HP cartridges are known to act up especially if you try to refill or leave them inactive for long periods of time. The issue of some colours not printing correctly is attributable to two main causes; blocked nozzles or misalignment. Misalignment is fixable through a fairly straightforward way via the printer’s troubleshooter. In most, if not all, models, all you need to do is print an alignment page, then scan the printout. The printer uses the scanned image to automatically correct the misalignment.
For nozzle blockage, you have to do it manually. However, how you do this depends on what the reason for blockage could be.
Blockage due to Infrequent Use
Printer ink may dry up on the print head if the printer stays idle for a long time. This can be fixed as follows;
(i). Mix warm water and rubbing alcohol in equal parts, just enough to partially submerge the cartridge.
(ii). Place the cartridge in the mixture of water and rubbing alcohol with the print head facing down. Remember it should be partially submerged.
(iii). Let it stay in that position for 30 minutes.
(iv). Retrieve the cartridge and dry it on blotting paper or soft tissue paper.
(iv). Place it back into the printer and run the “clean ink cartridge utility.”
Blockage due to air bubbles.
Printer manufacturers make real profits from sale of ink cartridges, not the printers. Therefore, they will not tell you that you can refill ink cartridges and save some cash. The process itself is a little messy and should only be left to used hands. During refilling air bubbles may get into the cartridge and interrupt flow of ink to the nozzles. The following steps will guide you on how to unblock.
- Take out the affected cartridge from the printer.
- Clean the top part with a soft tissue or any highly absorbent material.
- Place your lips on the top part of the cartridge and blow into the air holes gently.
- Dab the print head gently with soft tissue paper to dry any excess ink that came out of the nozzles. The head should leave a clean continuous strip (for single-color) or 3 strips (for tri-color). You may need to repeat the process if the strips are non-existent or broken.
In some cases, the problem may not be on the print head but rather in its communication with printer. Communication takes place through the copper contacts behind the cartridge and can be hampered by dirt or ink blotches. Use a clean, dry cloth or tissue to clean copper contacts on the cartridge as well as those on the receptacle in the printer.
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