What chemical to clean clogged inkjet printhead?


M

Max -

What is the best chemical to use (preferably that I can buy on the
high street) to clean a clogged printhead on a HP injet printer?

Isopropanol?
Ethanol?
Dry-cleaning fluid?
Ammonia?
Distilled water?

There seem to be several proprietary solutions on the market but I
can't work out what they contain.
 
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M

Mike Walsh

I don't know about HP printers, because if you replace the ink cartridge you will get a new print head. On Epsons I have had best results with water (water soluble ink).
What is the best chemical to use (preferably that I can buy on the
high street) to clean a clogged printhead on a HP injet printer?

Isopropanol?
Ethanol?
Dry-cleaning fluid?
Ammonia?
Distilled water?

There seem to be several proprietary solutions on the market but I
can't work out what they contain.
--

When replying by Email include NewSGrouP (case sensitive) in Subject

Mike Walsh
West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.
 
O

OCZ Guy

Just dunk it in some hot water for a few minutes, just the cloged bit
not the whole thing :)

And bang it alittle on towel repeat, will be fixed in NO time, thats
how i do it.
 
K

kony

What is the best chemical to use (preferably that I can buy on the
high street) to clean a clogged printhead on a HP injet printer?

Isopropanol?
Ethanol?
Dry-cleaning fluid?
Ammonia?
Distilled water?

There seem to be several proprietary solutions on the market but I
can't work out what they contain.
Distilled water, half-dozen percent ammonia (give or take), and a
couple drops of detergent (NOT "soap"). Warm it up and soak,
take out print head and wipe off electical contacts but not
bottom... install in printer while bottom is still wet and do the
head-cleaning routine, just be sure there's ink in cartridge,
that it's not too dried out as cause of problem.
 
P

Peter Duck

In message <[email protected]>
Just dunk it in some hot water for a few minutes, just the cloged bit
not the whole thing :)
And bang it alittle on towel repeat, will be fixed in NO time, thats
how i do it.
That's often worked for me, but not indefinitely: I understand that
there's a 'microfilter' in some or all HP cartridges between reservoir
and print-head - if that eventually gets clogged, even boiling the
output end doesn't unblock it (nor does ammonia/'cleaning fluid',
externally applied)
 
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V

*Vanguard*

Max - said:
What is the best chemical to use (preferably that I can buy on the
high street) to clean a clogged printhead on a HP injet printer?

Isopropanol?
Yes. It contains distilled water to eliminate minerals and it
evaporates quickly. It does leave behind a misty white film usually
invisible to the naked eye but disasterous for cleaning high power
lasers because of refraction, but this isn't a problem on an inkjet
cartridge.
Definitely not. It will leave behind a residue. Just because it is
considered a clean-burning fuel doesn't make it a clean solvent.
Corrosive to some plastics.
Dry-cleaning fluid?
Perchloroethylene (aka PERC and tetrachloroethylene), a chlorinated
solvent, can be destructive to some plastics. Before PERC, kerosene was
used for "dry" cleaning (i.e., near absence of water). It is a strong
degreaser. One ounce of PERC released directly into water can
contaminate nearly 2-1/2 million gallons of water above regulatory
concentrations. It can dissolve paint, glue, grease, wax, and oil but
just use water on a water-soluble ink.
Windex leaves behind a residue (but probably not enough to worry about
regarding an inkjet cartridge) and why you have to buff the residues
(glycols) to eliminate streaks (see
http://www.windexglasscleaner.com/faqs.asp#1) whereas letting it dry
from wet strokes will leave streaks despite the use of surfactants.
Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it ain't there. There is
window wax, too, and if applied properly is unseen but it is definitely
there. If it's all you have (unlikely) then use Windex but remember
that it is a general purpose cleaner and may "clean" more than you want.
For example, don't use on CRTs or LCDs or you may lose the
anti-reflective coating and first test on an inconspicuous small area
for tinted windows. Windex is: ammonia (emulsifier), 2-Butoxyethanol
(surface coating solvent and degreaser, or dissolution promoter, also
used in pesticides), Ethylene glycol hexyl ether (a solvent in the
commercial version only), isopropyl alcohol, and 60-100% water. Water
is neutral at a pH of 7, seawater is 8, and oven cleaners are 13.
Ammonia is pH of 11, or 10,000 more alkaline than water (pH is
exponential).

