keep the printer to rest for some time. After that, run the utility again and repeat it until the dried ink removes.

5. Using Warm Water

Another method for removing the ink involves using hot water. For this, you have to place and submerge the tube cleaner of the printhead in lukewarm water. It will heat the solution in a tube, resulting in more convenient Epson head cleaning since it will facilitate the flow of the solution.

6. Using Windex

Windex contains some amount of ammonia in its composition that can function to clean the printhead. For this purpose, first, remove the cartridges. Then, carefully spray a tiny amount of Windex solution in ink holes through which the ink flows into the printer head. Lastly, test the effectiveness of this procedure by printing out some pages.

Causes of a Dirty Printhead

Continuous Usage After Warning

When you get a notification that the amount of ink in the cartridge is low, you need to replace it with another one. But, you continue to use the printer until you start seeing low-quality printouts with less visible text. When a person puts another cartridge for ink, the printer functions to set it with the printhead. This process is termed priming.

In priming, the device forces the liquid through the color nozzles to remove all the trapped air. However, in some cases, printers utilize more ink than required to perform this task. It results in the covering of the printhead with extra ink and eventually blockage of all nozzles. It gets worse when the ink dries, which leads to faded content in printouts.

The Printer Remains Turned Off

If you do not use the printer frequently, there are high chances for the ink to dry up and clog the nozzles. Turning it on allows it to do the small-scale self-cleaning process, which restores the smooth ink flow and minimizes the possibility of this liquid staying in the printhead. So, it is necessary to keep using it regularly.

Irregular Use

The ink clogs up when you do not take the printouts regularly and use it thrice a month at the most. To avoid the problem in the future, you must continue to use it, that is, at least six times a month. If your profession or work does not require its help, you should consider purchasing a laser printer. Laser printers do not use ink and work using toner powder that does not dry at all. You might agree with me that preventing some potential problem is more convenient than taking measures to solve it. Thus, following these simple tips will undoubtedly save you time and cost.


How do I clean the heads on my Epson printer?

You can clean the Epson printhead by running a command or using manual methods. For this, turn on your printer and select Page Setup. After this, choose Nozzle Check to make sure that the hardware requires cleaning. Finally, select the Head Cleaning option and perform the tasks as shown on the screen. For manual cleaning, using distilled water or isopropyl alcohol for cartridges is effective.

Can you manually clean printer heads?

Yes, there are several methods you can try to remove the dried ink from printheads. These include adding some drops of cleaner or distilled water in the ink port, absorbing the ink through sponges soaked in distilled water, and using paper towels for dissolving the ink. After performing any of these procedures, take at least six printouts to check their quality.

Why is my sublimation print faded?

Multiple possibilities result in fading of a sublimation print. These include excess time, pressure, or heat applied. The same is the case if the heat or pressure is inadequate. Also, if the page is not placed correctly, that is, you do not choose the coated side (the correct leaf) for printing. Moreover, the print will appear light if one places a regular paper and not the sublimation paper.

How to fix printer color problems Epson?

To fix color problems in the Epson printer, select the press option for a few seconds. It will result in a flashing light. Notice when the green light stops flashing. When it becomes stable, it means that there are no issues in the color system. Verify it through printing a page. The other methods include cleaning the printhead and removing the ink clogs from the printhead by running a cleaning cycle and setting the printer as default.

Why is my Epson printer not printing when the ink is full?

First of all make sure that you are printing size, dimension, and paper in the input tray. There might be a problem with your printer printhead. If you have bought a brand new printer then make sure you have removed protection tape from printhead nozzles. You can resolve the issue by cleaning the printhead from maintenance mode.


In general, the higher the printer speed and the sharper the image, the greater the chances for printheads to have issues. This article mentions all the convenient ways that you can try to remove stubborn dried ink. These include both doing the process using printer commands and manual methods. In addition, going through the most common causes and the tips to avoid faded text will facilitate saving both money and time. While cleaning the Epson printer head keep the user manual in front of you. I hope that you will consider following the guidelines for prevention and using the printer often.