How To Clean HP Inkjet Printer heads: Easy Steps

It is a boon for all of us to have the ability to print documents and photos at home as we are living in the computer age. But do you find it frustrating when your printer head is jammed, and your printer is not working efficiently? Then you have come to the right place.

In this article, I am going to make you know how to clean HP inkjet printer heads. If you are in business or some office where you need to perform frequent printing of documents, you will need more often to focus on the maintenance of your printer. Yes, to keep your printouts sharp and clear, you need to unclog the printer head regularly.

Over time, the ink dries out, which can lead to clogging of ink nozzles. Your printhead may also get clogged because of dust and debris. And what you get in return is streaks, white lines, and missing data because of lost colors. That indicates that the inkjet is jetting only partially.

Image source- Wikipedia commons

Now, the same issue is not for every inkjet printer. Some inkjets can clog more than others, but you will face clogged printheads with the passing time despite what brand you are using.

How to clean HP inkjet printer heads automatically

Step 1. To clean HP inkjet printer heads automatically, click start and open “All Programs.” Now go to HP Inkjet/Deskjet printer and open the printer menu.

Step 2. You may also search the HP Deskjet icon from your taskbar or desktop. Click the “Printer Services” and now go to “Clean the Print Cartridges.”

Step 3. Click “Clean” to clean the inkjet printer automatically. You may now carry a print test on a blank sheet to ensure that the printer works fine now.

Step 4. If the print sheet is clear and sharp, you should now click “Done.”

Step 5. If in case you feel the print quality is not up to mark, click on the option “Intermediate Clean” to dig deeper into the cleaning process.

Step 6. If the quality is good now, click “Done.” And if the quality of the print is still lacking, you may need to replace ink cartridges or go to a repair shop.

I hope that you have now got the answer to how to clean HP inkjet printer heads automatically.

How to clean HP inkjet printer heads manually

Step 1. To clean the HP inkjet printer heads manually, you first need to open the cover of the printer.

Step 2. Then cut the electrical connections of the printer by unplugging it. Remove the ink cartridges from the printer.

Step 3. You now need to clean every bit of the ink cartridge. For cleaning, you can use a soft cotton cloth. Dampen a cotton cloth in water and squeeze out the excess water. Without touching nozzle plates or copper contacts, clean the edges around the nozzle plates on the bottom of the ink cartridges.

Step 4. Let the ink cartridges dry properly before reinserting them. When you have inserted the cartridges again, close the printer cover and connect the printer to the electricity board.

Step 5. Now, you are ready to do a print test using paper. See whether the print comes out perfect. If the print is ok then fine; if not, you need to take your printer to a repair shop.

I am sure your query about how to clean an HP inkjet printer heads manually gets solved now.

How to clean HP inkjet printer heads-Summary

How to quickly clean HP inkjet printer heads in easy steps:

  • Open the “Clean Printhead” function and run it to clean HP inkjet printer heads quickly.
  • If “Clean Printhead” does not work for you, open the cover of your printer and cut the electrical connections.
  • After unplugging the printer, remove each ink cartridge and clean it with a soft microfiber cloth.
  • You should now clean printheads contacts with a soft cloth.
  • After cleaning, insert the ink cartridge again.
  • Now, connect your printer to the electrical board.
  • You may now allow the printer to start automatically.
  • Take a paper and carry out a print test to see whether your HP inkjet printer heads now work correctly.
  • If the print test fails, repeat the process. Your printhead will start working correctly then you are OK to go. But if it fails after repeated takes, you need to go to a service center.

What is a printhead or a printer head?

Image source- wikimedia commons

The part of the printer which assembles and maintains the characters to print is called a printhead. The printhead is the component of an inkjet printer that sprays ink on paper systematically; in this way, a printhead way creates images and texts.

So, you can say that if there would be no printer heads, you may end up getting a blank sheet of paper. A printhead or printer head is a device within the inkjet printer that sprays the droplet of ink onto the paper to get a perfect print.

Inkjet and dot matrix computer printers generally have printer heads. In inkjet printers, the printhead/printer head is generally found within the ink cartridge or printer cartridge. When talking about dot matrix printers, the printer head/print head is a pin that strikes the ink ribbon against the paper to print.

The computer or native printing processor gives the printing instructions to the printer heads, and the printer head follows the instructions. The inkjet printhead evaluates the instructions and sprays the ink in the required amount and intensity to fulfil the demand of the current print.

Types of printhead clogs and their fixations

There are three types of printhead clogs that you may encounter.

Simple clogs

These clogs can be removed simply by automatic cleaning of an HP inkjet printhead. You can run “Clean” to clean your clogged printhead.

If automatic cleaning of inkjet printer head does not give you the solution, you can opt for manual cleaning of ink cartridges of the printhead, as discussed in detail above.

But keep in mind, you must unplug the printer before performing a manual cleaning process of an inkjet printer. Simple clogs of an inkjet printer head can be easily treated with easy steps.

Stubborn clogs

You can also encounter stubborn clogs sometimes. These clogs can be treated with warm water most often. You need to unplug your printer after uncovering it.

Then remove ink cartridges and clean the dried ink jamming the nozzle using a paper towel soaked in warm water. Remove every bit of dried ink from the cartridges.

After cleaning, let the cartridges dry completely. Reinsert the cartridges and cover the printer. Now plug it and take a print test. Hopefully, any stubborn clog issue now gets solved.

Hardcore clogs

Now comes the tough variety of clogs of an inkjet printhead, i.e., Hardcore clogs. And it is worth mentioning that it happens in the case of high-end inkjet printers.

High-end inkjet printers use pigment ink which dries out faster in comparison to standard ink. This leads to frequent clogging of printer heads.

To remove hardcore clogs, you need to do the same as you did for simple clogs and stubborn clogs, but only you need to remove the printhead assembly from your printer first.

One of the easiest and most common ways to unclog hardcore clogs of an inkjet printhead is to soak the printheads in a solution of water and ammonia for 3-4 hours.

After that, you should now clean the heads by running them in warm tap water. This is probably the easiest answer to how to clean HP inkjet printer heads’ hardcore clogs.


I hope this article could clear all answers related to how to clean HP inkjet printer heads. Now, You know the types of clogs that a printer head can develop and how to treat different clogs. The automatic cleaning and manual cleaning process of HP inkjet printer heads are hopefully clear now.

About Author
Meet me. I am Shubhaa, the face behind CrazeForGadgets. I am a fitness enthusiast and love to experiment with new things. I am very much attracted to gadgets and love to explore everything about anything launched new. Being a Science Graduate, I am always fascinated by new things. And my this craze for exploring new gadgets led me to launch this site.

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