Cleaning solution: the ultimate test

PeterBJ

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It seems obtaining ammonia in the UK is difficult, see this thread: http://www.nifty-stuff.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=7980&p=1 . But a Google search suggests that ammonia is not unavailable in the UK, only hard to find. You could try this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bird-Brand-household-Ammonia-500ml/dp/B000TAOZIY . Amazon seems to have more sellers of ammonia. If this ammonia is not the concentrated ammonia, which is around 25% in strength, then increase the amount of ammonia in the cleaning solution accordingly.
 

pixmania

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PeterBJ said:
It seems obtaining ammonia in the UK is difficult, see this thread: http://www.nifty-stuff.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=7980&p=1 . But a Google search suggests that ammonia is not unavailable in the UK, only hard to find. You could try this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bird-Brand-household-Ammonia-500ml/dp/B000TAOZIY . Amazon seems to have more sellers of ammonia. If this ammonia is not the concentrated ammonia, which is around 25% in strength, then increase the amount of ammonia in the cleaning solution accordingly.
ammonia especially concentrated is a regulated chemical in the uk, used to be a favourite for bank robbers to spray security guards with.
obtaining it is almost impossible i think and i wouldn't want to use some household cleaner as you will not know what chemicals its made up with. too risky methinks.
 

PeterBJ

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pixmania wrote:

....and i wouldn't want to use some household cleaner as you will not know what chemicals its made up with. too risky methinks.
Ammonia or ammonium hydroxide is still used in a weak solution in water as a general purpose cleaner, especially for cleaning painted surfaces before repainting. So I think the Amazon offers of ammonia called household cleaners are actually ammonia solutions with nothing added. The strength is likely 8-9% but it should be labeled to tell the strength and possible additives. Amazon also has this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00755MEMA/ref=s9_simh_gw_p79_d1_i4?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1GG5M31VE1NMQ5G7QAC9&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=358549767&pf_rd_i=468294 which I think is without additives, see this: http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php?/topic/68883-dumb-question-where-do-you-get-ammonia/page__p__2369661#entry2369661 Also see this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_hydroxide

As it is offered by Amazon, I think that you don't need a permit to buy it. But if a permit is needed, I think you can get one if you explain to the authorities that you need the ammonia for technical cleaning purposes. It is after all not cyanide you are trying to buy.

ThrillaMozilla wrote:

Pharmacist, how big are your drops? 25 drops/mL ???
I did a simple test with demineralized water. Using a pipette I dropped 100 drops into a small glass container. I put this glass container on a small digital scale and zeroed the scale. I then emptied the container and weighed it again. The result was that the container had contained 4.2 grams of water, meaning that a ml is approximately 24 drops. I don't know the accuracy of my test so I think your value is fairly accurate.

I think drop size depends mostly on viscosity and surface tension, so how does a 25% ammonia solution differ from water in these properties?

When preparing pharmacists cleaning solution, I have used the value 20 drops/ml, I was told this value by a chemistry student years ago. It is no big difference from your value.
 

martin0reg

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I have a canon mp810 (=ip4500), cyan was slightly clogged, several cleaning cycle did not help.
Filled a cartridge with a standard cleaning fluid for printheads, small spray bottle, nothing special.
I made 3 cleaning cycles, let it stand for one day, NO printing, made 3 cleaning cycles again.
Print head seems to be okay, no more stripes

A year ago I have tried this with a self made fluid: german window cleaner, contains ammonia, diluted in aqua dest. NO success. Perhaps the cogging was stronger...I don't know for sure...could not save this print head...
Can alcohol or ammonia damage the pipes or plastic parts?? Was the fluid not strong enough or too strong?? it seems to be trial and error...
 

PeterBJ

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I have used this "Ajax" window cleaner with ammonia from Colgate-Palmolive, Google translate cannot handle this website: http://www.colgate.dk/app/PDP/Ajax/DK/Products/Glass-Cleaner.cwsp , click the small picture named "Vinduesvask", but it is able to translate this MSDS from Danish to English: http://translate.google.dk/translate?hl=da&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://www.vegagerdin.is/Handbaekur/Varasom_efni.nsf/d1d74a33198675a30025798800427c56/8f0432a2d7bcc5c700257a91005061be/$FILE/AJAX%20Window%20Original.pdf

It is seen that the active ingredients are an alcohol and ammonia. Glycerol=Glycerine, Propylene glycol and Isopropyl alcohol are also alcohols, so it looks similar to pharmacist's solution in my opinion. I have used both the Ajax Window Cleaner and pharmacist's solution. It's difficult to determine, but I think they work equally well for cleaning printheads.

Note that the concentration of ammonia in both liquids is very low. In higher concentrations, especially if it is hot, ammonia is highly corrosive, and it is able to break down epoxy bonds. I think that both liquids are safe for printheads.

