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How to Clean Epson Printer Heads: 2 Easy Methods

If you’re having print quality problems, you might need to clean your print heads. Here’s how to clean Epson printer heads.

There are three ways to clean your Epson printer heads. You can use the in-printer “Print Head Cleaning” function. For more in-depth cleaning, you can use a cleaning solution and clean while still in the printer. You can also remove the print heads and clean them outside of the printer.

how to clean epson printer heads

How to Clean Epson Print Heads Automatically

Epson has a great in-printer feature to automatically clean your printer heads without getting your hands dirty.

  1. Go to Maintenance > Print Head Nozzle Check > Print. This will print a Nozzle Check Pattern.
  2. If you notice missing colors in the pattern, you can run the Print Head Cleaning function to improve the quality of the print head.
  3. Print Head cleaning will take about 2 minutes. After, you can run the Print Head Nozzle Check again and look for improvements.
  4. If it still needs work, you can run it a second time.

If you still have issues, let’s move on to the next step: cleaning Epson print heads manually.

But first, here’s a great visual of how to clean your printer heads, using in-printer controls.

Here’s how to refill and change ink in your Epson printer.

How to Clean Epson Print Heads Manually

As you’ll see in the following video, you can also clean the print head and manually wash it.

In the following video, you’ll learn how to flush a cleaner through your print head to remove dried ink and built-up debris.

One way to keep your printhead from clogging is to use it regularly. You can print small items regularly to ensure it is in good working order.

Here are some tips from Epson for cleaning printer heads.

Removing Epson Printer Heads for Cleaning

Hopefully, you won’t have to remove the printer heads. If you’ve followed the first two methods (in-printer cleaning and manual flush), it should be working correctly now.

But if not, you might have to physically remove the print head for a thorough cleaning.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and don’t attempt any step beyond your skill and comfort zone. And – of course – always disconnect your printer from any power source before working on it.

Here’s a great tutorial video showing the removal and cleaning of the Epson 1430 printer.

This method requires both more skill and more risk. If you aren’t careful, you could damage the printer or the print head. And water doesn’t play nice with electronics so make sure to keep those dry during the process.

And while printer ink isn’t considered toxic, you’ll likely get some on your hands. Here’s how to remove printer ink from your skin.

epson cleaning print heads

Check out all our Epson printer guides. And our huge Guide to Printer Ink and Toner.

FAQ About Cleaning Print Heads

Here are a few common questions about cleaning Epson print heads.

Should you clean your printer heads?

Most printer manufacturers don’t recommend cleaning print heads unless something is wrong with the quality of your prints.

If your prints appear faded, smudged, or otherwise, low-quality, try performing the standard cleaning print head steps detailed above.

Do dirty print heads generate error codes?

Yes. Error codes like 0x97 can indicate a problem with a dirty printer head in your Epson printer.

Here’s how to fix the Epson error code 0x97.

Will dirty print heads affect printing?

If you have installed new ink and your printer isn’t working, you should check the print heads. It’s one of many reasons for printing problems.

Why is my Epson printer not printing black properly?

If you can’t print black properly, you likely have a print head problem. Cleaning your print heads is the fastest way to get back to printing. Be sure to start with the Print Head Nozzle Check – then run the Print Head Cleaning function.

If this doesn’t work, consider a manual cleaning of your printer heads.

Still having trouble? Here are 8 reasons your Epson printer isn’t printing.

Your Turn

How did it go for you? Please share your experience with other Epson printer users.