asked Oct 29, 2003 at 11:14am
Hp HP DeskJet 1220C

HP DeskJet 1220C Prints only Pink & Black


I have an HP DeskJet 1220C that has been working fine for two years now. All of a sudden it can only print in pink and black. It is driving me crazy. I have tried the following without any success:

1. Replaced the cartridges twice
2. Aligned and cleaned the cartridge from the
3. Soaked the cartridge head in hot water,
and made sure that all three colors will bleed
out of the head
4. Cleaned the cartridge contacts with an eraser
5. Cleaned the cartridge contacts on the printer
with a brush

Is there a cure, or is it time for a new printer?

Anonymous and Kevin from my other post hit it. I took both their ideas. Kevin said he soaked his in hot water and Anonymous said he ran his under hot water. This works. I had 3 cartridges and all three work after doing this.

I heated a cup of water in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds and put the whole tip end in the water for about 15 minutes. Then I ran it under the facet with the hottest water that would come out. I did this until I cold see some of the blue on the tip coming out. I was getting Magenta/red the whole time. I then dried everything off very well and let the cartridge air dry for about 1/2 hour.

I installed it and ran the clean function about 4 times and I now have color.
by unknown on Feb 9, 2004 at 5:40am Add comment
The best way I have done this is take an old normal size coffee mug, fill about 1/4 of the way. Place it in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds. Then place the color cartridge in it just the same as you would the printer. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Then hold it at a 90 degree angle to the hottest running water you can get. Make sure the water is on full blast. You want to make sure the water is running down the little silver square on the bottom. It should run the same direction as the lines in the copper part. This can take some time. I let mine sit in the sink for about 30 minutes. I hope this helps.

What you are trying to do is flush any dried ink that is blocking those tiny holes on the print cartridge. If you look on that silver square you can actually see several small drops of the magenta. The cartridge should have one line of Magenta, Blue and Yellow or light green (depends if you bought a genuine HP cartridge or a refill.) -Hope this helps.
by Anonymous on Feb 16, 2004 at 4:29am Add comment
Thanks to Anonymous Kevin and this forum. A year later and you can soak up yet another kudo. Your coffee mug method even works on old HP 17 cartridges for the 840c in France no less. I am curious, how you ever discovered this solution (pun) in the first place. Do tell.

Also, I have a new problem. Perhaps you can advise. After successfully soaking the cartridge - which had refused to print yellow - in my coffee mug, I decided what the hey and spooned some instant Maxwell House into the still hot water for my afternoon hit of caffeine. It tasted extra yummy and everything was fine until I went to pee. Yep, magenta, cyan AND yellow. Is this normal? If not, is there a fix? HP refuses to comment. ;-)
Bob - Anonymous
You are all geniuses.. the hot water soaking idea worked like a dream! You saved the day.. Thank you so much!! - Anonymous
The soaking technique works on HP #15, #45, #56, #57, #58, #17, #41, #78, and I'm sure a few I didn't list.

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by Stephen on Oct 6, 2005 at 5:34am Add comment
I am having problems with my beloved deskjet which has not failed me before! I am having streaky results, even with a new cartridge. I also no longer have the cleaning and utility function with my software, even after uninstalling and installing twice. How the heck can I clean it? I am sure it must be in the printer itself as two brand new cartridges are behaving the same way. Of course I have a big job to get out and we have just had a major snowfall so am probably house bound for a coupla days. Also, there is no good place in this hick town for repairs and servicing.
by unknown on Mar 1, 2006 at 5:47pm Add comment
You are asking everyone to climb off of a leaky boat and onto a sinking one. While HP's quality has gone down in the past few years, the other companies are even worse. Printers are no longer built with an eye toward quality and longevity. It's all about selling the high priced and shrinking consumables. HP has their cartridges built in different plants throughout the world. Wherever cheap labor is available. Some have good quality control, others put out crap. They had issues with some of their cartridges and yellow printout in the past. Also you want to check the date codes on the packages before buying them. The stores don't pay attention to them and you could be buying a cartridge that expired years ago.
by moe on Oct 20, 2006 at 5:57pm Add comment
beware of the sucking technique, ink and pigments can be very bad for you. Please don't do this again. Coulours are not made from rainbow powder, they're made from chemicals, often dangerous ones...

I do have another working technique..

What I did:

use hot glue to seal (not permanent) the tiny holes on the top of the cartridge

put some water to boil

reduce heat

put the heads in the very hot water for couple minutes...

