1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Picture Of The Week (POW) Information and Submissions
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  3. Official PK Poll: Is there any future in refilling?
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  4. PK Featured Thread: New Light Standard Design - Ongoing Update
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice

Cleaning solution: the ultimate test

Discussion in 'Everything Else InkJet Printer Related' started by pharmacist, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. Jan 1, 2015
    Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Print Addict

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Messages:
    385
    Likes Received:
    76
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL, USA
    Printer Model:
    Canon ip4500, 9000 MK II, PRO-
    As I've said, no rocket science here, and no disrespect on Pharmacist's suggestion.

    My chemistry knowledge is not perfect, but I've spent a lot of time and fun with photo chemistry, making my own developers and fixers for the wet darkroom. I can't see why propylene glycol is necessary for head cleaning, it's not much of a solvent. Especially at the level suggested. Alcohol is much more active, and ammonia, with or without surfactant, is inherently alkaline which tends to break up organic molecules.

    And propylene glycol isn't readily available - although "non toxic" automotive anti-freezes and RV water system anti-freezes are available, why bother?
     
  2. Jan 1, 2015
    pharmacist

    pharmacist Printer Master Platinum Printer Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,221
    Likes Received:
    801
    Trophy Points:
    293
    Location:
    Ghent, Belgium
    Printer Model:
    Epson Pro 3880, R3000, WF-7525
    The reason of introducing the 3% propylene glycol was to prevent drying out of the sponge material in Canon cartridges (a so called-humectant), when water is completely evaporated and works like a lubricant inside Canon cartridges to improve ink absorption and also in print heads without diluting the ink too much. Maybe not rocket science, but the idea behind it, was more than an educated guess when I created this formula.

    It was originally formulated as a reconditioning formula for Canon sponge based cartridges: isopropanol to lower surface tension and at 20% works as a preservative as well and after drying the tiny amount of propylene glycol is left behind in the microscopically small cavities in the sponge material, which lubricates the internals, making ink to be absorbed much quicker, better and evenly in the sponge material.

    Does it helps for print head: maybe not at all, but when the solution dries, the propylene glycol stays behind, softening the sporadically left ink globs still not fully dissolved. Propylene glycol is a good solvent too.
     
    Roy Sletcher, mikem65d, 3dogs and 3 others like this.
  3. Jan 1, 2015
    PeterBJ

    PeterBJ Printer VIP Platinum Printer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,030
    Likes Received:
    3,344
    Trophy Points:
    333
    Location:
    Copenhagen Denmark
    Printer Model:
    Canon iP4300 + Epson scanner
    Some glycols are used as solvents in the paint manufacturing industry.
     
    mikem65d and 3dogs like this.
  4. Aug 26, 2015
    jfcarbel

    jfcarbel Getting Fingers Dirty

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    29
    Location:
    Chicago
    Printer Model:
    Epson 1430
    Is this solution still recommended and safe for newer Epson print heads?

    Also considering that it might be difficult to obtain some of these ingredients are there household solutions that can be used in the mixture, perhaps Windows with Ammonia combined with some distilled water and iso?

    I used Piezo Flush solution and it worked real well, but the stuff is expensive and since I don't print often enough would like a homemade solution to do the soaked paper towel under printhead to clean it maybe every other month. What was nice about the Piezo Flush is I could run it in a cart and it shows up on paper so I can determine effect of its unclogging.
     
  5. Aug 26, 2015
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,097
    Likes Received:
    3,301
    Trophy Points:
    273
    Location:
    Germany
    Printer Model:
    L310/382/1800, P400, Pro7600
    Ammonia may decomposit ink dye molecules, but Ammonia may react as well with metal parts in the ink channel like the nozzle plate, it may not do much harm on short usage but soaking a printhead with it for an extended period of time may be risky. I remember that an ink supplier - I cannot find it anymore - was offering such an ammonia based cleaner - for cartridges, the interior plastic parts of a printer stained with ink fog, or other parts with a plastic surface like a kitchen table , and that cleaner had a warning that it should not be used on printheads directly.
     
  6. Aug 26, 2015
    PeterBJ

    PeterBJ Printer VIP Platinum Printer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,030
    Likes Received:
    3,344
    Trophy Points:
    333
    Location:
    Copenhagen Denmark
    Printer Model:
    Canon iP4300 + Epson scanner
    Ammonia becomes very aggressive in higher concentrations, especially if hot, so I think the amount of ammonia in pharmacist's recipe in post #1 should not be exceeded.
     
  7. Aug 27, 2015
    ThrillaMozilla

    ThrillaMozilla Printer Master

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,171
    Likes Received:
    329
    Trophy Points:
    233
    I forget, but isn't this also used in the OEM inks? The MSDS often reveals much.
     
  8. Aug 27, 2015
    W. Fisher

    W. Fisher Printing Ninja

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    92
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Printer Model:
    Epsons, Canons, Brother.
    Where do you buy propylene glycol (glycerol) and isopropylalcohol? Pharmacy? I could use a liter of each.

    However, I wonder about ammonia though as it supposedly can etch copper and sundry non-ferrous metals that the heads may be made out of since they look sort of 'bronzy' under them. From the Engineer's Handbook: "Copper is resistant to corrosion in most atmospheres including marine and industrial environments. It is corroded by oxidizing acids, halogens, sulphides and ammonia based solutions." Link: http://www.engineershandbook.com/Materials/copper.htm

    I have had good luck with an ultrasonic cleaner in the past as ink explodes in it. They may use them on final cleaning when making them too so it might not harm them unless the head is too far gone.

    Tia.

    Will.
     
  9. Sep 2, 2015
    Smile

    Smile Printer Master

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,734
    Likes Received:
    375
    Trophy Points:
    253
    Location:
    Europe EU
    Printer Model:
    Canon, Brother, HP, Ricoh etc.
    There is a thread where I posted that special freq ultrasonics may help, but in general they only damage printheads. Especially Canon and HP thermal ones.
     
    martin0reg and The Hat like this.
  10. May 14, 2016
    astecno

    astecno Getting Fingers Dirty

    Joined:
    May 10, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    40
    Printer Model:
    Epson Stylus Pro 3800
    Dear friends, thinking about long term storage and refilling carts in an Epson Pro printer, is it necessary to fill the carts with a more concentrate ammonia solution? Or the basic formula for external cleaning is just enough?

    Just a sidenote: I'm not really planning to turn-off the printer for an indefinite period. I just want to fill the MK cart with the cleaning solution in order to avoid clogging the printhead, until I'm prepared for matte printing.
     

Share This Page