What’s wrong with my printer cartridge? Has the following ever happened to you? You’ve created a great document, greeting card or cropped your favorite photo and want to print it. You press the print button and….the paper goes through but nothing is on the paper.
What can be wrong with my cartridge you ask?
Well, it depends on what type of cartridge you have and when the last time you printed with the cartridge.
If you have a printhead cartridge (that is the one that has copper on the back or bottom), you could have a blockage or dry printhead. Printhead cartridges have numbers such as:
- HP #15 thru #99 or #901,
- Canon 40, 41, 210, 211, 240, 241 and,
- Most Lexmarks or Dell printers.
So what do you do next? You might be able to rejuvenate the cartridge with this technique.
Grab a couple of paper towels and run them under hot water. Squeeze out the excess water and place the cartridge on the paper towel for about a minute. This will help to soften any congealed ink stuck in the printhead.
Remove the cartridge and wipe it dry. Get a dry piece of paper towel and and press the printhead onto this piece to see if any black or colour is coming out. If it is, great, put your cartridge back into the printer and print.
If it is not, you will have to take a trip to your local cartridge refiller and ask them to use their advanced techniques to try to revive the cartridge. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The way to prevent this problem is to use your cartridges regularly to avoid this frustration and wasting your money.
There is another type of cartridge that we call the ink tank style. These do not have the typical copper strip, but you may notice and small gold chip. Some cartridge numbers to reference for this style are:
- HP #564, 920, 940, 950, 932, 933,
- Canon 8, 221, 226,
- Brother, 41, 51, 61, 71, 75,
- Lexmark 100, 108, Dell 21, 22,
- All Epson cartridges.
With these types of cartridges, the printhead is actually in the printer, so if you don’t print fairly regularly, the printhead in your printer can get clogged and this may render the printer useless.
If it has been a couple of weeks since you have used your printer, you will have to perform a print head cleaning. On most printers there is an option within the menu for maintenance or printhead cleaning. If there is no menu option, try this procedure:
- Right click on ‘Start’ and go to printers and faxes,
- Highlight your printer and go to the properties tab and look for maintenance or colour control.
- You may have to run this function several times to un-clog the printhead.
In some printers the printhead is removeable. If you do remove it you can clean it by soaking a paper towel with hot water squeezing it out and laying the printhead on top of it. Then dry it up, put it back in and give it a try.
Of course, if you have a laser printer, then you won’t run into any of these issues as toner cartridges use a powdered substance.
In order to keep your cartridges lubricated and ready to print when you are, my best advice is that it’s best to try to print once a week, even with the colour cartridge. Use it or lose it when it comes to ink cartridges.
Try this and let me know how it works for you. I love getting feedback. And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog if you have one via the commentluv feature here on the site.
Until next time,