When getting hot, ink and air inside the cartridge expands, sealing the holes prevents air from getting out by there and forces ink to get out by the heads!! Very effective and very fast, try it! I had all three coulours getting out in about 1 - 2 minutes!!!

good luck!

and remember: coulours are your ENNEMIES (don't put theses into your mouth.. plenty of artist have died from that!)

by Anonymous on Sep 9, 2008 at 5:31pm Add comment
YES!!! IT WORKED!!! I have tried the soaking technique over and over again for this cartridge, soaking it overnight even, and nothing happened. I used a glue gun to cover the 3 holes on top and soaked the heads in boiled water, like you said, and it finally worked! Thank you, thank you, thank you! - kheila
If internal test print again in black and pinck (magenta) then buy a new color cartridge. But first check your color cartridge on another printer 1220 or 930c and see how it print. If printing normaly you have a problem with printer an go to the HP service.
by unknown on Oct 29, 2003 at 9:22pm Add comment
To determine if the cartridge set can produce the correct basic colors, run the "Clean The Print Cartridges" function under Services in the printer driver properties. The cleaning process will produce black, cyan, magenta, and yellow if both cartridges are good. If one or more of the colors is missing:
1. A cartridge has failed or is empty.
2. The print nozzles may be plugged, i.e. dried out or not being cleaned properly by the service station.
3. The cartridge and carriage electrical contacts may be dirty.
4. The printer may have failed.
If there is an incorrect color, the ink is mixed inside the color cartridge.

-- Do not continue until you have worked through any issues revealed above. --

After establishing that the printer is capable of producing the basic color set, print from a software application. If you are not getting the expected colors, consider these possibilities:
1. The software is not configured properly.
2. Uninstalling and reinstalling the printer driver.
3. The printer may have failed.

Go to this web page for more information.
by Bert on Dec 10, 2003 at 12:42am Add comment
Bert, I have been having this same problem for 3 weeks now. But the kicker is that. I have 2 printers, HP Deskjet 3820 & Oficejet 4215 and both have the same identical problem. The pinking on both started around the same time. Both replaced with brand new Cathridges, done all the cleaning and sample test. The 4215 comes back with progressive loss on the magenta, to no magenta at all after the 3rd test print. The test on the 4215 is internal to the Printer. Seem to be a very common problem with HP Printers, all ranges of HP printers. Can anyone say if this could be virus related?

- Anonymous
I just had this "pink problem" on a deskjet 932c. I tried a new cartridge and it did the same thing. I tried a second new cartridge and got the same result. I then replaced it again with a proven cartridge (that was in use around the office) and it worked.

I'm not sure why it worked but it did. Thought I would share that info since I tried the cleaning suggestions and nothing worked.
by unknown on Jan 9, 2004 at 3:06pm Add comment
Seems almost like a conspiracy? This wouldn't be a case of planned obsolescence, would it?

I came across this thread while researching for a client of mine who had just lost an 840c.

When it began to print squirrely color combos, he replaced the color cartridge, whereupon it began to only print "pink" ie. magenta and black. No cyan or yellow AT ALL.

Thinking it might have been the fault of the cartridge, a second new one was purchased and installed; alas with the same results.

(yes, we cleaned contacts everywhere, reinstalled drivers, printed all manner of test and cleaning prints, ran online diagnostics etc, etc.)

Long story short, it is just not worth taking this printer to be repaired, which is what we and HP Total Care have both determined is at fault.

This printer was listed as having a 1000 page per month duty cycle, yet has only printed 7,551 pages in the 2 calendar years it has lived (thus 7.5 months of duty).

The worst part about all of this is the fact that all of the printers which used these cartridges have been discontinued, thus forcing my client to send brand spanking new cartridges to the trash bin; significantly adding to the Total Cost of Ownership of this printer.
by unknown on Jan 13, 2004 at 2:16pm Add comment
We have several HP 1220C printers on our Center.

We have 2 that have this exact problem. I am confident it is a faulty cartridge problem (dried out, poor contacts, etc).

However we noticed something recently: There are 2 offical HP78 Tri-Color cartridges out there. One has a yellow stripe and contains 38ml. The other has a blue stripe and contains only 19ml. Guess which one works properly? The blue.

The yellow stripe cartridges print only pink. I imagine the water soaking method may help, but it still points to an issue with HP and their manufacturing process for these cartridges. And what's the deal with 1/2 the volume of ink for the same price?

HP has really lost my respect. The quality has gone down the tubes. Show me a printer (laser or inkject) that lasts more than 2 years, and you'll find it was one of the models they put out 10+ years ago. None of their new printers compare to the reliability of HPs LaserJet 4 and 5 models. We still use them today (10-15 years later). HP is pulling in business off their old reputation. As consumers we should stop that trend and find the companies that care about quality.
- Anonymous

Before we convict the printer, you should try the color cartridge in another printer just to be sure it is good. It does happen sometimes that these cartridges don't make good contact with the pins in the carriage, either through the fault of the cartridge or of the carriage. And if it's a non-HP brand of cartridge, you have no guarantee that it will even work the first time. As Bert mentioned, often the remanufactured and generic cartridges are unreliable right out of the box.

