Method 1 : Use cleaning cartridges to clean the print head
If your printer has not been used for months or if the printer has been in service for over two
years, a set of cleaning cartridges will help clean up the dry ink accumulated in and the print
head over time. The proper cleaning fluid will soften the dry ink in the print head and will ink to
flow properly working again without damage to the print head itself. Here I will try to explain in
detail how to keep the print head clean.
What to use as Cleaning fluid:
Our special head cleaning fluid is the best choice for cleaning dry ink without causing damage to
the print head. Warm distilled water could also work in some cases for minor clogs. Using the
cleaning cartridges is safe and it should be the first choice for cleaning the print head.
How to make the cleaning cartridges?
Use a mixture of ink and cleaning fluid, 1:2 ratio. The nozzle check prints will come out lighter than
the original color. You can make cleaning cartridges using a set of refillable cartridges and fill it with
the special head cleaning fluid and ink mixture. The cleaning fluid will flow into the print head as you
print. Because it takes time for the cleaning fluid to work, do not use the cleaning cycles when using
the cleaning cartridges. The cleaning cycles will pump out a good amount of cleaning fluid without
doing much cleaning. Be sure to purge all the air bubbles from the refillable cartridges so no air
bubbles will interfere with our print tests. Air bubbles in the print head would cause bands similar to
what happened when the print head is clogged.
Now the cleaning cartridges is installed, use a multicolor pattern for print test to determine which
color is causing a problem with the printer. After the trouble color is identified, print only the
particular solid color pattern. Print at least 5 - 10 pages to get the cleaning fluid into the print head.
The lighter color prints will be your prove the cleaning fluid from the cartridges are being used.
Do not remove the cleaning cartridges unless you suspect there is a problem with air in the
cartridges. If you need to fill the cartridges with cleaning fluid, refill with the cartridges in the printer.
This will minimize the chance of air bubbles getting in the print head producing bands on purge test
prints which you try to eliminate.
For the R1800/R1900, if matte black is not used often, this nozzle will be the first one to
clog completely. It is a good idea to print by selecting matte paper setting to force the
printer to use matte black in stead of photo black.
Tips: Fit a flexible tube or straw on the cone inside the cartridge carriage, put a few
drops of head cleaning fluid into the flexible tube or straw, allow a 6 hour wait before
installing the cartridges. This method uses gravity to feed the cleaning fluid into the
print head. This is safer than using the syringe to apply the cleaning fluid. Do not
remove the flexible tube/straw once it is fitted to the cone to prevent air bubbles
introduced when removing and installing the syringe.Use a set of known good Epson
cartridges or refillable cartridges/cleaning cartridges for printing nozzle check patterns.
Potential issues : Excessive cleaning fluid applied to the print head will leak out and if
the cartridge carriage is anywhere close to the paper sensor, the cleaning fluid could
short out the paper sensor, causing a paper feed malfunction which will require a trip to
the service center. You might want to place a piece of water resistant paper below the
carriage to catch spills.