How to Clean Printer Heads Epson

Do you often have to use your Epson printer? Me too! But if you use printers for a long time, the ink might get clogged, leading to an unclear page.

And you’re likely going to wonder how to clean printer heads Epson, especially if you’re a victim of a clogged printer head.

From my experience, the simplest way is to utilize the Head Cleaning Utility feature a few times. It’ll automatically clean your printer heads, and running it a few times should unclog it fully. However, there’s more to it than that.

In this article, I’ll be covering all about Epson printer heads. So without further ado, let’s begin.

Why Printer Heads Get Clogged

clogged printer head

Before we start cleaning printer heads, let’s take a look at why printer heads actually get clogged. By knowing the causes, you can avoid them and refrain your printer from getting clogged again.

  • Not Changing The Ink Cartridge Right Away After Seeing A Low-ink Sign

Whenever your printer is running low on ink, it’ll give you a signal telling you to replace your ink cartridge. And If you keep using it with the old ink cartridge, it may block up.

  • Not Turning On Your Printer Often / Leaving Printer On

If you aren’t turning your printer on often, the ink will eventually dry up. This is because every time you turn your printer on, it automatically does a short cleaning cycle to get the ink to flow again.

This is why I’d highly recommend you to use your printer at least once every two weeks, this way it’ll keep itself from getting dried up and your printer will be in a better condition.

What Happens When Printer Heads Get Clogged?

When a printer head gets clogged, the text will blurry choppy, and it’ll cut off a lot. The color might be low in quality as well, and your text might be too light in ink or too dark.

Since you can’t access the print page directly, the only way to check if your printer is clogging or not is by checking the ink quality while printing a page. If it’s blurry or has any other problems, it’s blocked, and you’ll need to open your printer and clean it.

How To Clean Printer Heads Epson

Now that you have a general idea on printer heads let’s look at all the different ways to clean Epson printer heads —

Cleaning With Printer Cleaning Cycle

The simplest way to clean your Epson printer head is by running the integrated Epson Printer Cleaning Cycle on your PC. Here’s how to do it —

  1. First, go to devices and printers, and right-click on your printer driver. After right-clicking, choose “Printing Preferences” and click the “Maintenance” tab.
  2. Then choose the head cleaning dialog box. After selecting it and clicking “Start,” your printer will automatically start a head-cleaning cycle. After it’s doing with the head cleaning, it’ll print a nozzle for you to check if the text is still not clear.
  3. Usually, you’ll need to reset the cleaning and run it again a few times before it starts being sharp and clear. I’d recommend you to run it at least thrice. If it still is clogging or the text isn’t sharp, you’ll need to clean the head manually.

How to Clean Printer Heads Manually

printer head clean with cloth

As mentioned earlier, you’ll have to clean your printer heads manually if the Printer Cleaning Cycle doesn’t work even after using it a few times. There are a few ways to clean printers manually, and they’re listed below-

Clean With Sponges

The first method of cleaning printer heads is by using a sponge. Turn off the printer and open the top; you should see printhead assembly. Look for the small plastic lever on the assembly on the bottom left side and move it forward.

Then push the assembly on the right side till you hear a click. After this, you should see a sponge storing ink on the cartridge.

Use a syringe or eyedropper, saturate the sponge with the water or a Windex solution, and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Then move the printhead assembly back to the right side and print a few pages to check if it’s still clogged or not.

Clean Ink Port

If you’ve already cleaned the sponge, I’d recommend you clean the ink port as well. Here’s a step-by-step guide —

  1. Firstly, remove the ink cartridges from your ink port and locate the ink ports. They’re cone-shape, and there should one ink port for each color.
  2. Afterward, put a few drops of distill water using a bag, syringe, or an eyedropper into the ink ports that are plugging. Ensure you’re not putting the distilled water on unplugged ports, as it’ll ruin your ink.
  3. Make sure to leave the drops for a few minutes.
  4. Then replace the ink cartridges and wipe down any water dripping from the printhead.
  5. Finally, take six or eight pages of white paper and print it to check the results.

Clean With Paper Towels

To do this method, first, turn off the printer. Then take a paper towel and fold it in half till it’s about one-half inch wide. Open the top of your printer and locate the rubber roller transporting paper through your printer.

Then put the paper towel on top of the rubber roller with distilled water. Make sure the water is near the middle of the towel.