A whole host of HP printers use the HP78. You should be able to find a friend or coworker who uses one of these: Deskjet 900 series (950, 960, 970, 990), or the original Photosmart line (P1000, 1115, 1118, 1215, 1218, or 1315). Another option is to borrow a known good cartridge from one of the above printers and see how it plays in your 1220c.

And although many would advise against it, one test that I usually make of a cartridge is to press the exposed head briefly against a kleenex tissue. A cartridge that is printing properly will generally leave 3 colored stripes with no breaks. A clogged cartridge will show incomplete or missing colors. A good pattern of stripes does not guarantee that the cartridge will print properly (the tissue doesn't test the electrical connections). But if you can't get all 3 colors to deposit cleanly, you can usually bet that you'll get similar results from the printer. NOTE: The reason many people don't like this test is that it risks getting lint in the print nozzles. But you're already eyeing the trash bin with that cartridge. And you'll note that I didn't say to wipe the head with the tissue, but to merely press the head to it.
by unknown on Jan 15, 2004 at 10:00pm Add comment
I recently had this problem with my HP870Cxi. I thought the color cartridge ran out, so I put in another one that was in a sealed box, but was bought a while ago and says to install before Aug '98. I tried running it through the cleaning cycle, and cleaned the electrical contacts, and took apart the printer and disconnected and reconnected both sides of the ribbon cable that goes to the carrier. After none of this worked, I took the old cartridge and ran the nozzles under hot water for a while. This must've cleaned out a blockage, and then I could see all colors coming out. I did the same thing with the new cartridge, and now they both work. It took a couple cleaning cycles until the ink wasn't watery, but it works fine now.
by Anonymous on Feb 8, 2004 at 6:34pm Add comment
I too have used the soak method and have had success with the colour cartridge. I used hot (not boiling) water for about 2 minutes. Then pressed the printer heads into dampened lint free towelling until the clear colour streaks imprinted properly.

Could you please explain the step-by-step process of taking the printer apart to clean the electrical contacts?

My Printer Problem
It turns on. Will do a self-test page. Will print a diagnostic page. HP on-line ineteractive diagnostics show it to be okay.

It will talk to itself but not to the PC. The fact that HP-interactive diagnostics work means there is SOME communication.

USB cable works with other peripherals USB Cable OK
Other peripherals work fine from the PC USB port. USB Port OK.

Something is blocking communication from printer to PC and I think it's likely ink build up in the ink 'well' as well as electrical points of contact.

Would be totally happy to find out how to do this since HP say they no longer support this machine.

(Aside: Imagine a company producing a printer that does such a great job with photos, ink management, bi-lateral communication, wider print size etc. and then saying they no longer support it. What on earth is this all about???) Like raising good kids to be successful adults and at the time they're famous, say you don't know them).

Thanks a bunch. Jen
[email protected] - Anonymous
I'm glad this worked for you, too. The Anonymous post was me, but I didn't realize that I didn't fill in the info before hitting send. Anybody else try this and have it work?
by Kevin on Feb 10, 2004 at 6:57am Add comment
I want to thank you for sharing your information. I tried what you said and by golly I have color again. I managed to bring back three old cartridges that I was going to trash. They are working fine now. One HP and two recycled cartridges. I bought a brand new recycled cartridge and the printer won't accept it. Printer says its unusable and damaged. Thanks again for your help who would have thought of hot water.....Liz

- Anonymous
My printer was only printing black, green & blue. I bought a new cartridge, same thing. Wasted time going through the usual stuff, uninstall drivers, reinstall, cleaning, wasting ink running the cleaning cycle, etc. Ran across this site, tried the soak thing on the old cartridge, whadya know.....it works. Fortunately, I still have the packaging & Staples receipt for the new cartridge. I am returning it tomorrow. When I buy something new, I expect it to work without having to fix it. If everyone returns their faulty cartridges, maybe HP will get the idea. I imagine they sell a lot of new cartridges & printers every day because of this problem, which is why they say nothing about the problem or the fix. They are growing even wealthier off this problem, and a vast majority of consumers are losing money to them.

I will be bookmarking this site! Thank you to the brilliant people who post solutions here for enlightening those of us who aren't quite as brilliant:) - jwnks
Dear Kevin,

You are the KING! Thank you so much for your fantastic tip. It's great that you have shared this - look how many people you've helped!

