Canon Printer ink cartridge clogged printing lines or not printing at all fix or replace printer ink cartridge.

The cartridge is clogged with dry ink from low usage.

Unblocking the ink nozzles and unclogging the ink from the print cartridge can fix it.

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How to fix a clogged ink cartridge

This works on most inkjet printers that have the print head and printer ink tank storage in one device knows an printer ink cartridge.

Usually these have 2 ink cartridges one cartridge for black ink and another color cartridge for Cyan Magenta and Yellow most often.

There are various ways to clean the print head on the ink cartridge using a suction tool device or hot distilled water or isopropl alcohol or even window cleaner.

If none of these works the printer cartridge circuit might be damaged or the blockage can’t be removed.

In this case you might want to try third-party cartridges that are compatible if any or original new cartridges for your printer.

Your cartridges may be different than the ones shown here or in the video. You can adapt the steps to your own cartridge.

The suction devices are made for specific cartridges so make sure you have one for your own printer model.

How to video

Canon Printer ink cartridge clogged printing lines

Shown in the video:

  • Canon Inkjet printer clogged printer cartridge
  • Black printer cartridge removal
  • Canon PG-540 black printer cartridge dry ink nozzles
  • Check if ink cartridge nozzles are blocked
  • Unclog ink nozzles with hot distilled water
  • Unclog printer cartridge with suction tool device
  • Clean ink nozzles with Isopropyl alcohol
  • Clean ink nozzles with window cleaner or mix of window cleaner and isopropyl alcohol
  • Suction tool cleaning
  • Check if ink cartridge is ready to use
  • Reinstall printer cartridge and test again
  • Options if the cleaning does not fix the problem

Unclog the printer ink cartridge

Print a test page with text or some text and graphics.

Inkjet Printer prints faded text with lines
Inkjet Printer prints faded text with lines

You will see lines on the printed text.

Depending how bad the inkjet cartridge is clogged, you might see more or less lines or no text at all.

Printer cartridge cleaning and deep cleaning

Try the printer software menus in the troubleshooting section to run the ink cartridge cleaning steps and do a test print again.

If the printer cartridge is still clogged, run the deep ink cartridge cleaning steps.

Remove printer ink cartridge from printer

To unclog the printer ink cartridge you have to remove the cartridge from the printer.

Inkjet Printer Cartridge
Inkjet Printer Cartridge

Usually opening the printer cartridge door while it’s powered on, will make the printer place the printer cartridges in the parked position ready to be removed from the printer.

Each printer is different so your cartridges may look different than in the photos or video.

Check cartridge with a paper towel

Place the ink cartridge on a fine paper towel and keep it there a few seconds, then place it on another place on the paper towel.

Inkjet Printer Cartridge Nozzles Clogged
Inkjet Printer Cartridge Nozzles Clogged

You should see ink soaked in the paper towel as one continuous straight line of black ink for black cartridges or 3 colored lines for color ink cartridges.

If the line of soaked ink on the paper is not uniform and in some places it’s very thin it means that ink doesn’t flow easily in that area and should be cleaned.

Unclog printer ink cartridge nozzles

To unclog the printer ink cartridge you should use liquids to soak intro the cartridge ink nozzles to soften the dry ink clogging the nozzles.

Unclog cartridge ink nozzles with distilled water

Start with a solution of distilled water. Place the cartridge in distilled water for 30 minutes or 1 hour then try to check nozzles on a paper towel again.

Inkjet Printer Cartridge Cleaning in Hot Distilled Water
Inkjet Printer Cartridge Cleaning in Hot Distilled Water

If it’s not gettign better, try to use hot distilled water, heat the water bellow boiling point and place the cartridge in it again.

Unclog cartridge ink nozzles with window cleaner

Try to make a solution or part window cleaner part distilled water approx. 50 / 50 or if you want to make it stonger 70% window cleaner and 30% water.

Inkjet Printer Cartridge Cleaning with Window Cleaner IPA
Inkjet Printer Cartridge Cleaning with Window Cleaner IPA

The window cleaner has to contain Ammonia, look at your local supermarket what Ammonia window cleaner spray products are available.

The rest is the same.

Place the ink cartridge nozzles in the window cleaner solution for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Try again on the paper towel you should see some improvements by now.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Try to make a solution of 70% IPA aka. Isopropyl Alcohol by mixing 70% IPA directly or mix 70% IPA (99.9) and 30% distilled water.

Inkjet Printer Cartridge Cleaning
Inkjet Printer Cartridge Cleaning

You could try to start with a mix of 50% IPA first.

Be careful do not let the IPA get dry on the cartridge ink nozzles as this may clog the nozzles even more.

Window Cleaner + Isopropyl Alcohol

Use a 70% IPA and 30% window cleaner as the ultimate nozzle unclogging solution.

You can also start with adding some distilled water about 20% to 30% of the final solution.

Use a suction cup

Use a suction cup to pull ink from the cartridge thru the nozzles with creating vacuum using a syringe.

Inkjet Printer Cartridge Ink Suction Cup
Inkjet Printer Cartridge Ink Suction Cup

This uses force to open the clogged ink nozzles.

Refill the ink cartridge

Fill the ink cartridge with recommended amount and be careful with color cartridges not to over-fill them.

Color cartridges can have colors mixes if are overfileld or even if are sitting too long in the cleaning solution.

Black ink cartridges will only leak if overfilled but you can use the suction cup syringe to remove some ink if needed.

Check cartridge ink nozzles

Check the cartridge ink nozzles with a paper towel.

The lines of soaked ink on the paper should be now much thicker and uniform.

Inkjet Printer Cartridge Unclgged
Inkjet Printer Cartridge Unclgged

If they are the same, you should consider replacing the printer ink cartridges with original cartridges or compatible third-party ink cartridges.

Test Print

If ink flows well and ink marks on the paper towel are uniform.

Wipe with a soft dry paper towel, any water, fluid or ink away from the electrical contacts and carefully wipe the nozzle area – bellow the ink cartridge.

Electrical contacts and area aroudn them must be dry and clean.

Install the printer ink cartridge back into the printer and do a test print.

Inkjet Printer still prints faded text after cleaning
Inkjet Printer still prints faded text after cleaning

Now the lines will probably still remain but a lot less than before or even no lines at all.

If the lines didn’t change, the electrical parts of the contacts or the nozzles may be damaged.

Canon Inkjet Cartridge Contacts
Canon Inkjet Cartridge Contacts

Try to wipe the cartridge contacts on the printer ink cartridge and also the contacts in the printer where the cartridge is inserted.

Inkjet Printer Cartridge Installation
Inkjet Printer Cartridge Installation

Try not to move left and right too much not to bend the cartridge pins inside the printer.

There may be ink there and all you have to do is wipe it or soak the ink away.

Still has lines

If the lines are still there, you should replace the ink cartridge or use it as it is if the print is better than before but still has some lines.


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