Let the paper towel rest for 15 minutes, allowing the dried ink to dissolve. If you see a black color, keep repeating the same steps until you see all the different colors from the ink port.

Return the rubber rolling transporting paper back to its original location and close the printer. You should print at least 5-7 pages afterward to clear out the individual ports.

Flushing The Nozzles

If you’ve already done all the methods listed above and your printer still isn’t working perfectly, you should try flushing the nozzles.

For this method, you’ll need a printhead cleaner solution, a pair of scissors, a cup of warm water, a syringe, a small tube on the head of the needle, and two strips of paper cut into 2.5cm. Keep in mind sizes of the paper may vary on different printers, and you may need to cut it smaller or larger.

Here’s a Step-by-Step Guide:


Firstly, turn your printer on and let it print something. While it’s printing, unplug the printer cable from the power outlet. This will free up the ink cartridges, and you can easily slide them back and forth.


After that, remove all the ink cartridges from the slot, and clean them all simultaneously. Before cleaning them, wrap the ink cartridges in a bag to dry out. Then take your cleaning solution, open the bottle cap, and leave the bottle in the warm water.


While it heats, cut out the 2.5cm strips of blotting paper. Then take both strips of the blotting paper and slide it underneath the Epson printer heads. If you’re having trouble sliding it in, you can pull the cartridge slightly away.


Ensure the blotting paper fully covers the part below the printer head and can be visible on both sides. By now, your solution should have gotten warm. Take the syringe and put a small tube on top of the needle if it has.


Then carefully put the tube in the solution, and measure out two or three milliliters of the solution in your syringe. Then firmly place the needle on top of the printer head, ensuring it’s a tight fit.


You should leave the syringe like that for a few minutes and then slowly flush the solution onto the print head using the needle. Ensure you aren’t forcing it, and stop pushing if you feel any form of force against the printer head.


If your print heads have been clogged for a long time, it’s recommended to leave the stocking with the syringe tightly place on the printer heads overnight. After you’re done pushing the solution, carefully take the hose out without spilling anything.


After that, push the cartridge away, making the clogged inks fall onto the blotting paper. Then dispose of the blotting paper, and run the Printer Cleaning Cycle a few times.

If you’ve done all these methods, your printer will be working fine, and your printer heads will be fully clean. If it still isn’t clean, consider following all the steps once more.

How to Check Your Printer Ink

After you have followed all of the steps correctly, you should print a pattern on your printer to check if your printer ink works fine. Here’s a step-by-step guide on the best testing pattern —

  1. Firstly, ensure the printer lights are turning on and the ink lights turn off.
  2. Then load at least ten sheets of plain white paper and open the properties menu from the printer’s control panel.
  3. Go to “Printer” and then “Maintenance” from the printer properties option.
  4. Then print a nozzle, check the test pattern, and check if it’s lightly print, blurry, or has gaps. If it does, run a few more Printer Cleaning Cycles.


What is priming on Epson printers?

When you put a new ink cartridge, your printer will prepare the printhead itself, and this process is called priming. Priming will push the ink through the nozzles, letting air out to ensure the best print quality.

This has its downsides, as older printers will push too much ink out, eventually drying out and blocking the printer nozzle.

What is the best Epson printer?

Although opinions may vary, in my opinion, Epson EcoTank ET-2720 Wireless is the Epson printer. It’s fast, affordable, and completely wireless, supporting most devices, including PC, laptops, and smartphones.

It has a high-capacity ink tank that can print up to 90% more pages than a regular printer with its ink-saving technology. The print quality is phenomenal, and it comes with a 2-year warranty.

Should I replace the printhead on my Epson printer?

If your printer is old and you have been looking for an upgrade for a long time, you should definitely try replacing the printhead and getting a better one. However, keep in mind that it’s not necessary, especially if you don’t use the printer often.

They’re usually costly too, so unless you’re willing to spend a lot of money, you should clean the printheads instead of replacing them.


Hopefully, now you know all the ways how to clean printer heads Epson. Printer heads will get clogged up when the ink dries up, and you should clean them often.

You should at least run the printer a few times per month or regularly; this way, it ensures you won’t get a clogged nozzle on Epson printers. But if you don’t use your printer often, I highly recommend getting a laser printer.

Laser printers use toner powder instead of the usual ink, and this powder won’t ever get dried up. But with all that being said, good luck on your next print; cheers!

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