Thanks, thanks, thanks again,

p - anonymous girl
I have an HP 895Cse that has been a gem of a printer. It has endured about six years of intense printing as I am a teacher. This pink problem was the first problem I have had with the printer and I really didn't want to get a new printer. The hot water trick worked great the first time! Thanks! You saved me a lot of money and frustration! - Anonymous
I am having the same god damn problem with mine, i didnt know there were so many victams. This is BS, I will never buy an HP product again and tell my customers the same.
by Anonymous on Feb 11, 2004 at 6:10pm Add comment
Easy big fella. The fix is easy. Read the last few posts. It really works. Just make sure you give the cartridge enough time to dry before reinstalling them. If you do not have HP cartridges it really is not their fault. I had both and it worked on both. Hopefuly you have not pulled your printer apart twice before comming here.
Good Luck,
by unknown on Feb 11, 2004 at 8:38pm Add comment
I did the hot water soak on my caritages heads, and BANG the sucker works. Thanks for the post people, and whoever thought of this fix is INSANE! Who would ever mix eletrics with water. NOT ME! But this worked, so my hat is off to you folks, great fix. :)
by unknown on Feb 12, 2004 at 11:50am Add comment
Same "pink problem" with my HP Deskjet 970se. Tried running the cartridge head under water, to no avail. It IS the copper colored strips you're supposed to soak, right?
by unknown on Feb 15, 2004 at 11:59pm Add comment
I just want to thank the people who posted the idea of the soaking in hot water trick, and all of you who tried it and said it worked.

I have an HP Officejet T45 and my color cartridge (c1823d) would only print magenta. I was on my second new cartridge. I'm still not sure why they were both clogged, but after 2 hours of frustration, I am THRILLED that the printer is printing in color again!!

Thanks to everyone involved.
by unknown on Feb 16, 2004 at 4:02pm Add comment
Huh, washing the cartridge as Anon described didn't work for me. But I tried a third new cartridge and that solved the problem.
by unknown on Feb 16, 2004 at 9:09pm Add comment

You go girl, I am glad your machine now works and the only cost was a new cartridge. It is a lot cheaper then taking the machine to a service center. I am sure the flushing and soaking technique will not be able to revive everyone’s cartridge but it works on the majority. Did you ever see all three colors on the bottom silver square? It could be you ran out of the other colors first.
by unknown on Feb 17, 2004 at 1:10am Add comment
Hi, yeah, I did see all three colors on the silver square, faintly. When I soaked it, no color bled though. Odd that so many people have this problem with new cartridges.
by unknown on Feb 17, 2004 at 1:23am Add comment
Was all of your genuine HP cartirdges or did you buy them from a second source dealer? I bought two of mine from a online company called Color Laboratories (www.colorlaboratories.com). There cartridges do not use a genuine yellow. It is more like a yellow green. This makes pictures less sharp.
by joe on Feb 17, 2004 at 1:38am Add comment
They were genuine HP, but I bought them years ago. Maybe when HP cartridges get old, cyan and yellow are the first to go?
by unknown on Feb 17, 2004 at 1:40am Add comment
I have a 930C with the same problem, only 425 pages printed!!
I have tried the soaking earlier but it didn't work. Perhaps it was to short (1 minute) I will try again and will post the result again.
by Martin on Feb 19, 2004 at 12:10pm Add comment
Yes, I have an HP895Cxi, Same problem with ink cartridges, one used and one new. The hot water soaking and washing worked on the new cartridge. I had to soak it in hot water twice. It works great now.
Thanks for the tip.
by Ted on Feb 29, 2004 at 9:21pm Add comment
I searched HP's site on this with no luck. They are absolutely hiding this defect.

Well it took 5 attepts at the boiling water in the microwave but it worked. I would boil the water and set the cartridge in the water for 1/2 an hour then dry it and wipe the cartridge across the paper towel. Slowly but surely it started to work. Now I have a working printer again.

by Jack on Mar 24, 2004 at 7:40am Add comment
My thanks to Kevin. I had this problem for some time and assumed the cartridge was out of ink. Decided to try Nukote refill from Walmart for $12. Didn't fix. Had a new cartridge which I bought a couple of years ago as a backup. It had same problem. Read HP's faq's and applied their fixes. Didn't help. Emailed them and they just sent me a copy of the faq's. Found this email string with Google. Followed the soak for 30 min on the refill. IT WORKS!!!! Now if the old cartridge won't refill, I guess I can do the same on the new one.

Thanks so much.

by unknown on Apr 3, 2004 at 7:52am Add comment
I am so not computer savy so when the pink and black thing happened to me I was going to just buy a new printer, but the hot water idea works, I should've guessed that I'd have problems when the guy from staples told me my cartridge was recycled.
by unknown on Apr 9, 2004 at 3:26pm Add comment
I have a HP 870 with the same symptoms (Pink Printout) I soaked the cartridge head twice and behold it worked!!! Wonder why HP doesn't recognize this technique?
by Jerry on Apr 9, 2004 at 6:04pm Add comment
Amazing , The soak worked for me, although after reading the previous postings on your solution I had the feeling it would.
I have a HP 932C. Several years ago I had the pink printing problem with the color cartridge and because of the problem I chose to print only using the black print cartridge. With the recent purchase of a digital camera I needed the problem solved.
It took several soaks of over 30 minutes. The end result did not show different color stipes on the silver strip. I did the hot wash spray after each soak but I only conducted the hot water spray for a few minutes.

