Unclog Epson Printhead
Today I will show you how to do an Epson waste ink pad cleaning and a waste ink counter reset. The specific model I’ll be working on for this waste ink pad cleaning and waste ink pad counter reset is an EcoTank 2750 that I was lucky enough to buy for $50. I’ve also done a video on my YouTube channel, Kevin at BCH, about how I fixed this printer before attempting the waste ink pad replacement.
This printer really needed its waste ink tank serviced, since it had such high mileage (over 18,000 pages printed). Epson printer waste ink pads come into use whenever the Epson does a self-cleaning. It always spits out a little extra ink, which then goes to the Epson waste tank and is absorbed by the waste ink pads.
If you run a lot of self-cleaning on your Epson printer, it won’t take long for it to make your waste ink pad full. You’ll need to replace the waste ink pad in your Epson and reset the waste ink counter when this happens.
Accessing the Waste Ink
Start by turning to the back right corner of your Epson printer. You’ll see that there’s a screw we need to remove. The screw will stay with the cover, so you don’t have to worry about it getting lost. Use your finger to peel off the cover and set that aside for now.
Once that is off, there will be a second screw that we need to remove. This one will be located on a piece of gray plastic, just below the waste ink tank. After removing that second screw, you can easily take the waste ink tank out.
If you’re following along with my video on this process, you’ll see (at about the one-minute mark) that my printer’s waste ink pad was very saturated. There will be another screw on the top of the waste ink tank that we need to remove to access and replace the waste ink pad.
After you remove the third screw, you should be able to get in and lift that corner. Then carefully work your way around the side, using your finger.
A little bit lower, you’ll see a few tabs on the gray plastic part of the waste ink tank. Using metal tweezers or something similar, carefully push those tabs in. Once you have taken the casing off and can plainly see the waste ink pads, you may want to take a picture to know what it should look like when you put them back in later.
Cleaning the Waste Ink Pads
Now that we’ve removed the waste ink pads, you don’t necessarily need to throw them away and order replacements. In fact, it’s usually a good idea to try and clean them to see if you’ll be able to use them again.
There are a few ways to do this. The easiest (and sometimes most convenient) way to do this may sound strange, but I assure you that it’s effective. If you or someone in your household owns a pair of pantyhose, we will need them. If they belong to your wife or girlfriend, you may want to ask permission first.
All you have to do is wrap the waste ink pads inside the pantyhose and put them in the washing machine. You’ll be fine just washing them the same way you clean everyday clothing. However, you may want to wash them in a separate cycle to avoid the ink staining anything else.
If you don’t have pantyhose or your wife/girlfriend told you to stop using hers, then there's a slightly less convenient way to try washing them. You can take them outside (if the temperature isn’t below freezing) and spray them off with your garden hose until the ink stops coming out and they are more or less back to their original white color.
If you don’t have a garden hose or it’s too cold outside to use it, you could always wash them in the sink. I recommend removing any dishes from the sink before doing so. It may take a bit longer, but it’s still just as effective.
Once you’ve cleaned them as thoroughly as possible, you’ll need to dry them off. My favorite way to do this is using a salad spinner. While it’s less fun and takes more time, you could also just hang them up to dry.
You can clean the sponges several times as needed. You’ll very rarely need to buy new sponges. Now reverse the process we did earlier and put the sponges and waste ink tank back into the printer.
Resetting the Waste Ink Counter
We may be done cleaning and replacing the pads, but that doesn’t mean your printer is good to go quite yet. Not everyone knows this, but Epson printers have an internal mechanism that tracks the waste ink to notify the printer when the waste ink levels are full. This function can be convenient, but it doesn’t reset itself once you fix the issue.
Don’t worry, though. I’ll show you how to reset the waste ink tank counter yourself. To do this, you will need to download some software to your computer and hook your printer up to it with a USB cable. If you hook your printer up with a wireless connection, this process won’t work.
There are many software programs for this that you could choose from, but I’m not sure about the legitimacy of most of them. I prefer InkChip.net because I’ve used it before and run it enough to know it’s not a virus. However, your antivirus program will probably still flag it as one, which can cause issues. You may want to disable it for now until we’re done.
Another thing I like about this program is that it has an excellent discount if you buy more than one key at a time. Yes, you will need to pay money for this, but it’s cheaper than having Epson fix your printer. Since I go through this process a lot, I find the discount very helpful.
You can use each key for multiple models, so scroll down and find your printer’s model number to ensure you get the correct key for your printer. Once you’re sure it’s compatible, select your preferred language but don’t click buy just yet. The software downloads for free, so run it and make sure it will work with your printer first.
This program requires you to have a C++ redistributable program as well. If you don’t have that or are unsure whether or not you do, don’t worry. The program will automatically install those files for you.
Before you do anything else with this program, check the waste ink counters. At the top of the window, you should see a drop-down menu. Click on that and select your printer. Click “read waste ink counters.” If this works correctly, then go ahead and buy the key.
Now click on “Reset waste ink counters.” You should get a popup asking you to input the waste ink key. Go ahead and copy and paste that, then click “okay.” Simply restart your printer and check the waste ink counter one more time through the software program — it should say everything’s at zero.