When all other cleaning methods have failed...the last cleaning method to try.

mikling

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For over ten years I have been intensively using inkjet printers at a higher than normal use level and there are some things that we learn everyday. I have learned a lot in the last few weeks.

Over the last few weeks I have been busy and most of it inkjet related. I have come out of this with more knowledge about things that can go wrong and what to do.

First thing I have learned is that despite ink manufacturers using biocide in their ink, sometimes these chemicals do not work and the ink and system is attacked by biological intruders. For the most part, biocides work very well, but sometimes.....they don't and you'll only know when it does not at the time of failure and not likely before and the mfrs cannot determine when it won't either. Failure only shows up over a period of time.

One needs to recognize when that happens and the steps to take to fix the situation and stop a reoccurence. Fortunately I appear toI have a solution.

The steps required are similar to what one would do with biological infections because it is identical in what happens. One needs to consider aspect of contamination and possible return if it is not killed off.

Simple washing and flushing of contaminated objects is not enough. Flush solutions containing alcohol is not effective enough as well..so far only one common household chemical I have used with great success is BLEACH. However, I caution you that it can cause damage as well and must be used with great care. You need to be precise in the way it is used with printheads. Yes,...it is scary but so far with careful use, bleach has solved clogs where no other chemical solution would work. And yes, it can damage as well. But it has worked so far...but no guarantees.

In later posts I will outline how to use it. Again, it is to be used only when it is a last resort and with great care. I repeat again.

Further I have discovered that in the past stubborn small clogs and large are possibly bacterial/fungal growth and was not recognized as such. We now have a solution. Again before embarking on any cleaning with bleach, all precautions when handling bleach needs to be taken.

In later posts I will outline the whole process some more. Don't go running off and use bleach so quickly. It will damage chips on the cartridge as well as the contact plate of the printhead. You are warned. Epson printheads will not take to bleach at all...it will be damaged by it. So far Canon printheads appear to be able to withstand bleach within the ink channel. I use the word appear because only 5 tests, all successful ,withstood bleach. So there is some inherent risk.
 

Thombar

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Will look forward to your method for using bleach.
 

wilko

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Very interesting. Please post ASAP. Worth trying if everything else has failed and before you trash the PH
 

PeterBJ

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Yes please more info. I have a handful of Canon printers I would like to try to save.
 

martin0reg

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Other "last methods" I have tried on canon printheads - with no success - are:
- disassemble the printhead to get access to the ceramic plate with the nozzle rows...
- or cleaning in an ultrasonic device..
All this and more ended in damaged PH, either mechanical or electrical. IMHO most "uncloggable" canon thermal PH are already damaged...or simply worn out by nozzles which burn out once in a while.

Regarding fungus: I wonder how you can recognize such an infection and distinguish from other known reasons (like bad ink flow from the cartridge etc...) ??
Is the bleach meant as a special solution exclusively against fungus?
 

Ink stained Fingers

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Lots of Canon printheads are not clogged, these printheads have a specified limited lifetime , it is the mechanism of the bubble generation - with an electrical pulse into a metal film resistor, and this resistor sits in the ink flow, and the voltage across the resistor creates electric corrosion across this film wearing it down, and then it is not generating bubbles anymore which appears exactly like a clogged nozzle. The piezo ink bubble ejection mechansim is much more reliable, it dies as well of crystal fatigation , but such printhead lasts much longer - 10-20 times longer to my experience than Canon printheads. So overall I would limit the efforts to revive Canon printheads, they are consumables, get a new one before the old one kills your electronic board.
 

Thombar

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Lots of Canon printheads are not clogged, these printheads have a specified limited lifetime , it is the mechanism of the bubble generation - with an electrical pulse into a metal film resistor, and this resistor sits in the ink flow, and the voltage across the resistor creates electric corrosion across this film wearing it down, and then it is not generating bubbles anymore which appears exactly like a clogged nozzle. The piezo ink bubble ejection mechansim is much more reliable, it dies as well of crystal fatigation , but such printhead lasts much longer - 10-20 times longer to my experience than Canon printheads. So overall I would limit the efforts to revive Canon printheads, they are consumables, get a new one before the old one kills your electronic board

The piezo ink bubble ejection mechansim is much more reliable
What is this and is it made for a Canon Pro 100?
 

martin0reg

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Canon and HP are bubble jets, the print heads therefore are easy to exchange/renew by the owner.
Epson uses piezo, with more expensive print heads which are changeable only by epson service.