Thanks again for your very intelligent and creative solution.

by unknown on Apr 13, 2004 at 9:03am Add comment
Many (times 1000) thanks. Joe's advice about letting it dry out and generally being patient paid off. Thanks to all you guys for solving what could have been very expensive. It got a cartridge, dated 2000, for an HP 880C deskjet working.
by Mike on Apr 18, 2004 at 1:23pm Add comment
Pink Flu hit our HP 845c, tried the soak solution. It worked!! Thanks to all.
by Jesus on Apr 21, 2004 at 12:06pm Add comment

I BEAT THE PINK FLU. Thanks to the "soak" method.
by Sam on Jan 6, 2005 at 2:50pm Add comment
Our HP G85 was only printing yellow and pink and the soak method worked great! Thanks everyone.
by unknown on Jan 28, 2005 at 6:00pm Add comment
Someone just sent me a link to this page - fantastic! I had the exact problem (pink & black) on a HP 930C and did the microwave trick. Houston we now have COLOR!
by ozzy on Feb 4, 2005 at 11:19am Add comment
Thanks guys, i was on the verge of throwing my hp ps1215 out when i stumbled into this forum and got my printer to work again. The "Soak in hot water" trick did the job.
If it doesn't work the first time, try it again. It took me 2 tries and it worked perfectly. Also if you want to save time from having to soak then test it in the printer, try the "Press the printhead on a tissue" method suggested by wonderdog. if you get all the colors, then you've uncloged the nozzles.
by philip on Feb 16, 2005 at 4:00pm Add comment

I found this page using a Google search for "printer prints pink".

Tried the soak method and it worked! I didn't use the microwave. Boiled water in my electric kettle and soaked the cartridge for about an hour in a mug. Pressed it against a paper towel until I saw blue and yellow with the pink.

Still, HP makes you appreciate those Canon printers with the Intelligent Ink System. It's time to treat myself to one. I don't like HP anyway!
by Anonymous on Feb 20, 2005 at 11:56pm Add comment
I can't believe it. Something so simple fixed the problem. I was almost on my way to buy another printer when I found this fix. Soaking in hot water, yea!
by unknown on Feb 23, 2005 at 2:35pm Add comment
you guys are geniuses... fixed my 882c... thanks so much.
by jonathan on Feb 27, 2005 at 11:42am Add comment
i have a HP 950c color printer and i just recently refilled the color cartridge. At first it only printed pink and black. I tried the soad and spray wash method and after a few tries i was able to print most colors however it would not print yellow. I am able to get green blue, red, purple black etc but no yellow. Please HELP if you have any suggestion please email me at [email protected] Thank you
by unknown on Feb 27, 2005 at 11:55am Add comment
You say you can get green? Green can't be made by the printer without yellow, so there's yellow ink in there somewhere. You say you refilled your cartidge... is it possible you accidentally put yellow ink in the blue? - unknown
It works!!! Thanks!

Same problem, black & pink -> printer HP 845C.
And for HP... no comment, you should post this solution on your site! It was original color HP cartridge, one that comes with printer. Maybe the problem was since I did not print in color for very long time, black works fine, but that should be said to HP customers (eg. Print windows test page every two weeks?!).

by unknown on Feb 27, 2005 at 5:08pm Add comment
Wow- I'm another happy follower of the hot water soak. The soak chalks up another one, this time on a DesignJet 450C 36" plotter. It has three seperate cartridges- I soaked the printhead of each one individually for one minute in a cup of hot water. I had to repeat the process for the yellow cartridge but after two or three times, got full color! Thanks for the suggestion- it's a winner!

