Your printer’s printheads are responsible for applying the ink to the paper. You can see streaks or an uneven ink distribution in your printed items if these tiny devices become clogged with dried ink or pieces of paper. While unclogging a clogged printhead might take some time and work, doing so just calls for perseverance and routine maintenance.
- Regular Use
Regular usage of the printer is the best approach to keep the printheads clean and in good condition. This maintains appropriate ink flow and protects it from drying on the head surfaces. Use your printer at least once every week, or every few days, to keep the printheads wet with new ink. The likelihood that the ink remaining on the heads may dry and form a blockage increases the longer they are kept idle.
- Regular Cleaning
Even if you use your printer often, there can still be a few dried-up ink droplets on the printerheads or in the tubing that runs from the ink cartridges. Use the cleaning cycle on your printer at least once a month or so to drain out any residual ink in the heads. When performing your monthly printhead cleaning, use some canned air to blow away any dust or paper that may have become lodged inside the printer or printheads.
Remove the ink cartridges from your printer and wrap them to keep them fresh if you won’t be using it for a while. Additionally, this will stop any ink from trickling into the printheads’ tubes and clogging them as it dries. You might be able to take off the printheads for cleaning and storing depending on your printer. Information about long-term storage of your printer may be found on the manufacturer’s website or in the printer’s manual.
- Turn Printer Off
When your printer is turned on, it heats the ink and moves the printheads to prepare them for usage. The ink and printheads may dry out and clog if you don’t switch the printer off at the device itself so it can move the carriage back to its “home” position. Never switch off the printer using a surge protector or power strip. Use the printer’s power button instead to ensure a proper shutdown that prevents damage or drying to the printheads and ink.