Years ago I bought a small bottle of printhead cleaner. The liquid was blue like car/automotive windshield sprinkler fluid, it also smelled like sprinkler fluid; when i shook the bottle it also created foam like sprinkler fluid. I think it actually was overpriced sprinkler fluid. It worked fairly well, so I think sprinkler fluid is also suitable as a printhead cleaner. You may improve the effeciency as printhead cleaner by adding ammonia to the sprinkler fluid, but don't add more ammonia per litre than suggested in pharmacist's receipe.

The Ajax Window Cleaner contains ammonia, which is obvious from the smell, but it is not enough to be irritating, So I think the German window cleaner will be better as a printhead cleaner, if it is used without diluting.

As English is not my primary language, I may not be the person to judge it, but I think your English is very good. I do read German with a little difficulty, so I often check out Druckerchannel.de. I remember a post on the druckerchannel forum which was written in a German that was impossible to understand. The answer was: Please post again in English, your Google translation makes no sense. :lol:
 

martin0reg

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In germany it is the same brand called "ajax", which I used one year ago.

Just to sum up the main ingredients, as far as I understand pharmacist, there is:
- destilled water
- isopropyl alcohol for preservating the fluid;
cleaning or resolvant effect??
- glycerol for viscosity and flow;
cleaning effect as "surfactant"??
- ammonia as resolvant (?)

I have to look for a chemistry set for children, my new hobby, gave up the printing...

Next time I will try some of other fluids:
http://www.octopus-office.de/shop/l/c/duesenreiniger-reiniger-spueltinte-von-ocp-octopus-fluids-und-inktec/

They have a ammonia cleaning fluid "nozzle rocket", but according to the instructions it only works with bubble jet printers (canon), not for piezo (epson), as heat is neeeded to resolve the clogs.
...right or wrong..?? they suggest application on the print head plate, not in a cleaning cartridge...


PS: thank you peter, my english seems to be ... okay ... as long as I struggle hard with my online dictionary before posting ... exhausting sometimes..
 

PeterBJ

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Hi ThrillaMozilla.

Regarding drop size, I found this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drop_(volume) . From the article I noticed this: "Pharmacists have since moved to metric measurements, with a drop being rounded to exactly 0.05 mL (that is, 20 drops per milliliter)." So my guess is that pharmacist used this value.

Hi martin0reg

Note in post #1 that pharmacist reported having used this solution with success on an Epson printer.

I am not a chemist and high school chemistry is many years ago for me. So this is only a guess. Canon ink uses water as the main ingredient but also has Glycerol=Glycerine and Diethylene Glycol added. So I think the purpose of adding Glycol or Glycerol is to adjust the properties of the cleaning solution to match those of the ink. I think the Isopropyl Alcohol and ammonia increases the effectiveness of the cleaning fluid. Also Alcohol contents of 20% or more preserves the fluid.

Here is a MSDS for Canon CLI-8Y: http://www.usa.canon.com/cpr/pdf/MSDS/IC1456_0202.pdf

Maybe pharmacist or ThrillaMozilla could explain the purpose of the ingredients of the cleaning fluid?

The "Nozzle Rocket" is not recommended for Epson printers, but pharmacist's solution seems to be. If you need to clean an Epson print head, it is better to check with the Epson forum, as Epson printers are very different from Canon printers, and you cannot remove the print head for cleaning, so different procedures are needed.

When I need to know an English technical term, ordinary dictionaries are not much help. I then look for a Wikipedia article in my native language Danish, and then click the link to the English article. I found many English technical terms that way.
 

Magpie1892

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pixmania said:
pharmacist said:
Many forum members have enjoyed my formula to condition the sponge of Canon cartridges.

The formula is as follows:

-3 ml propylene glycol (or 2 % glycerol)
-20 ml isopropylalcohol
-distilled water up to 100 ml
The cleaning solution to free up clogged printheads is by adding 20-25 drops of concentrated ammonia to each 100 ml of cleaning solution..
i live in the u.k what and where can i get concentrated ammonia. is it readily available to the public. sounds like it might a restricted sale type of thing
I can get you ammonia 33% contact me on here

Ken
 

Magpie1892

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PeterBJ said:
Hi ThrillaMozilla.



The "Nozzle Rocket" is not recommended for Epson printers, but pharmacist's solution seems to be. If you need to clean an Epson print head, it is better to check with the Epson forum, as Epson printers are very different from Canon printers, and you cannot remove the print head for cleaning, so different procedures are needed.

When I need to know an English technical term, ordinary dictionaries are not much help. I then look for a Wikipedia article in my native language Danish, and then click the link to the English article. I found many English technical terms that way.
Epson heads can be removed but yes are more difficult and they are in ONE BLOCK , the nozzles are very small the issue with then is once a epson head goes even in one colout the entire head needs replacing. I currently have a epson stylus pro 7900 with only about 70K prints done on it and the head has blocked nozzles. I am going to try a solutions like the one mentioned here to try and get it back working.

Ill let you know as a HEad for this machine is approx 750 gbp plus fitting .

Ken
 
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