All of the cartriges I was using were fairly old. Even the 'new' ones I had tried were purchased more than a year ago. This may have been why they were all clogged.
by unknown on Feb 28, 2005 at 11:16am Add comment
Soaking in hot water and wiping after worked for me to with my HP 1120c, thanks guys!
by johnmccallum on Mar 1, 2005 at 7:43pm Add comment
Blue stopped working for me some time ago (replaced with several new cartridges). Wish I had found this thread before. Recently just ran out of black, replaced it and it didn't work. The "soak fix" work for black. I am now working on the blue problem again. Orginally thought it was something inside the printer but after taking it apart, cleaning the collection tray, and now after the black incident, I am hopeful to get blue back soon. THIS IS A GREAT THREAD!
by Randy on Mar 2, 2005 at 12:26pm Add comment
The blue was harder to get working then the black. The black only needed like a 5 minute bath but the blue needed a half hour bath. But after a year of thinking blue was a lost cause and internal printer problem WE HAVE BLUE AGAIN. This is FANTASTIC. With as many posts as the page has, i would suggest moving closer to the beginning of the threads so people can find it. Page 14 is not good enough ;) - Randy
Many more thanks to you folks that are smarter than me. It is extra important for me to be able to print pix as my hubby is in Iraq and he is desperate for pix of me, our daughter, CO sunsets and his horses! You guys & gals rock.
by unknown on Mar 5, 2005 at 9:38am Add comment
the problem lies on the program of the printer, at a certain date and frequency of use, the program disables some the nozzles of the black and color cartridges, this is possible because of the chip hp embedded on the cartridges.. I tried lots of reset methods, they never work... the solution maybe is to use a third party software for printing.
by benl on Mar 5, 2005 at 2:11pm Add comment
tested boiled water method: cup of tea with boiled water in, just print head in the water for 30 minutes.... Blue came and then just after yellow too. (hp 903c recycled cartdridge)

Thanks so much for the tip ;-)
by unknown on Mar 6, 2005 at 11:54am Add comment
Most HP printers have no idea what the date is, so the idea that the cartridges are set up to fail based on date doesn't hold up.

As for frequency of use, if you don't use a cartridge often it's likely to just dry out, that's not something that's programmed in to the cartridge, if you use it a lot you run out of ink.
by Stephen on Mar 7, 2005 at 8:32am Add comment
Hi all,

I just wanted to thank you guys for your suggestions. I was just about to go purchase a new printer as this one had been printing in pink/black for almost a year! (my kids weren't impressed!). I had replaced the cartridge twice and tried all the tips on the HP help site (no where does it even mention this seemingly common problem..in fact they told me to replace the printer as it would be cheaper than fixing it!) I tried your suggestions and the hot water soak worked on both cartridges! Thanks again guys!
by Julie on Mar 7, 2005 at 8:40am Add comment
Has anyone tried this "soak" method on a PSC 750 all-in-one. This printer scanner copier is to expensive to replace. I lost cyan first then yellow. I have replaced all cartridges they are bleeding through. Yet, I still have no yellow or cyan, any other suggestions?
by Anonymous on Mar 9, 2005 at 9:08am Add comment
My turn to say thanks for the hot water method of fixing my color ink cartridge on my HP 970cxi. Was going to just chuck the printer in the garbage bin but I did one last google and found this page.

The first time I soaked and rinsed there was no change.
I turned up the heat on my hot water heater, gave it about 1/2 hour to heat up, and performed the operation from start to finish again and Viola! my printer prints full color again!

I was skeptical, but stayed with the method and it did Work!

Thanks again!!!!!
by donRnd on Mar 17, 2005 at 12:12pm Add comment
So my Desjet 932C also had the pink flu. Thanks for the soak method but the weird thing I can't figure out is why this happened why I had it set to print in grayscale only? Why did it start printing in color?

by unknown on Mar 20, 2005 at 11:18am Add comment
Count me in for this fix working! On two color cartridges, one new from the box, for my Deskjet 952C. Only magenta and black had been printing. Took about 30 minutes for one, 45 for the other, and I reheated the water mid-way through in case it would help. Thank you!!!
by Anonymous on Mar 21, 2005 at 12:54pm Add comment
Thanks for nothing ! The hot water fix worked alright, it worked so well the ink wont stop coming out ! Its inking like a stuck pig that was full of ink (instead of o-ink). Brand new cartridge wrecked, along with any chance of getting an exchange. Bloody internet fixes.Bah!
by unknown on Mar 22, 2005 at 4:14am Add comment
Ummm...err...gee whizz, heck and gosh darn ! It worked after all, just had to wait for the print head to dry a little (about 10 minutes). Impatient, aint I. This is one time I don't mind eating humble pie. Mmmm, pie...
by unknown on Mar 22, 2005 at 4:31am Add comment
Have 2 deskjet 930c and both printed only black and pink - no other colours. New cartridge did away with pink. SOLVED: Refilled the original HP 78 cartridge to prove ink coming out - all three colours showing when dabbed on tissue and looked OK but no change to operation. Cleaned the contacts on cartridge and printer with an eraser and then WD40. SORTED! Make sure cartridge seated firmly in printer as poor contact can cause this.

