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How to clean HP printer heads

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How to clean HP printer heads: You have noticed that, for some time now, the quality of the prints made by your printer HP leaves something to be desired: a friend of yours with knowledge of the subject advised you to clean the printing head, therefore going to remove the dry ink that, over time, has deposited on it, but has not been able to provide you with precise information on the model in your possession. For this reason, you are now here, on my website, hoping that I can help you succeed in your intent.

If this is the case, know that you are in the right place! In fact, below I will take care to explain to you how to clean HP printer heads in a simple and fast way, through the tools integrated in the device and, where possible, directly intervening hardware components.

Before continuing, however, I recommend that you only perform this operation sporadically, as HP printers perform automatic cleaning routines each time they are turned on (or turned off); secondly, you need to know that cleaning the print head requires a certain amount of ink, so avoid doing this where consumables are running low, if you don’t have useful spare parts available. All clear? Well, then let’s get started.

How to clean HP DeskJet printer heads

Do you have a DeskJet series printer? Then know that, in most cases, for clean HP DeskJet printer heads it is necessary to start the automatic maintenance procedure integrated in the device, as the hardware part (i.e. the head itself) is not easily accessible from the outside.

Below, therefore, I show you how to proceed through the software HP Smartthe connected printers web panel, or Windows and macOS settings (for devices without Internet connectivity).

HP Smart / Web Panel

If you have a printer HP DeskJet Compatible with HP Smart and with network services, you can clean the print heads easily using the aforementioned application, which I remind you to be available for Windows 10 And macOS on the respective stores: you can easily get it by visiting the links I have provided you a moment ago, accepting (if necessary) the opening of the store and pressing the button Installation. You may be asked to verify your identity.

Now, for everything to go well, make sure your computer and printer are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. To do this, if you have not already done so, turn on the printer and connect it to the Internet, then invoke HP Smart from the menu Start Windows or from Launchpad macOS and wait for the first name of the printer appears among the connected devices.

Now, click the button Settings placed at the bottom (depicting the symbol of a printer with gear wheel), select the item Print quality tools from the left sidebar (located under the heading Instruments) and click on the button dedicated to cleaning the print headswhich should appear on the screen.

Following this, the head cleaning operation should be started; at the end of it, a page relating to the print quality diagnostics will be printed. Check, therefore, that the appearance of the images printed on paper complies with the instructions provided and, if so, click on the button end to exit the procedure. If not, click on the button Second level of cleanlinessto perform a more thorough head cleaning (which will require additional ink).

How to clean HP printer heads

Alternatively, if you have a version of Windows other than Windows 10 or cannot / want to install HP Smart, you can access the web panel dedicated to printer tools, even in the absence of the aforementioned application: to do this, calls the Control panel Windows from the menu Start (in modern versions of the operating system, it is located in the folder Windows system), click on the item Devices and printersright click on the first name of your printer and choose the item Property from the menu that appears.

Finally, go to the tab Web Services and click on the link placed next to the wording Web pageto access the printer management panel, which should open in a new browser window: to view the cleaning options, click on the box dedicated to Print Quality Toolbox.

If yours is a Macyou can get the same result just as easily: open the System Preferences by clicking on thegear placed on the bar Dockclick on the icon dedicated to Printers and scannersselect the first name of your printer from the left sidebar and click on the button Options and supplies that you find on the right. Finally, go to the tab General and click on the button Show Printer Web Page …to access the integrated configuration panel.

How to clean HP printer heads

If you used to manage the printer through your own smartphone or Tabletyou will be pleased to know that the app HP Smart for Android (available on the Play Store and on alternative stores) and for iOS / iPadOS allows you to achieve the same result. Again, it is essential that the printer and the phone (or tablet) are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

To clean the print heads, start the app I mentioned earlier, tap on the box indicating the first name and then on the item Print quality tools, resident in the panel that appears later. Finally, tap the button Alignment located next to the item Align printer and wait for the procedure to complete and the test page to print. If the print quality is still not satisfactory, tap the button to perform the second level of cleaning.

