Clogged printhead coaxed back to life

May 30th, 2014

Went to use my Canon Photosmart Plus printer the other day - a device that admittedly gets little use these days - only to find that it wouldn't print black. I tried the self cleaning utility but with no success.

Ho hum, so off I went in search of new cartridges.

Installed new cartridges (man, what are those things filled with? Unicorn tears?). Same problem.


Several options went through my head, ranging from swear at printer, to junk the printer, to trying to repair the printer. Since I was for once wearing a white shirt I decided to try to repair the printer. On removing the printhead I found that it was caked in black ink and concluded that it was clogged. Since this thing has been properly taken care of and only fed genuine Canon cartridges, I'm kinda annoyed that this has happened since this is the sort of thing they warn you that fake inks will do to a printer.

I decide to take drastic action and wash the print head under the tap with warm water. Not a recommended procedure, but there's not much that can go wrong as long as you allow it to dry before reinstalling it. I used warm water and nothing else ... no detergent, no brushes, no poking it with a stick. I also took care not to bang the head against anything.

I washed it and allowed it to dry and reinstalled it.

Nope. Still no success.

Since I wasn't ready to give up and buy a new printhead, I decided to try a cleaning kit. A quick search on Amazon unearthed this, which sounded good and was cheap enough that if it didn't work I wouldn't feel too bad. I paid my money and waited for it to arrive.

Last night I gave it a go. I unpacked the kit, removed the printhead, and followed the instructions. About half an hour later I had a fully working printhead.


Now what was it that I wanted to print again?


This entry was posted on Friday, May 30th, 2014 at 12:31 and is filed under PC Doctor Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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