Previously tried running near-boiling water from a kettle over print head but this made all ink disappear completely. Cleaning solution in filling kit much better for dissolving clogged print-head.
by unknown on Mar 23, 2005 at 12:31am Add comment

I thought for sure I was going to have to replace the printer, but the hot water trick killed the pink flu!!!! I thought looking for a fix in the first place would be a foo's errand, but hey...the internet really does have it's use! I have 4, yes FOUR, ink cartridges I had gone through, all of which are technically out of date, and thought they were toast, or the printer was. Now it works again...WOOOOOO HOOOOO!
by unknown on Mar 25, 2005 at 9:45pm Add comment
Hi Randy, due respect and all man but this defys logic. If brand new carthridges did not work how can hot water soaking the old ones be a fix. Hot soaking/unclogging the old ones should amount to the same as putting in new carthridges, right. But since so many folks are saying eurka to the hot tub soak displacement trick I will try it. Logic also says there is nothing to loose at this point. I will let you all know if I become a convert. Tx for the brainstorm.
by Anonymous on Apr 4, 2005 at 2:26pm Add comment
I am currently enjoying a bowl of sherbert whereas in fact I should be eating crow topped with humble pie. Archimides lives, eureka, it works just like you all said and did. I had to be, not only patient, but faithful because it did not work untill the second soaking. In fact the HP4215 is as we speak going through its 3rd cup-hot-tub soak treament but the HP3820 is now working color perfect after its 2nd immersion. I tested it 4 times, printed my Spread Sheets and Bar Charts and no color snags. Thanks to all you guys for posting your suggestions. I am a convert now, a grateful believer, no mysterious printer virus, no new $30 cathridege, no new printer or printer progarm de-insatll/re-install. Thanks, thank thanks. I am Monkeys believer.
by Anonymous on Apr 4, 2005 at 7:53pm Add comment
Worked for me. It took 3 times, but it finally worked. Thanks for all the posts, I can't believe this works. (I'm a victim with 2 new cartridges, so I'm thankful for this help.)
by unknown on Apr 4, 2005 at 11:24pm Add comment
OMG! I am so happy to have found this site. I have sent a few nasty messages to HP regarding the cartridges not having yellow ink and was furious when they wouldn't help me (without paying a hefty maintenance fee because my HP 1220C was no longer under warranty.) I have AT LEAST 4 color ink cartridges with post-it notes noting which colors weren't working. I am so glad that I kept all of them! It took about 30 minutes worth of resoaking and after blotting on a paper towel, I have pink, blue and YELLOW ink! Thanks so much!!!
by unknown on Apr 6, 2005 at 7:28pm Add comment

Just bought an Epson 2100, with the pink and black printing as my excuse.

I had in-place and two unused (same date as in-place), all produced same effect. Ergo, had to be a hardware problem. So, new printer!

Now stumbled on this thread, and tried the magic, just in case. Brewed up a mug of boiling water (kettle, not microwave, water is water after all). Stood cartridge for about 10 mins, renewed water, stood again another 15 mins. After first soak, nothing came out on the piece of kitchen roll, after the next, nice bright colours. Dried on same piece, stuck in printer, 100\% result.

Strangely, look at Greg's first posting, and what he did!

by denbigh on Apr 8, 2005 at 5:06am Add comment
Another happy customer :)

My Deskjet 720c has spent most of the last year or so sitting idle. It was printing only pink and black with the cartridge in it -- which was probably a couple years old -- and same problem with a brand new, but stale dated (Oct 2002), color cartridge.

Tried the soak method with the new cartridge -- let it sit in hot water for about 3 minutes, dried and tested, no joy.

Later in the day, I let it sit in hot water for about 45 minutes, then let it dry and tested and viola -- all colors restored.

Whoooda thunk it?

I tossed the old cartridge -- it was sooooo old I just didn't want to bother with it.

This printer uses an HP c1823d a.k.a. #23 color cartridge.

I wonder if the process could be accelerated by cooking the cartridge in the microwave for a bit??? I'm not going to try it personally, just trying to plant the seed for someone more adventurous than I :)

For every intrusion, there is an equal and opposite protrusion
by unknown on Apr 8, 2005 at 8:27pm Add comment
by unknown on Apr 11, 2005 at 1:55pm Add comment
I have a PSC 1315 and I have a toner cartridge that I have refilled a couple of times. I can see all three colors coming out of the bottom, but I'm still getting just pink & black. Any ideas?
by annieb on Apr 13, 2005 at 1:22pm Add comment
Thanks and sorry to the very few that had problems of over working or not working however most got them working.
Similar story old cart in deskjet 970cxi printer running out get new 2 year oldish cart out does not work frustration think may need new cart or printer.
Google search takes me here which give the idea the the hot water soak and rince method this did not work got the middle reddish pink to work then it stopped tried the soak and rince a few times with soaks for 30 mins to 40 mins for the hot water soaks and 10 mins for the hot water rinces under the tap at the end of trying nothing came out no colours.
so i heated the kettle to boiling and left the cart to soak for about 5 hours most of this time except at the start was cold water and supprise supprise end result works hey presto we have full colour.
The Internet is a great thing for finding solution or idea's tio try along similar lines to many things.
And many more thanks to the guy that first suggested the idea of water rincing/soaking that had worked for him Nice one mate and the others that added to the technicyay :-D
Just may help others where the hot water 30 to 40 mins soaks and rinces does not work they can try a soak in air temp water for 5 to 24 hours.
by Martyn on Apr 18, 2005 at 8:23am Add comment
I tried the boiling water trick... it may take a couple runs but it worked for me too. Thanks!!!
by unknown on Apr 23, 2005 at 11:25pm Add comment
I'm another happy customer. Other forums tried to tell me it was the printer {HP 880c) and that I should just junk it and go buy another. I googled my way here and wala, I now have color again.