Don't use ammonia; it's too corrosive and can make plastic go cloudy.
Windex has ammonia (unless you get the vinegar or orange formulas). If
the dried ink is too stubborn for distilled water or isopropyl alchol,
use diluted white vinegar or purer acetic acid (a descaler) and follow
by cleaning with distilled water (to eliminate the vinegar residue).
Distilled water?
Yes. The ink is water soluable. This is what HP recommends. Use this
first unless the dried ink is too stubborn and needs isopropyl to
dissolve it.
There seem to be several proprietary solutions on the market but I
can't work out what they contain.
Most are just very diluted isopropyl alcohol in deionized water. They
don't list ingredients because they know you could make your own for far
cheaper. Car engine cleaners also include isopropyl alcohol but you
could by 99% isopropyl at the drug store and get 50 times more than what
is in the car cleaner. Would you buy 50 bottles of the $1 gas
evaporator/injector cleaner which is kerosene, Stoddard solvent (aka
Naphtha, Mineral Spirits), and a tiny bit of isopropyl for a total cost
of $50, or would you buy just a $3 bottle of 99% isopropyl?

You should run a test page at least once a month to prevent the ink from
drying up in the nozzle (aka an ink plug). This can use up a lot of
ink, though. Even if you don't use the printer, the ink will dry up in
the sponge inside the cartridge because vents are open to displace the
ink that runs out. Don't remove the labels since they may cover more
vent holes that are used at the factory when filling the cartridge. If
you don't plan to use your printer for a long while, put the cartridge
in a plastic bag.
 
F

Franky

Nice post.


*Vanguard* said:
Yes. It contains distilled water to eliminate minerals and it
evaporates quickly. It does leave behind a misty white film
usually invisible to the naked eye but disasterous for
cleaning high power lasers because of refraction, but this
isn't a problem on an inkjet cartridge.


Definitely not. It will leave behind a residue. Just because
it is considered a clean-burning fuel doesn't make it a clean
solvent. Corrosive to some plastics.


Perchloroethylene (aka PERC and tetrachloroethylene), a
chlorinated solvent, can be destructive to some plastics.
Before PERC, kerosene was used for "dry" cleaning (i.e., near
absence of water). It is a strong degreaser. One ounce of
PERC released directly into water can contaminate nearly 2-1/2
million gallons of water above regulatory concentrations. It
can dissolve paint, glue, grease, wax, and oil but just use
water on a water-soluble ink.


Windex leaves behind a residue (but probably not enough to
worry about regarding an inkjet cartridge) and why you have to
buff the residues (glycols) to eliminate streaks (see
http://www.windexglasscleaner.com/faqs.asp#1) whereas letting
it dry from wet strokes will leave streaks despite the use of
surfactants. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it
ain't there. There is window wax, too, and if applied
properly is unseen but it is definitely there. If it's all
you have (unlikely) then use Windex but remember that it is a
general purpose cleaner and may "clean" more than you want.
For example, don't use on CRTs or LCDs or you may lose the
anti-reflective coating and first test on an inconspicuous
small area for tinted windows. Windex is: ammonia
(emulsifier), 2-Butoxyethanol (surface coating solvent and
degreaser, or dissolution promoter, also used in pesticides),
Ethylene glycol hexyl ether (a solvent in the commercial
version only), isopropyl alcohol, and 60-100% water. Water
is neutral at a pH of 7, seawater is 8, and oven cleaners are
13. Ammonia is pH of 11, or 10,000 more alkaline than water
(pH is exponential).

Don't use ammonia; it's too corrosive and can make plastic go
cloudy. Windex has ammonia (unless you get the vinegar or
orange formulas). If the dried ink is too stubborn for
distilled water or isopropyl alchol, use diluted white vinegar
or purer acetic acid (a descaler) and follow by cleaning with
distilled water (to eliminate the vinegar residue).


Yes. The ink is water soluable. This is what HP recommends.
Use this first unless the dried ink is too stubborn and needs
isopropyl to dissolve it.


Most are just very diluted isopropyl alcohol in deionized
water. They don't list ingredients because they know you
could make your own for far cheaper. Car engine cleaners also
include isopropyl alcohol but you could by 99% isopropyl at
the drug store and get 50 times more than what is in the car
cleaner. Would you buy 50 bottles of the $1 gas
evaporator/injector cleaner which is kerosene, Stoddard
solvent (aka Naphtha, Mineral Spirits), and a tiny bit of
isopropyl for a total cost of $50, or would you buy just a $3
bottle of 99% isopropyl?

You should run a test page at least once a month to prevent
the ink from drying up in the nozzle (aka an ink plug). This
can use up a lot of ink, though. Even if you don't use the
printer, the ink will dry up in the sponge inside the
cartridge because vents are open to displace the ink that runs
out. Don't remove the labels since they may cover more vent
holes that are used at the factory when filling the cartridge.
If you don't plan to use your printer for a long while, put
the cartridge in a plastic bag.
 