BTW what is brother using?
 

Ink stained Fingers

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the typical Brother office units use piezo printheads. I have seen in some service manuals that Brother is specifying a number of ink shots per nozzle, in the billions (10^9), the printheads today are fireing at a pretty high frequency of several kHz. Epson as well is specifying a typical usage time for their large format printheads as a (high) number of ink shots. Technically that makes sense, but such number would make it impossible to recalulate that into a number of pages printed, or squaremeters printed whatever because of the unknown ink coverage.
Canon specified in the past the service life of a printhead in numbers of pages of a mix of typical printouts - text A4, color A4, photos 10x15, but I don't remember those anymore, they came somewhat close to what I experienced with various IP4xxx models. Bubble/thermo printheads have a limited usage time, that is one reason of failure at which cleaning will not help anymore. Printheads - all types - are prone to clogging for various other reasons, low usage , wrong ink, contaminations etc, and then there are problems appearing as a clogged printhead, but actually are caused by other reasons - problems with the ink supply like bad fitting cartridges, air bubbles in tubes etc all discussed elsewhere.
It is interesting to see how many forums threads deal with Canon printheads - cleaning etc, but only a few with HP printheads. HP printheads for the office and large format printers are listed together with the consumables, people know it, it is no secret that a printhead may have to be replaced , but with Canon their printheads are called 'permanent', so people expect that. But actually that was not meant more than 25 years ago when Canon entered the market with inkjet printers competing at that time with HP and their Deskjet 500 etc models , those came with a cartridge/printhead combination, their printhead lasted for one cartridge fill, and Canon separated the printhead from the cartridge, with the printhead permanently sitting in the printer, and only the ink got swapped in cartridges.
 

mawyatt

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I tried the more conventional cleaning methods (water, ammonia window cleaner, mild soap) multiple times without any success on my Pixma Pro 100. I had a partially clogged magenta that had streaks in the prints. This showed up in the test pages. Cleaned multiple times over many days with no luck. I was using the old ink formulas from Precision Colors and ordered the new formulas (actually a whole set of all 8 inks) along with pre-cleaned CLI-8 carts to use for the new inks.

I decided to try the bleach routine as described by mikling. At first I used a mixture of water soap and bleach with no luck, then a stronger solution of bleach and water, still no luck. After a full day on soaking I decided on the pure bleach path, again no luck. I let the print head soak a day and noticed a brown substance on the bottom of the cut off 1 gallon water bottle I was using. This substance had also formed around the two screws that hold the head to the plastic bracket, there was some on the contacts as well and other spots. I surmised this as the dreaded fungus, I must had had a bunch in my print head. I flushed the head with water, cleaned the substance off as best I could (nothing seems to dissolve it, soap, water, nor alcohol (did not want to try acetone)), and scrubbed the contacts with an pencil eraser. After drying, I still had the streaks, even after multiple deep head cleans. So I tried the same full bleach routine again, no luck. After the second bleach soak I was getting a print error message (100 I think). So I removed the print head and cleaned it with just water and let it sit for over a week.

Today I tried again, now the test print page is almost all white, but no printer error messages. Tried multiple deep head cleans and finally gave up. Thinks its time for my print head to rest in peace!!

Luckily I have a backup Pixma Pro 100, that I got when the special deals were around (it was cheaper than a pack of CLI-42 ink carts at the time...and I needed another set of Canon OEM CLI-42 carts to cycle thru the printer and refill).

So this new printer has seen nothing but Precision Inks and the new formulas.... so hopefully the end of my clogs.

Mike
 
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