You may think because your printer is brand new you can place any ink into it. What you need to know is all printers are tested at the factory to make sure the heads are aligned and firing properly. Ink is drained from the printer, but not cleaned with cleaning fluids. This means ink deposits are left in the heads of brand new printers. If you are going to use a third party ink, it may not be compatible with the printer’s ink even if both inks are pigments or dyes. This incompatibility can result in a blocked head. Even our most powerful cleaners may not be able to clear the blockage.

To avoid this, we recommend performing a power cleaning on your new printer with CLF008P. You may even want to do this twice. We prefer a more effective complete fill over multiple cleanings. Make sure that the tubes are completely clean and the docking station pads where the heads rest are almost white. This procedure cleans out any chemicals that may cling to the walls of the tubes that may be removed, but not dissolved, with regular use of your new ink. Without flushing, this may result in particles deposited in the damper or the head, leading to blocked nozzles or blockage in the damper. The cleaning fluid will completely clean the walls, the damper, and the docking station pads. Incompatibility can also cause the docking station pads to gel, preventing suction and head cleaning.

Used Printers

You may think that ink goes into a head and directly out, but there are places for ink in each nozzle group to hide and dry. This can be a problem when changing ink. Therefore, it is necessary to clean thoroughly. On a used printer that has not been used continually, it is highly recommended to flush the printer and let the fluid sit for 8 to 24 hours before performing another fill or power clean. It may also be advisable to follow the cleaning procedure with our CLF2 tinted cleaning fluid.

For printers that are solvent based that will be changed to water-based inks, you must completely clean all the color out of the tubes and the docking station pads with solvent cleaner. This may take several fills. Then you must perform the same procedure with CLF007P.


We cannot stress enough the importance of proper maintenance for inkjet printers. Printer companies do not stress the care and cleaning of your printer, but just like changing the oil in your car, your should perform maintenance on your printer to keep it running. Ink deposits build up on the docking station pads, which prevent suction and cleaning, causing nozzle drop outs. The cleaning procedure is simple, but important. To keep your printer running longer, we recommend running our cleaning fluid at least once a year no matter what ink you use, using our cleaning cartridges and following our step by step directions. These cartridges can be used many times over.

Changing Ink

When changing to a different kind or brand of ink, it’s important to perform a minimum of two fills. Once again, you must clean until the tubes are clear and the docking station reaches a pale color.

If nozzles are blocked before the ink change over, utilize clear CLF008P first, then apply CLF008P tinted cleaning fluid. Test the cleaned nozzles by firing the cleaning fluid with a nozzle test print. If nozzles are firing well, however, then clear CLF008P clear fluid is all that is needed.

All our bulk ink systems come with sufficient cleaning fluid to flush a printer for ink change over. These cleaning fluids are not intended for solvent ink cleaning.

Potential Problems

Pigment inks are colloidal suspensions and are thicker than dye and water. When a printer is not used often enough, the pigment ink dries out on docking station pads as well as on the bottom of the heads resting on the docking station pads. This can cause the nozzles to become clogged. This can also happen with dye printers.

Ink is not a liquid, but rather contains many small particles. The damper is intended to filter ink, preventing these particles from being trapped in a nozzle. The damper sits on top of the head in all wide format printers. The more ink that gets passed through the damper, the more particles build up. As the particles build up in the damper, ink flow is restricted and drop out occurs.

To avoid this, place a few drops of CLF007P on the capping station at least once a week, but preferably daily. This will moisten the pads and break up any ink particles. Be careful not to oversoak the pads, causing capillary action and sucking ink back into the heads. However, if a head has serious clogged nozzles, oversoaking overnight or over a couple days can be done intentionally to pull clogs back into the head.

To clean the docking station, you can soak it with CLF007 and leave the solution on it for at least 10 minutes. Then dry the pads by dabbing a paper towel or a lintless cloth on them. Once a year or every six months, depending on printer usage, run cleaning fluid through the lines and dampers. If you know how to replace or clean the dampers by themselves, do so. In the near future we will have graphic instructions describing the procedure of removing dampers.

CLF007 is not intended for solvent inks.