Useful Tips

How to clean the cartridge at home


The ink cartridge may dry out due to long downtime of the printer or as a result of untimely refill. Manufacturers of inkjet printers strongly object to any manipulation of cartridges (except for their complete replacement), but in most cases this expensive procedure can be avoided.

Recovery Methods

If this procedure did not help the first time, then you can try it again or try another recovery method.

The process is restored for black and for color cartridges with integrated printheads the same, but it is easier to restore a black cartridge than a color one, because it has one color, then the chances of getting a positive result are greater.

Method 1. Soaking

When drying the cartridge with the sponge inside, try to soak the sponge. To do this, put the cartridge in a vessel filled with distilled water or flushing liquid with nozzles down (in the same position as it is installed in the printer). Soaking can take quite a while (from several hours to several days.) It is important to pour a little water so that only nozzles are immersed into it (to a height of about 1 cm). Then ink is poured into the cartridge. It will not hurt to pump ink through the suction cup with a syringe, but do not apply much force. Pull the syringe slowly, without sharp jerks, and when the ink starts to come out evenly and in large quantities (no more than 10 ml), the procedure is better to stop. Before inserting the cartridge into the printer, wipe it off the ink residue and pay special attention to the electronics contacts. Do 2-3 head cleanings, print a test page.

Or: Pour the composition with plenty of water and place the cartridge with nozzles on the napkin and let it stand for 1-3 days if it is very dry. Then purge with a syringe with a rubber adapter in both directions, blow directly into the nozzles (the main thing is not to overdo it with the purge). HP, Lexmark, Canon and the like are recovering quite successfully in this way.

Method 2. Boiling or the 'principle of cooking pasta'

  • small iron bowl or ladle
  • pliers and pliers
  • napkin or toilet paper

Instruction manual

  1. When the printer is on, open the cover, wait. and the cartridges themselves go to the replacement position. It is enough to lightly press its box down, and it will come out easily. Take out the cartridge
  2. Now it is necessary to heat a small amount of water on the stove in an iron bowl or ladle so that the water boils and steam begins. We take the cartridge and hold the printheads above the vapors, you can rinse for 2-3 minutes by lowering the cartridge with the printing elements in boiling water. Be careful, as the cartridge will heat up, so it’s better to hold it with a passive. Just do not squeeze in any case, so as not to damage.
  3. The dried paint in the head should soak and begin to drip, wipe off any excess with napkins until all colors break through. This can take a fairly long period of time, depending on the degree of neglect of the printing nozzles.
  4. If the ink cartridge has not been used for a long time, you will have to rinse it from the inside. Care must be taken to open the cover. Older models have a special metal fixture for this. Do not be afraid of a little crunching, you can not do without it. On new printers, the cover is sealed with adhesive tape, first you need to get rid of it, and then carefully open it with a screwdriver. The main thing is to prevent cracking of the walls, this can lead to deterioration of the capacity. We take out the absorbent inserts and rinse them with warm water, be sure to remember where each of them was.

Chemical soaking

In order to do the cleaning yourself, you need to remove the toner from the printer. Next, you need to take a jar with a lid and pour liquid into it to wash the glasses and lower the cartridge into it 1 cm. Close the jar with a lid and leave overnight. If the cartridge has not been used for more than one month, then a mixture of liquid for washing glasses and water in a ratio of 1: 1 should be poured into it. The liquid in the jar should darken, which is an indicator of the washing result.

After soaking, remove the toner from the liquid and blot the tissue with the print side. A complete print should be obtained without gaps - for a black cartridge there is a solid black spot, and for a color cartridge there are three stripes - blue, red and yellow. If the stripes were not clearly printed or partially missing, then soaking should continue in a new liquid.