V

*Vanguard*

Todd Brooks said:
Yes, I too am impressed.
It actually started when trying to figure out what the hell is actually
in Windex (which has several formulations) to figure out why it is more
special than, say, using very diluted isopropyl alcohol and ammonia.
What could the "D" in "Ammonia-D" was for? I see claims that Ammonia-D
has 45% more grease-cutting power but more than what? Ammonia non-D?
Ammonia-A, -B, or -C? Water? 145% of anything less than 100% means you
are not getting 100% of the *rest* of the grease that didn't get
cleaned. If you only got 90% before, 10% was left behind so 45% more of
the 10% left behind is 4.5% so you would now get 94.5% and still leave
behind 5.5% of the grease.

Since "Ammonia-D" is trademarked by SC Johnson, I figured something of
what it is might be mentioned in the trademark registration
(http://www.uspto.gov/). Ammonia-D is registered to Drackett Co. way
back in 1964. Drackett is the registrant whereas SC Johnson is the
owner. However, there are no details as to WHAT got trademarked. A
Google search turned up "Ammonia-D is a registered trademark for an
exclusive glass cleaning formula." Well, then there is no such thing as
*ammonia* type D, or such. It just means it is ammonia and some
specific set of other ingredients in a formula of which the vast
percentage is WATER! I guess the only way to know the formula is to
read the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet). Change one ingredient or
its percentage and we have Ammonia-X. Actually Ammonia-D has worked
well for them so they have, for example, their institutional strength
Ammonia-D but with "extra" ingredient(s); i.e., it's all Ammonia-D with
something else.
 
H

half_pint

Great resuls with tap water, or you can buy it bottled
at 10,000 times the price.
 
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I have just cleaned my Canon print heads using de-ionised water, the sort you get for using in irons and topping up car batteries from motorist shops. I used a syringe filled with this water and a short semi rigid tube that fitted over the print nozzle, to force water through after the nozzles only had been soaked in this water for a few hours.I used kitchen towel to absorb the moisture and did not dry the print head on a radiator before running a test page and it
worked perfectly, as did the nozzle checks. It seem to me that if these inks are water soluble, why try to use any other chemicals or solutions that may themselves cause other problems. For instance if you had a water based house paint you would not use white spirit to clean the brushes, just water. Time will tell if i did it right.

Jonesy1.
 
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Great posts with cleaning chemical suggestions. I am on my third (and last) run-through trying to clean out my HP6510. First, hot water - nothing. The second with windex and isopropanol, seemed to help, but only for one part of a test page. Now I am trying windex/alcohol, heated and soaking. Then I am going to do a second run-through with heated diluted ammonia (1:9 with filtered water - I don't have higher-grade), mixed 4:1 with isopropanol.
To follow up on the Ammonia-D:
The MSDS for the Windex with Ammonia-D can be found by searching online (msds windex ammonia-D; sorry I can't post links yet, as this is my first post)

The ingredients listed in the MSDS are water (90-100%), Isopropanol (1-5%) and Ethyleneglycol monohexylether (0.1-1.0%).
That last item has listed uses as detergent, solvent, and as ingredient in paints and varnishes.
My guess is the "D" in the name is S.C. Johnson's way of making detergent sound mysterious.
 
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Hi Folks
You can use Windex to clear clogged printheads but I really don't recommend it because of the Ammonia content in Windex. Ammonia is a very corrosive solution. If the printer is a Canon you can even remove the printhead and flush it under hot water.
 
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This is the best formula for cleaning an inkjet printhead - Diethylene Glycol (15%), 2-Pyrolidone (7%) Ethylene Glycol (5%) and Polyether (3%).
 
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This is the best formula for cleaning an inkjet printhead - Diethylene Glycol (15%), 2-Pyrolidone (7%) Ethylene Glycol (5%) and Polyether (3%).
Is there anywhere a guy can just buy this stuff already prepared? (I'm not a chemist, and have no access to these chemicals!) Desperate to get my black ink to print again--color OK.
 
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Is there anywhere a guy can just buy this stuff already prepared? (I'm not a chemist, and have no access to these chemicals!) Desperate to get my black ink to print again--color OK.
Hi there, I actually sell the stuff but I have ran out and wont have anymore for at least a couple of weeks. https://www.inkhub.com.au/printhead-cleaning-kit-p-737.html
You can use Windex but you need to use the one that doesn't contain Ammonia. What type of printer is it? I assume that it is an Epson.
 
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Have you tried to get the Magic Bullet formula as I think that it is more widely available in the UK. Try googling Magic Bullet Printhead Cleaning Fluid.
 
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The carton for one of my Canon Inkjet cartridges lists the following chemicals:
Glycerin
Isopropyl alcohol
ethylene glycol
diethleyne glycol

these are the original ink solvents, and I would use them instead of window cleaner.
You might also check a 99 Cent store for a cheap cleaners that contain chemicals with similar names and no ammonia or lye.

The best way to clean a head is to saturate several layers of paper towel with the mixture and place the cartridge iin a plastic pan and let the head sit on the saturated toweling over night, do not soak the entire head.
 
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