Home Tips & Tricks How to Clean an Inkjet Printer

How to Clean an Inkjet Printer


Over time, Inkjet printers can become dirty due to excess ink “leaking” out of the ink cartridges. Ink can build up on major components of the printer, causing the print quality to decrease. When this occurs, it may be necessary to clean the printer.

Tip: Before following any of the steps below, be sure to try the printer self-cleaning feature. All printers today have some type of self-cleaning ability that is usually accessed by pressing and holding one or more of the buttons on the front of the printer. If this doesn’t help or if the printer needs cleaning beyond what the self-cleaning is capable of doing, try the steps below.

To clean your printer, there are several areas that you need to focus on:

  • Print Heads
  • Ribbon
  • Ink Reservoir
  • Stabilizer Bar

Many printers include the print heads on the ink cartridges themselves. To clean these, remove the ink cartridges from the printer. Take a piece of paper towel, fold it into quarters and apply some isopropyl alcohol to it and rub the paper towel gently along the print heads on the back or underside of the ink cartridges. Running the paper towel along the print heads several times should be adequate to remove most, if not all, of the ink build-up.