Introduction Reasons of clogging print head
If the print head is exposed to the air for a long period of time, ink can dry up and block the small opening.
Foreign objects (ink impurity or dust) can block the opening. Some internet instructions advise users to wipe clean the print head with tissues or paper towels, which may introduce blockage to the print head.
An air bubble can temporarily block the opening. Air is naturally dissolved in the ink.
Fluctuation of room temperature will change the air concentration and thus form air bubbles.
Changing cartridges also introduces air into the system. (*Note: This is why you should do a print head-cleaning cycle after installing a new cartridge).
It may not be a blockage. There are processes that can permanently damage the nozzle; the print head may be scratched and damaged, the print head may have over-heated during a long printing process, or a paper jam may have caused the issue.
Some common problems in printers are indicative of print head clogging. If you are experiencing a decrease in print quality, missing lines or blank pages while trying to print, this may be the issue. There are many tips on the internet about unclogging the print head. Such tips range from helpful to detrimental for the printer. Today, I describe the unclogging process from an ink supplier’s perspective and hope it will be helpful to household users.
The mechanics behind clogging are simple. The print head is like a water tank with a very tiny opening. During printing, the machine squeezes out microscopic (picoliter) ink droplets. The ink is designed to dry fast so as not to smudge.
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