How to clean an inkjet printer?

Ink jet printers are the bane of my existence! The last one I eventually took outside and smashed on the tiles! I enjoyed it thouroughly!

I probably shouldn’t do that!

I have an epson stylus ex3500 printer. It also has a scanner. I have printed about 5 documents on it. I have owned it for about 6 months. I lost the receipt and didn’t bother with the warranty stuff.

I tried to print a color document a few days ago, and the colors are not printing properly. I ran through all the self diagnostics, self cleaning, everything the manual told me to do;MANY times. I even bought new ink cartriges because I thought maybe the old ones were screwed from not using it much. I tried to take it apart but I can’t get at the “jets” under the ink cartriges.

It seems that if you don’t use these f-ing ink jet printers regularily they don’t work. I don’t need to use them regularily. I just want it to work when I need it to.

Any tips? Maybe the jets are plugged with solidified dried ink. Is there some way I can put something under there with some solvent or something and perform a self cleaning or something?

I bought it from 3C. :s It still scans and prints well in black.

I hate to buy another one only to have this happen again. This isn’t the first time. I gave one away and smashed the other one.

I have a bunch of color stuff I have to print off!

Get laser printer then, they work when you need it to, costs less per page (one toner cart prints thousands of pages whereas you’re lucky to get even 300 pages out of an inkjet cart). They wont clog if you dont use it for months at a time, plus prints real fast if you are printing large amount of stuff when needed. Last, if not least, prints look real good on plain paper, on inkjet to look as good or better you need to spend money on coated paper which costs a lot.

To clean an epson style printer however if everything else fails take a syringe without needles and forcefully injet about 1 to 2 cc of rubbing alcohol into the nozzle where the cart sits on. If you take out the cart you will notice there are small nipples that contacts the cart and sucks out the ink. You can force about 1 cc of alcohol into it, and they should remove just about anything thats clogging your printer. Then after that (you dont want to do it too often, it will mess up the printer) you need to print one page a week or something to prevent it from getting stuck again. Like you said, inkjets are a pain, expensive as hell to maintain, and wont work if you left it alone too long. That is why I switched to a cheap monochrome laser, no more clogged prints. Plus if you need to print 50+ page, to do it on your CXwhatever epson printer (which prints at about 2 pages per minute for acceptable quality, they can print 16ppm but at such a low quality that the text is barely legible) will take at least 30 minutes if not more. A cheap laser can do it in under 5 minutes, with prints that looks as good if not better than xerox copies.

So therefore, I’d say smash your printer again or sell it, then buy a laser. I sold my Epson C65 (with a Continous Inking System by the way) to a sucker and bought a Samsung ML-1520, and I can print one page when needed and it will look right. If you need to print color (but not photo) then I can recommend any of the color lasers, while it will run about 10,000 ish NT it is worth it because it looks very good on plain paper. If you want photo prints then you will have to get an Epson Stylus printer or something and deal with its hassles. Only inkjets can print photo quality prints on those coated papers, color laser is good for printing lots and lots of those DM’s if you are into advertising.

Hi. Take it to the Manufacturer warrantee fixing shop. I don’t know where Epson is but the HP one is very nice and has free coffee and web access.

This is Taiwan. There is no such thing as a receipt or the warranty stuff. Take it in. They will look on the bottom for the magic #. If it works then you get free repair. If not they will charge you a good price, usually only 10% more than it would cost you to buy a new one.

You probably don’t want to be sticking things into the jets. They are very! size sensitive. It should have a cleaning cycle in the print options. Give that a try first.

Good luck.


Your printer isn’t by chance printing rows of red lines across your documents, is it? That’s a fairly well-known Epson inkjet problem - usually involves a failing print head or gunked up printhead assembly. Since it’s not that old, I’d take it in and at least get a diagnosis and estimate first. The thing about self-cleaning efforts is that they are last-ditch - something to go for between deciding the estimate is too high and doing the copy machine scene from Office Space.

A few months ago I burned through my third Epson inkjet in as many years and picked up a cheapo HP Deskjet 3940. What a mistake. I couldn’t unclog my Epson and the HP unclogged my wallet. The HP black ink ran out about once a week, and four cartridges later I had the price of the printer. I made the leap and got a laser printer. I couldn’t be happier. I’m with rahimiiii - these days lasers are definitely the way to go. Otherwise it’s kinda like buying those brooms with the painted-over bamboo handle once every few months when they break - better to just spring for one good corn broom and end up saving on $ and headaches down the line.

Yeah, I am getting red horizontal lines through my color docs. When I do the print alignment test, It prints black well, but leaves the same spots each time in all 3 colors. No matter how many times I perform print head cleaning.

I would love to have one of these f-ing things last at least one year. Or even 10 uses! AAAAAARGH!!

I’m going to try the alcohol thing. Can’t hurt.

I hate to shell out for a laser when I honestly only print out a 20 - 40 page doc every 3 months or so. I’m looking for a job now and my pic has lines through it. This really pisses me off.

I guess i could take it to Bitan and use it for a boat anchor. Since i’m basically screwed again maybe we can continue this thread in the topic of what to do with your malfunctioning shitbox inkjet ripoff printer.

I’m kind of short so I guess I could use it to reach the top shelf in my kitchen.

I could turn it into a shrine.

I could grind it into powder, put it in my food every day and become the first person ever to actually eat one.


I suspected as much. I had the exact same problem with THREE Epson printers - stylus photo models, two here and one back home. I used to think Epson was great, but I

I’m going to find out where people get married and tie it to their cars and stick a “just married” sign on it.

I’m going to burn it and sniff the fumes.

I’m going to use the plastic to replace the cracked fairings on my scooter.


I only used it about 4 times for a total of maybe 10 pages. If that. 3500nt.