Clogged print heads are the scourge of computer printer owners everywhere, and they’re common enough that everyone has dealt with them before-even if they weren’t aware of it at the time.
This is because clogged print heads have kind of an odd set of symptoms, and if you’re not careful, you can mistake them for another printer or ink problem. Here’s a look at a few of the most common symptoms of clogged print heads on a computer printer ink cartridge.
Sketchy ink. Clogged print heads may show themselves as sketchy ink, meaning that your printed pages won’t have clear images, or text will be separated by white lines. You might remember this as a symptom of a cartridge that’s running out of printer ink. What happens is that the print heads get clogged with dried ink, and they’re unable to work properly. This is similar to what happens when ink reserves run low, except that instead of not having the ink to work with, the printer doesn’t have the print heads to work with.
Spotting ink. Ink might also build up and force itself through occasionally, resulting in a sort of spotting problem. This can be messy, especially on a home computer printer.
Basically, if it appears that your printer ink cartridge is running out of ink and you’ve got a good reason to believe otherwise (for instance, if the program that your printer uses to track ink doesn’t show low levels), there’s a chance that you’ve got clogged print heads.
So, what do you do now? Well, you could replace your ink cartridge if they’re not built into the printer. Many modern printer ink cartridges are designed with the print heads directly on them, so this can fix the problem easily. You can also set them upside down on a warm, damp paper towel, with something beneath the paper towel for ink seepage. This might unclog the print heads.
Unfortunately, if the print heads are attached to the printer, you’ll need to either repair the printer or replace it. I can’t give you advice on repairing your printer’s clogged ink heads, because printers tend to be very different from one manufacturer to the next, but a quick Internet search should yield a few results.
In any case, you can avoid clogged printer ink heads simply by printing a test page on your printer during any week in which you’re not using it regularly. This keeps the ink moving through the cartridge and through the print heads.
Do you have any questions or advice for dealing with clogged print heads? Post in the comments section below.