Solved: Black and Color Print Head Clogged, Not Printing. Part I: Integrated Printhead

Today we are going to show you how to unclog integrated printhead.  It is called integrated because it has printhead and cartridge built into one unit.  When you change a cartridge, you also change the printhead.  We use HP 98 cartridge as an example.  The procedure is similar to other brands like Canon and Lexmark.

If you refilled a fresh cartridge and found it is not working, it is likely that refill process introduced air bubble to the bottom of the cartridge.  Let the cartridge sit overnight, and the cartridge should be able to print again.  If the cartridge is old, the print head may be clogged by dried ink, dirt, debris, or physically damaged, the cartridge will not work.  

We will use dried cartridges in this video.  You can get empty cartridges by searching "empty" + model number on eBay.  We also sell used empty cartridges on our website.  If a cartridge was used once and never been refilled, it is called "virgin" cartridge.  If it was refilled, then it is called non-virgin.


Fill a bowl with 1/4 inch of hot water.  Heat the water in a microwave for 1 minute.  Put the cartridges in the bowl for 10 minutes.  It will loosen the dirt and make the cleaning solutions more efficient.

With an empty bowl, add a 1/4 inch of BCH Triple Action cleaning solutions.  BCH makes two kinds of cleaning solutions.  The Green Triple Action works on the dye, pigment, and sublimation ink.  The Transparent Cleaning Solution works on dye and pigment ink.  Soaked the cartridges overnight.

From the video, the result looks no much different than yesterday's hot water treatment.  However, the clog is penetrated and softened.  Now we need to remove the air bubbles and sludge out of the bottom of the cartridge.

Unclog Method One.  

Let's blow it out.  For the black cartridge, we can seal the four holes and blow air into the remaining hole.  The pressure will push sludge and air bubbles out of the bottom.

For the color cartridge, it has three chambers.  The top chamber has one hole, and the bottom two chambers each has two holes.  The plan is the same.  Seal all other holes and only leave one hole open.  Blow air in the hole.  Canon's black cartridge only has one hole, and color cartridge only has three holes, which make it a lot easier than HP's.

Use a piece of duct tape cover the bottom four holes.  Then we used a syringe to push in each hole and make sure they are sealed.  You can use a hot glue gun, or 2-millimeter plug to seal those holes too.  The plug can be purchased from BCH Technologies dot com, under Accessories category.

We use a priming syringe to blow air into the hole.  The priming syringe is also available at BCH website.  You can modify a regular syringe to do that too.  You can see sludge is blown out of the bottom.

Method Two.  

We use a priming clip from BCH Website.  The priming clip has a plastic holder and a silicone pad.  The silicone pad is used to suck ink out of printhead.  You can make a DIY priming clip from a rubber eraser.  

Put the cartridge in the clip cradle and push in until it locks.  Use a syringe draw from the bottom.  Once you see the air bubble is gone, stop.  Take the cartridge off the clip, clean the electric contact points, and insert into the printer.

Method Three.  

We used a household vacuum machine.  We duck taped the cartridge on the hose.  The vacuum will suck air from the printhead.  You will not have a good view of the printhead while doing this.  So we vacuumed for few seconds and took a look.

Jun 7th 2017 BCH Technologies

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