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Getting the best from your printer and keeping it in good working order

We often get asked; ‘Why has my printer stopped printing, I barely even use it’ the answer to that is in the question itself. A printer that is barely used or not used very often will at some point block up and stop printing.

An inkjet printer uses liquid ink to print, when it is left unused for a period of time the ink in the cartridges and the printing head will dry and begin to block. The dried ink will block the printing head or jets and thus stop the printer from printing correctly.

Using a printer little and often is the best way to help prevent this. Her at Ink Express we spend all day working with printers whether it is printing our orders, testing new cartridges, repairing printers or generally tatting around with them.

We find that a printer that is regularly used performs at its best, in our experience we recommend using your printer to print at least once every two weeks. Print something, print anything… that small amount of ink you use will no doubt be a lot less than the ink you would waste cleaning the printing heads trying to unclog your printer.

Doing a small full colour print every two weeks will keep the printing head moist and the jets free from clogged or dried ink. Printing a nozzle check pattern or a test print will also suffice as this will fire all the printing nozzles and ensure they stay in good working order.

Our top tips for keeping your printer working well are-

1)      Try to print something in full colour once every two weeks; printing something in colour will ensure the printing heads stay clean and free of blockages.

2)      Turn your printer off and turn it on once a week, turning it on will cause to perform a small clean on start up this keeps the printing heads moist and clear of blockages.

3)      Perform a nozzle check pattern before starting a large print run, that way you can check the printer is working well before starting a print run and potentially wasting paper.

My printer is blocked and will not print correctly what should I do?

If your printer is already blocked and the printing heads are not working correctly all is not lost. Different printers have different printing heads and cartridges. Epson and Canon tend to have a separate printing head, the cartridges are merely tanks that hold the ink and the printer head is kept within the printer.

If you have a Canon or Epson printer which is blocked our Nozzle Rocket cleaning solution will in most cases fix the issue. Our Nozzle Rocket cleaning agent will break down the dried ink, leave to soak for 12 hours and fit a new ink cartridge set and you should be back printing in no time.

If you have a Hewlett Packard printer in most cases the printing head is in-built on the cartridge. So if you purchase a new ink cartridge in turn you get a new printing head and so the printer should return to full working order.

Another option to try with a Hewlett Packard printer is to soak the printing head on the bottom of the cartridge in hot water, filtered or de-ionised water is best for this, just boil in the kettle allow to cool a little before putting in a shallow dish with the cartridge. Allow to soak for an hour before removing and thoroughly drying the ink cartridge.