Method 3. Steaming

You take a dead cartridge from an inkjet printer, which doesn’t matter how much it has dried up, and all sorts of razors, purges, and ultrasonic baths do not help and everyone says throw it away and buy a new one - try this method and everything will work. This method applies to cartridges of the brand HP, Canon, Lexmark with an integrated printing element. Take a kettle, boil water, when it boils and pour into a bowl, the water depth is about 1 cm in and immediately put the dried cartridge down with nozzles down into this boiling water, only before that remove the top sticker covering the holes as the paint will expand greatly and can leak out top filling holes, hold in boiling water for 30 seconds and do this three times, (all operations are carried out with a refilled cartridge). Then, wipe the nozzle of the cartridge with a napkin and put some photo in the printer for printing for the best quality, it’ll be horrible right away, then make 4 basic color sheets of completely the same color and print to print out each color, the quality will still not be very good in order to eliminate this, we print any photo and set the quality to normal in the printer settings (not fast, not draft but NORMAL). The biggest gratitude will be if you leave a review here, I will also be grateful if you recommend this site to friends.

Method 4. Under a stream of hot water

Sometimes it happens that the cartridge head becomes clogged or dries. In attempts to clean the head, you tried many ways to clean the cartridges, but not one of them helped you. I found, another way, cleaning (restoring) the ill-fated cartridge. To do this, you don’t have to buy anything extra, such as “Liquid for cleaning cartridges”, “Special devices”, etc. To do this, take the cartridge and put it upside down in the bath, with the head up. Next, turn on hot water, with a small stream of water. This trickle must exactly hit the nozzle head. Thus, the cartridge should stand a couple of minutes. The cartridge needs to be moved a little so that the falling stream of water falls on all nozzles. The meaning of this method of cleaning printing elements in the following. Water falling from a height of about a meter picks up speed and with force passes through nozzles (holes through which ink splashes onto paper when printing) and cleans them. The same jet breaks through the dried channels, which before that did not give in to you. After this procedure, turn off the tap, grab the cartridge and place it head down on a cloth, let it dry. Wipe it and put it in the printer. Print a test page. If you are not lucky the first time, then repeat the procedure several times.

If these methods do not help you, see cartridge recovery material below.

Cartridge cleaning software

This is a simple standard procedure (and the only one authorized by the manufacturer). It is launched from the menu "Control Panel" → "Devices and Printers" → "Printer Properties" → the "Maintenance" tab. And there already choose the cleaning option.

Keep in mind that with such a cleaning of the cartridge there is an increased ink consumption, since they are sucked out through the nozzles with a pump.

Soaking in Wash Fluid

If the cartridge begins to strip or stops printing at all, it can be cleaned with a special cartridge wash, prepared according to one of three recipes:

  • acid (HP color cartridges): 10% essence of acetic acid, 10% alcohol, 80% distilled water,
  • neutral (suitable for any printer): 10% glycerin from a pharmacy, 10% ethyl alcohol, 80% distilled water,
  • alkaline (Epson, Canon): 10% ammonia / ammonia, 10% ethyl alcohol, 10% glycerin, 70% distilled water.

Before you revive a dried cartridge with this composition, it must be carefully filtered in any way possible.

If one type of "acidification" does not work, try another.

An excellent result is achieved by using the green “Mr. Muscle” as a washing liquid for cleaning glasses (the one with ammonia).

Mr. Muscle diluted dist. water in a ratio of 1: 1 and used as a rinse.

What else can wash the printer head at home? Instead of Mr. Musk, you can take a cheaper everyday glass and mirror cleaner:

How to clean a cartridge of the printer Canon, HP, Lexmark (and similar)?

So, your HP cartridge has dried up, what should I do?

Pour the cloth abundantly with flushing compound and place the cartridge with nozzles directly on it.

Make sure that the napkin is always dampened with plenty! Add liquid as it dries.

If the cartridge is empty and very dry, then you can put it directly into the solution entirely (but not for foam cartridges!) And pour it inside and let it cost 1-3 days.

How to rinse the Epson printer head?

Epsons restore differently: Take the head to the side, make a sponge out of a napkin or a thin piece of cloth of a suitable size and put it in the parking place of the head. Saturate liberally with acid and park the head. Leave for 10 hours or more.

In extreme cases, you can completely dismantle the head and immerse it in nozzles of 1 cm. Then select head cleaning in the menu (a couple of times). After that, if the cartridge is working, it should start printing.

You will find interesting discussions about the composition of the flushing fluid and how to soak a Canon and HP cartridge at home in this video:

Well, the simplest flushing for any cartridge is pure distilled water. The following two methods will be just using it.


Let's say that your printer has dried ink, what should I do? The high temperature steaming method will help you. Cartridge must not be empty. If this is not the case, it needs to be refilled at least partially.

