How to Unclog Printer Nozzles

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Printer nozzles accept the ink from the cartridges and funnel it through to the printing process. They can get clogged with dried ink, especially if the printer is rarely used. Some printers have built-in nozzle-cleaning processes, in which case you can follow the instructions in your manual. For all other printers, you can clean the nozzles manually.

Things You'll Need

  • Distilled water
  • Sponge
  • Printer head cleaner
  • Open your printer and remove the ink cartridges according to your printer manual. This will vary by printer. If you no longer have the manual, call the manufacturer or see if you can find a manual on the manufacturer's website.

  • Dampen the corner of a sponge with distilled water and dab around the exposed nozzle. Any dried ink will become wet and either soak into the sponge or run harmlessly down into the ink tray. Repeat until the nozzle is clean.

  • Use a different sponge for each color of ink to avoid cross-contaminating color.

  • Pour a small amount of printer nozzle cleaner from your manufacturer in for best results. This is not necessary, but can help with a severely clogged printer.

  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
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