How to remove and clean a Canon print head

Canon printers are great all round printers with amazing photo print quality and many other great features, however we think that one of the Canon printers best features is the ability to remove the print head, which allows the print head to be cleaned when its blocked and can not be unblocked by normal head clean or deep head clean maintenance cycles that are installed when you install the printer onto your computer.

Only printers with individual ink cartridges have a separate print head, ie cartridges that are in essence ink tanks and where 4 or more of these type of cartridges are installed into the printer. Canon printers with 2 cartridges, a black cartridge and a multi-colour (CMY) cartridge have the print head as part of the cartridge and are not covered by this procedure.

Removing and flushing the print head is simple and these easy to follow steps should allow you to perform this task very easily.

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1) Lift the cover to gain access to the printer cartridges and remove all of the ink cartridges.

2) There is a retaining bar that holds the print head in place, lift the bar and pull the print head toward you and out.

3) run the hot water tap with medium water flow and let the hot water flush through the print head, in one direction first (inlet) and then in the opposite direction (outlet).

4) Alternate the the print head direction under the hot tap, until only clear water flows through it, with no sign of any ink.

5) Shake the print head well to remove any water but do not be paranoid about this as any surplus water will wash through the print head with the ink cartridges installed.

6) Dab dry the print head contacts and replace the print head into the printer, re-install the ink cartridges and give the printer a cleaning cycle to prime the heads.

7) Print out a head test sheet and all should be well, if needed perform another head clean cycle.

Should this procedure not clear the problem, the head may be badly blocked and may require soaking in a good head cleaning solution and then follow the above procedure. If that still does not clear the problem, you may have to purchase a new print head.

A good supplier o head cleaning solution is

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