Homemade Solvent to Clean a Print Head

By Tina Amo

Many printers have a built-in function to clean the printhead when it is clogged. However, this cleaning process is not always effective, making it necessary to clean the printhead manually. You can avoid the expense of hiring a professional printer service by cleaning the printhead yourself. You can save even more money by making your own cleaning solution. There are several homemade remedies from which to choose and each one requires a few items that you can easily obtain.

Things You'll Need

  • Ammonia
  • Distilled water
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Alcohol
  • Denatured ethanol
  • Isopropyl alchol
  • Windex

Step 1

Make a mixture of ammonia. Mix one part ammonia with 10 parts of distilled water. For instance, mix 1 teaspoon of ammonia with 10 teaspoons of distilled water.

Step 2

Mix 1 cup of distilled water with two drops of dishwashing liquid and 2 ounces of alcohol. Strain the mixture with a coffee filter then store it in a tightly capped bottle.

Step 3

Try a solution of denatured ethanol and water. Make a mixture that is half denatured ethanol and half water and mix well.

Step 4

Use one of the solutions above to clean the printhead. If the printhead is on a removable cartridge, pour a small amount of the solution of your choice into a saucer. Sit the cartridge, printerhead down, in the solution and leave it for about an hour. Wipe the printhead and replace the cartridge. If the printhead is attached to the printer, wipe it with a cotton swab dipped in the solvent. Repeat this as many times as necessary until the printhead is clean.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider other solutions. You can clean a printhead effectively with an application of isopropyl alcohol, distilled water and even a commercial cleaning product, like Windex.