System settings

How to clean HP printer heads

If you have a printer without network services or if, for some reason, the steps shown above did not allow you to achieve your goal, you can proceed with cleaning the print heads using the tool built into the operating system which, presumably , it should be added when installing the print drivers.

If you employ Windows 10then access the Settings of the operating system, by right clicking on the Start button (the one with the flaglocated at the bottom left) and by selecting the appropriate item from the menu that appears, you can reach the sections Devices> Printers and Scanners and click on first name of the printer you intend to act on.

Next, click the button Managethen on the item Printer properties and, having reached the next window, go to the tab dedicated to Services / Toolbox and click on the button dedicated to Head cleaning.

If you are using an older version of Windows (eg. Windows 8.x or Windows 7), recalls the Control panel from the Start menu, go to the sections Hardware and Sound> Devices and Printersthen right click on the first name printer and choose the item Property from the context menu. Finally, stick to the same steps seen a little while ago for Windows 10 and that’s it.

If you can’t find the setting in question, check that your PC has dedicated printer management software (eg. HP Printer Assistant, HP Deskjet [serie] or HP Director): when you have identified it, start it, click on the button Utilities, Tools and Updates or Toolbox (it depends on the software version and the printer model you are using), go to the area dedicated to printer maintenance and click the button dedicated to head cleaningwhich you find inside.

If yours is a Macinstead, go to the System Preferences macOS, by clicking on thegear placed in the bar Dockclick on the icon Printers and scanners and select the first name of your printer, in the left sidebar of the window that appears.

Now, click on the button Options and supplies … which resides on the right, go to the card Utility and press the button Clean Print Headsto start cleaning the printer heads.

How to clean HP PhotoSmart printer heads

How to clean HP PhotoSmart printer heads

Unlike the HP DeskJet models, the print heads of the printers belonging to the line PhotoSmart they are not part of the cartridge, therefore it is possible to clean them even by physically accessing them.

Before starting, however, make sure you have what you need to proceed with the cleaning: a set of clean (preferably new) lint-free cloths, such as those for cleaning of glassesanddistilled wateror isopropyl alcohol.


Isopropanol 99.9% detergent alcohol 500 ml – isopropyl alcohol

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(24 Pieces) Charm & Magic Microfiber Cleaning Cloth for Screens, Came …

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To get started, you need to remove the printhead from the printer: after turning on the printer, then open it cartridge access door and remove all cartridges. To release them, press on the tab located on the front of each of them.

After removing the cartridges, lift the print head latch until it stops and removes the latter from its housing by gently pulling upwards. Now, paying attention to do not touch the nozzles or the electrical contacts with your hands (you would risk damaging them irreparably!), proceed with cleaning the areas with ink deposits: the ramps on the sides of the print nozzles, the area between the nozzles and the electrical contacts and the contacts themselves.

To do this, moisten the cloth with water / isopropyl alcohol and proceed with cleaning the affected areas, wiping gently from bottom to top, until all ink residues are removed. When you’re done, dry the print head using a clean cloth.

Next, locate the electrical contacts located inside the printer, in the slot dedicated to the print heads, and clean them with another cloth moistened with water or alcohol, following the same instructions seen above. Remember to blot the affected area with a clean cloth.

Once the cleaning phase is complete, insert the print head back into its housing, lower the side handle to lock it, place the cartridges in the appropriate slots and close the printer compartment, to make it operational again.

Now, finally, enter a white sheet of paper in the feed tray, tap the button Settings resident in the printer control panel, select items Maintenance / Tools> Clean Print Heads from the menu displayed and wait for the printer to carry out the cleaning process, at the end of which a diagnostic page will be printed and you will be asked whether or not to proceed with the thorough cleaning. It was less complex than you thought, wasn’t it