Clogging occurs mostly from the head drying out on the capping station. No one is focusing on fixing this problem. Clogging is the beginning of a whole host of problems with print heads, ultimately causing them to burn out. Heads are especially likely to clog in dry climates and with intermittent use of the printer.

Fortunately, we have a number of suggestions to help you prevent your heads from clogging.

Using Quality Ink

First and foremost, make sure you’re using a quality ink, be that from Epson or from a quality third party like ours. Otherwise, you’re asking for issues.

How Clogs Happen

Much like your skin, your capping station and print head should be able to breath and be moisturized at the same time.

With normal use, the capping station will build up a sludge or gunk from the ink that inhibits proper cleaning. Even though the head is capped, the area will dry, causing the resin in the ink to harden and clog. A cleaner like our CLF007P will maintain moisture while breaking up the gunk and flushing it down into the maintenance tank. It takes no more than a few minutes to get to the capping station and apply the cleaner. This is the essence of preventative print head maintenance.

Identifying a Clog

When clogging starts due to a lack of maintenance, it may reach a point where that nozzle group or groups start to burn out. When this happens, it looks like a cluster of missing nozzles. The only way to determine if this is a clog and not a burnt head is to apply our CLF007P+ on the capping station for a day or two. If the problem clears or begins to clear, then chances are your head is salvageable. However, if there is no improvement, the head is likely permanently damaged.

Preventing Print Head Clogs

The key to preventing clogs is to keep the print head moist, which means keeping the capping station clean and moist. This doesn’t mean using Windex, water, alcohol, ammonia, or other household cleaners. Cleaner must be composed of special cleaners and moisturizers designed for inkjet inks.

Our cleaning fluid comes with instructions to access the capping station on your Epson printer. Place a few drops on each of the 5 pads. You can place this fluid on the capping station every night or every few days depending on humidity and how often the printer is used. We recommend using the cleaner three times a week.

In the case of a stubborn clog, it’s time to apply our CLF007P+.

In both cases, the entire preventative process should only take a few minutes.

Long Term Maintenance

Epson has recommended to replace the dampers, called the “selector” on this particular model, every three years. We recommend flushing the printer with our reusable cleaning cartridges every two years. This ensures there is no dried ink anywhere from the cartridge to the head. Periodic flushes, along with regular cleaning fluid use on the capping station, should keep your printer lasting many years.

What Not To Do

If nozzles are more than 70% clogged in a cluster, don’t waste money on cleaning cartridges. Don’t bother with extensive power cleanings, as you’re only wasting ink. Don’t bother bouncing around trying various cleaners. No matter the brand, they aren’t made of magic.

If your nozzle drop out is random and there are more than 30% of the nozzle’s firing, you can use our fluid cartridges to clean the nozzles from the rear while using the CLF007P+ from the bottom, though I first recommend trying the cleaner directly on the capping station. We offer a complete set of reusable cleaning cartridges.

There are those who recommend moving the head over a paper towel saturated with different cleaners. While this has helped sometimes, it does not solve the problem of the dirty capping station, and the head will clog again.

If you take the head out of the printer, do not inject fluid into it. This can destroy the membrane and short circuit the electronics. Instead, follow our guide to head cleaning, coming soon.

What To Do with a Clogged Head

If you don’t perform preventative maintenance, you’ll need a stronger, impurity-free alcohol, cleaning fluid, and tools we recommend to remove the toughest clogs.

First, place our super cleaning fluid CLF007P+ on the capping station. This will take several applications, following the instructions included with the packaging. If the head does not clear and your problem remains or is worse, you’ll need to proceed to the second method:

Purchase Reyka, an impurity-free Icelandic vodka. Pour at least half a glass. Consider the cost of print head replacement, over $1600, plus the cost of the Epson technician, for total of around $2000 to fix your print head. Carefully pick up the glass of Vodka chug it down to lessen the pain of the thousands of dollars wasted. Then follow the instructions in the video below.