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How do I clean my Hewlett Packard injet?

Posted By : of Data Doctors on June 21, 1999

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When printing the black is smeared and it puts a line thru the words.Installed new color and black cartridges and printer does the same.

Whether you can help or not I really appreciate you giving me this chance to write you.

Not trying to get points but you fellas have a fine radio show.

Take care


This question was answered on June 21, 1999. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Small quantities of dust, hair, fiber, and other debris can build up inside your HP OfficeJet to produce streaks or smears on your output To prevent this from happening, occasional cleaning of the printer is recommended.

The following is a quick and simple process that will clean debris and fibers from your printer to ensure clear, sharp output every time HP recommends that you perform this process at least every three months.

Before you start, make sure that you have the following

8-10 cotton swabs or any clean pieces of soft, lint-free material that will not come apart when wet or leave fibers behind

Enough distilled, filtered or bottled water to moisten the swabs Tap water should be avoided, since it could contain contaminants that may damage the print cartridges.

Sheets of paper or paper towels to rest the print cartridges on while you are working.

2 - 4 paper coffee filters to absorb any residual ink or lint/debris from the underside of the ink cartridge cradle.

WARNING: Keep the print cartridges out of reach of children.

Remove the print cartridges

Turn the HP OfficeJet on, lift the top cover, and wait while the print cartridges move to the center of the printer

After the print cartridges have moved to the center of the printer, unplug the power cord from the electrical outlet into which it is plugged

Remove both print cartridges and place them on their sides on a sheet of paper

NOTE: Do not leave the print cartridges outside the printer for longer than 30 minutes If a cartridge is left uncapped for too long, the ink will dry out and the cartridge will become unusable.

Be careful not to get any ink on your hands or clothes.

Clean the print cartridges

Dip a clean cotton swab in water and squeeze out any excess

Hold the black print cartridge by the colored cap

Use the swab to wipe clean the face and edges of the print cartridge as shown by the arrows DO NOT wipe the nozzle plate

Inspect the cartridge to see if any debris has been left behind To do this, hold it up to the light and tilt it at an angle If you see any traces of dust, dirt, or fiber, repeat Steps 2 and 3 to remove them

Now repeat Steps 1-4 to clean the color print cartridge Always use a fresh cotton swab for each cartridge to avoid transferring debris from one cartridge to another

Clean the print cartridge cradle

Locate the cradle that held the print cartridges

Locate the two black, hook-shaped arms on the base of the cradle

Using clean, moistened swabs, wipe the flat surfaces underneath each arm, from back to front

Repeat the process until no ink is left on a clean swab

Clean the service station

The Service Station is located behind/underneath the on/off switch on the right side of your HP OfficeJet You will need to reach back behind the casing to clean it

Using a clean, moistened swab, clean Wiper 1 and the top surface of Cap 1 Always use a light touch when cleaning the print cartridge caps Rubbing may unseat the caps which could eventually damage the print cartridges

Now take another clean, moistened swab and clean Wiper 2 and the top surface of Cap 2

Cleaning the Ink Cartridge Cradle Underside (to remove any lint or debris)

Take a clean paper coffee filter and fold it in half, then fold it in half once again Lightly moisten the folded coffee filter with the distilled or bottled water Insert the folded/closed edge of the coffee filter underneath the black plastic ink cartridge cradle, push the moistened coffee filter back underneath the cradle until the leading edge is just in front of the brass colored rollers located across the paper path, just behind the ink cartridge cradle Refer to diagram C for underside view of the cradle

Hold the moistened coffee filter firmly in place with one hand, while grasping the top portion of the black plastic cradle with the other hand and gently move the cradle back and forth across the coffee filter Notice if the top surface of the coffee filter has any residual ink rubbed on it from the underside of the cradle Carefully remove coffee filter and fold it over to expose the clean side of the coffee filter

Insert the folded/closed edge of the moistened coffee filter underneath the black plastic ink cartridge cradle, push the coffee filter back underneath the cradle until the leading edge is just in front of the brass colored rollers located across the paper path, just behind the ink cartridge cradle

Repeat the ink cartridge cradle underside cleaning step until there is no ink residue showing on the top surface of clean, moistened paper coffee filter

Carefully remove the folded paper coffee filter from the underside of the ink cartridge cradle.

Reinstall the print cartridges

Reinstall the print cartridges and close the HP OfficeJets top cover

Reinsert the power cord into the electrical outlet

Check your output

Open your HP OfficeJet Manager icon

Select the Settings button in the HP OfficeJet Manager Select the Settings and Maintenance tab; then, select the Maintenance tab

Within the Maintenance dialog window, click the self-test button

Check the output for streaks

NOTE: Careful cleaning will usually be enough to remove any streaks However, it is possible that fiber or debris may have been missed, which might interfere with print quality To remove them, simply repeat the cleaning procedure until the test printout is 100% clear and sharp.


For trouble-free printing with your HP OfficeJet, remember to clean the cartridge, cradle, and service station every three months

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Posted by of Data Doctors on June 21, 1999

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