We turn on the kettle, wait for the water to boil, open the lid and hold our cartridge for 30 seconds with its nozzles down. Then we remove and wipe the nozzles with a soft cloth.

Repeat the procedure as many times as necessary.

If this does not help, there is a more radical method - immersion in boiling water. To do this, pour freshly boiled distilled water into a plate to form a layer of about 1 cm, and put the cartridge there with nozzles down. Let it lie there for 20-30 seconds. Repeat if necessary.

In this way, even cartridges that dried out a hundred years ago could be reanimated.

Falling Jet Method

Now I will talk about how to restore a dried inkjet printer cartridge using brute force. More precisely, the power of water. Water under pressure can push through any impurities and the cartridge will again be as good as new.

Use the method only when all the others are no longer helping (i.e., it was not possible to soak the cartridge with anything at home).

Since there’s nowhere to go, you will have to use ordinary tap water. To do this, go to the bathroom, open the faucet with hot water so that it flows in a continuous stream, without splashing. The higher the water falls, the better.

Substitute our unfortunate cartridge and hold it there for some time. We periodically bring out the light of day to God and check whether the desired result is achieved.

Shaking off

For light soiling, the shaking method helps.

To do this, take the cartridge, move to the bathroom, and, holding the cartridge above the bathtub, “shake” it with nozzles down with a sharp movement. The movements should be exactly the same as if you were shaking off a mercury thermometer.

I highly do not recommend doing this in the room, because parents may not appreciate the colorful ink blots on the wallpaper.

The bottom line is that the ink, due to centrifugal force, presses the clog in the nozzles and makes its way out.

You will see the result right away - it’s hard to miss the dropping ink droplets.

This method is very effective and allows you to easily wash even a very dried cartridge at home.

Pumping is carried out by a syringe with a rubber adapter. For these purposes, soft rubber suction cups from an old printer are ideal (they, in general, are there for this). They look like this:

But you can just take the rubber part from the dropper, put on the nozzle of the syringe. This one, which is yellow:

The gum leans against the nozzles and, using a syringe like a pump, draw out the cartridge in both directions. Watch the video how professionals do it:

A well-washed and refilled cartridge should leave approximately the following traces on a napkin:

One way to refuel is demonstrated in this article.

Now you know everything about how to rinse a cartridge of an inkjet printer Canon, Epson, HP and others. Use this knowledge to your advantage!

Nowadays, you can buy a used inkjet printer with dried cartridges for 200 rubles, restore it, and then sell it. I sold a number of printers that were restored in this way.

P.S. There is another method - cleaning the cartridge in an ultrasonic bath. But, I think, if you had an ultrasonic bath, you would already know how to use it. By the way, personally I highly do not recommend this method, since with strong vibration the print head comes in faucets (nozzles are destroyed), and from weak vibration there is no sense.

Hot soaking

Those who are interested in how to clean the cartridge quickly and without special equipment should learn more about hot soaking. To do this, boil the kettle, and then take the toner and keep over hot steam for five seconds. After the procedure, it is necessary to wet the cartridge with a cloth. If the prints are not very clear or with gaps, then soaking should be repeated. In the event that after ten repetitions the cartridge does not recover, it must be replaced or printed with blanks in the images. It should be remembered that keeping the toner above the steam for more than ten seconds is not recommended, as this can lead to sticking parts.

Flushing with a clip

Those who are interested in the most efficient cleaning method should learn how to clean the cartridges with a clip. However, this method is also the most expensive, since you will need to buy special tools. First you need to refill the cartridge with a mixture of liquid for washing glasses and water. With the help of a special clip, the ink remains sucked out, while the liquid should be as transparent as possible.

After cleaning the print element, it must be refilled with new ink. Refill Sharp cartridges only with original kits. Do not use compatible inks to save money. Ultimately, you can spend a lot more on printer repairs. Also, this procedure can be carried out in a specialized service center.

Refilling Xerox cartridges can also be done independently or at a service center. You can refill the cartridge with genuine ink or ink for Samsung printers. Inks of other manufacturers should not be used, even if they are advised by consultants in the store. Improper refilling may result in unnecessary costs for printer repair or the purchase of a new cartridge,