By Linda Lindquist

If you do not print often, your printer may not print when you need it to.  This happens often when snowbirds return to Florida.  The ink cartridges, left in the printer over the summer months, dry out.  Ink gets crusted onto the bottom of the cartridge,  and some drips of ink congeal and block the print head (the part under the cartridge).  Even replacing the cartridges does not allow the printer to print.


A simple solution may be to clean the print heads with rubbing alcohol and Q-tips.

  1. Take the cartridges out of the printer
  2. Dip a clean Q-tip into the bottle of rubbing alcohol (not dripping wet)
  3. Clean crusted ink off the ‘old’ cartridges  (do not touch the copper fittings)
  4. Get a clean  Q-tip and repeat step 2
  5. Clean the print head (that part  under the cartridge slot)
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until no ink transfers onto the Q-tips.
  7. Reinsert the ‘old’ cleaned cartridges.
  8. Using the maintenance tools on the printer, select the CLEAN PRINT HEADS function (use the old cartridges because this function uses lots of ink)
  9. Print a test page
  10. May need to repeat step 8 more than once.


This should clear up the problem of your printer not printing.  If it does not,  it may be time to purchase a new printer.  Printers are not too costly, and they come with new ink cartridges!  (I used to work for a printer manufacturer, so trust me when I say that they are really in the replacement ink business!).


Call me if you need help or advice about your printing problems.