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If you find that the printed image is unexpectedly faint or dots in the printed image are missing, you may be able to solve these problems by cleaning the print head, which ensures that the nozzles are delivering ink properly.

You can clean the print head from your computer using the Head Cleaning utility in the printer software, or from the printer itself by using the printer’s control panel buttons.

Note:
  • Print head cleaning consumes some ink. To avoid wasting ink, clean the print head only if print quality declines; for example, if the printout is blurry or the color is incorrect or missing.
  • Use the Nozzle Check utility first to confirm that the print head needs to be cleaned. This saves ink.
  • When the  ink out light is flashing or on, you cannot clean the print head. You must replace the appropriate ink cartridge first.
  • Do not start the Head Cleaning or Nozzle Check utility while printing is in progress; otherwise, your printout may be marred.

Using the Head Cleaning utility

Refer to the appropriate section below to use the Head Cleaning utility.

For Windows users

Follow the steps below to clean the print head using the Head Cleaning utility.

Make sure that the printer is turned on and the  ink out light is off.
Note:
If the  ink out light is flashing, you cannot clean the print head. You need to replace the appropriate ink cartridge first.
Access the printer software. For instructions, see Accessing the printer software.
Click the Utility tab and click the Head Cleaning button.
Follow the on-screen instructions.

The  power light and the  ink lights flash while the printer performs the cleaning cycle.

Caution:
Never turn off the printer while the  power light is flashing. Doing so may damage the printer.
When the  power light stops flashing, click Print Nozzle Check Pattern in the Head Cleaning dialog box to confirm that the head is clean and to reset the cleaning cycle.

Below are nozzle check patterns:

  Good sample

  Print head needs to be cleaned

If the nozzle check page does not print satisfactorily, you may need to repeat the head cleaning and print the nozzle check pattern again.

If print quality hasn’t improved after repeating this procedure four or five times, turn the printer off and leave it alone overnight. Then do the nozzle check again, and repeat the head cleaning if necessary.

If the print quality still has not improved, some of the ink cartridges may be old or damaged and may need to be replaced. To replace an ink cartridge before it is empty, see Replacing an Ink Cartridge.

If print quality remains a problem after replacing the ink cartridges, contact your dealer.

Note:
To maintain print quality, we recommend printing a few pages at least once every month.

For Macintosh users

Follow the steps below to clean the print head using the Head Cleaning utility.

Make sure that the printer is turned on and the  ink out light is off.
Access the Print or Page Setup dialog box and click the   Utility icon button, then click the Head Cleaning button.
Follow the on-screen instructions.

The  power light and the  ink lights flash while the printer performs the cleaning cycle.

Caution:
Never turn off the printer while  power light is flashing. Doing so may damage the printer.
When the  power light stops flashing, click the Confirmation button in the Head Cleaning dialog box to print a nozzle check pattern and to reset the cleaning cycle. Use the check pattern to confirm that the head is clean.

If print quality has not improved after repeating this procedure four or five times, turn the printer off and leave it alone overnight. Then do the nozzle check again, and repeat the head cleaning if necessary.

If the print quality still has not improved, some of your ink cartridges may be old or damaged and may need to be replaced. To replace an ink cartridge, see Replacing an Ink Cartridge.

If print quality remains a problem after replacing the ink cartridges, contact your dealer.

Note:
To maintain print quality, we recommend printing a few pages at least once every month.


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Using the control panel buttons

Follow the steps below to clean the print head using the control panel buttons.

Make sure that the  power light is on and the  ink out light is off. Then, hold down the  ink button for three seconds.
Note:
If the  ink out light is flashing or on, do not clean the print head. Cleaning the print head will start the ink cartridge replacement process. If you do not intend to replace an ink cartridge, press the  ink button again to return the print head to its home position.

The printer starts cleaning the print head and the  power light and the  ink lights begin flashing.

Caution:
Never turn off the printer while the  power light is flashing. Doing so may damage the printer.
When the  power light stops flashing, print a nozzle check pattern to confirm that the head is clean and to reset the cleaning cycle.

If print quality has not improved after repeating this procedure four or five times, turn the printer off and leave it alone overnight. Then do the nozzle check again, and repeat the head cleaning if necessary.

If the print quality still has not improved, some of your ink cartridges may be old or damaged and may need to be replaced.To replace an ink cartridge before it is empty, see Replacing an Ink Cartridge.

If print quality remains a problem after replacing the ink cartridges, contact your dealer.

Note:
To maintain print quality, we recommend printing a few pages at least once every month.
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