Cleaning the Print Head

If your printouts are unexpectedly light, or dots or lines are missing from the image, you may need to clean the print head. This unclogs the nozzles so they can deliver ink properly.

Print head cleaning uses ink, so clean it only if quality declines.

This section explains how to clean the print head using the Head Cleaning utility. This is the recommended method when the printer is connected directly to your computer (not over a network).

You can also clean the print head by holding down the  maintenance button on the printer for three seconds (when the red  error light is off).

Caution: When you don't turn on your printer for a long time, the print quality can decline. It's a good idea to turn on your printer at least once a month to maintain good print quality.

Running the Head Cleaning Utility

  1. Make sure the printer is turned on but not printing, and the red  error light is off. (If the red light is flashing or on, you may need to replace the ink cartridge; see Replacing an Ink Cartridge for details.)
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Windows: Right-click the printer icon on your taskbar (in the lower right corner of your screen). Select Head Cleaning.
    • Macintosh OS X: Double-click the Applications folder on your hard drive. Double-click EPSON Printer Utility, select the C44 Series printer, and click OK. Then click Head Cleaning.
    • Macintosh OS 8.6 to 9.x: Open the File menu and choose Page Setup or Print. Click the utility button, then click the Head Cleaning button.
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen to clean the print head. Cleaning takes about 30 seconds, during which the printer makes some noise and the  green
     power light flashes.
  4. Caution: Never turn off the printer while the  power light is flashing, unless the printer hasn't moved or made noise for more than 5 minutes.

  5. When the  power light stops flashing, run a nozzle check to confirm the print head nozzles are clean.
  6. Make sure plain paper is loaded in the printer and click Print Nozzle Check Pattern. Then click Print. The nozzle check pattern prints (see the next section for details).

  7. If the nozzle check pattern has no gaps or lines, click Finish.
  8. If the pattern has white lines, click Clean to clean the print head again.

    If you don't see any improvement after cleaning three or four times, check the solutions in Problems and Solutions. You can also turn the printer off and wait overnight-this allows any dried ink to soften-and then try cleaning the print head again.

Examining the Nozzle Check Pattern

Examine the nozzle check pattern you print. Each colored square should be solid, with no gaps or lines, as shown:

If your printout looks okay, you're done.

If you see any white lines or gaps (as shown), clean the print head again; see Running the Head Cleaning Utility for instructions.