For the most part the most common problem with inkjet printers is going to be poor print quality. This problem is fairly easy to pick up on because it will generally show in the form of white lines running straight through each line of print. These lines are caused by the print nozzles being clogged, being blocked they can’t dispense ink. Because companies want to solve this problem they have printer heads in each printer ink cartridge, which is great because each time you replace your printer cartridge you’re also getting a new print head.

If you have an older computer which doesn’t have the print head built into the printer cartridge, well then my friend you will get to clean the printer head in your printer. No fear it’s not hard, most cases not dirty, or messy.

Cleaning the print head

For most printers you can fix the problem of a clogged print head nozzle is to, put some rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab and rub on the print head. Then get a clean dry paper towel and wipe the printer head dry, and if any ink is left around on the print head clean this up also. The alcohol will dissolve any dried or built up ink on the print head. If you printer doesn’t do a maintenance when you replace your printer cartridge, then you should manually run the maintenance cleaning mode for your printer cartridges from If you’re unsure how to run this set your manufacturer instructions will tell you how to runt this.

Check the printer head ribbon

Now don’t get frustrated or discouraged if these steps don’t fix your problem. It is possible to have some other things affect your printer’s quality. Two of the other most common problems will could be your printer head ribbon, or just paper dust. Both of these are pretty easy to check on, the printer head ribbon, easy open the cover of your printer, the big ribbon wire (probably about 2 inches wide and gray in color), and just make sure each end of this ribbon is attached firmly.

Paper dust is another thing to check, this will effect electrical connections. You have pretty much done the fix here when you cleaned you printer head nozzle, but you can clean up the rest of the paper dust by blowing the area with a can of compressed air. As fine as paper dust is, it can and will interfere with signals being sent to the printer. Be sure all the alcohol has dried after cleaning the printer head nozzles, and closing the printer cover.

If these fixes don’t clear up your problem if will be very likely that something has happened to the printer head itself, and will need to be replace.
Hope this helps.

By Genaro Martin

Linda Martin: Linda, a renowned management consultant, offers strategies for leadership, team building, and performance management in her blog.