Thanks a million. :)
by MeToo on May 4, 2005 at 1:02pm Add comment
Thanks to Kevin, Joe, and all!

My Deskjet 932C's Pink Flu has been cured by a hot cup of water. If only all things were that simple- and FREE!

Oh, and still NO REPLY from HP.

So... what does HP stand for ladies and gentlemen? Hellish Pink!!

Best of luck!
by unknown on May 5, 2005 at 10:15pm Add comment
Experiencing the same issue with a 1120C, trying the hot water soak technique now.
by unknown on May 15, 2005 at 9:55am Add comment
This is where the internet is so useful. Sharing information and fixing problems others cannot, saving people lots of money.

I' ve got a 990cxi which was also printing pink. It was printing ok a few months ago, but when I went to use it this week it printed pink and black only. I tried all the methods suggested by HP on their website( drivers, clean cartridge head etc. ), but no luck. I had 2 spare colour cartridges which were about a year old and I tried those too, but one printed pink again and the other would' nt print at all. These were remanufactured HP78 cartridges from WHSmiths, so I thought it may be the cartridges and I was thinking about getting a new HP cartridge, but I did' nt want to waste my money if that did' nt work. I thought my printer was going to need to be repaired.

I was about to junk it, until I found this forum ( good old Google :) I was going to spend £90 on a new printer, but I had nothing to lose, ( especially when you add up 2 full colour, 1 half full colour,1 large black and 1 small black. Plus the printer was about £100 ) so I thought I' d give the soak idea a go.

I got an old tin ( I did' nt have an old mug, and I was' nt going to poison anyone with one tainted with ink ), and I put my 2 spares in it and used boiling water from the kettle.

The first time the water was pink coloured. I tried dabbing the cartridges with a paper towel but no ink came out ! I was getting a bit worried, so I put them in boiling water again and dabbed them on the paper and this time there was one pink line, and the other cartridge was blue and yellow. I left them overnight to dry out, but they were still the same.

I tried a third time with boiling water this morning, left them to dry for an hour then tried dabbing them again with a paper towel and 3 coloured lines on each cartridge ! Hurray!

I put one in the printer, cleaned the cartridge with the HP toolbox software and all is well. I think when I tried dabbing them and no ink came out, that I should have waited for them to dry out more, because the size of a water droplet compared to the nozzles is huge, and water may have been blocking all the holes.

Someone was saying how can this work, if people are buying new cartridges and they solve the problem. The print nozzles are built into these catridges, so each cartridge you put in will use different nozzles, so you could have one cartridge working great, it runs out, you change it, then the new one prints pink, even if it' s a genuine HP.

The reason is, you have no idea how old these cartridges are, and how long they' ve been on the store shelf before you buy them. They could have been there for months, so when you buy it and put it in the printer some of the ink might have dried up and it might not work or prints pink.

It' s like car manufacturers, when you buy a new car, it does' nt mean the factory only made it yesterday, it could have been in a yard with thousands of others for months before you bought it.

Thanks to the guys who came up with this idea ! You' ve saved me more than 50 quid in cartridges which I was going to throw out.
by unknown on May 17, 2005 at 7:32am Add comment
ok, i will admit to my skeptisim. Hot water on an electronic part -- no way. WAY!!!! Yes it worked. Like some of the other responders I was also contemplating tossing my HP printer and buying another one. I'd already done all the troubleshooting techniques outlined by HP and had used 3 different cartridges to no avail. But before grabbing my car keys for the trek to the computer store, I decided to see if anyone on the internet was also printing in this strange combination of magenta and black.
Thanks to this site, I tried the hotwater soak.
After the hotwater soak, I saw blue color running out almost immediately!!!! After I let it dry and ran the cartidge cleaner it started printing like a champ!
Thanks to Kevin & Joe for getting everyone to try a rather "unique" fix. But even more so Thanks to everyone who responded it was because so many people said they tried it successfully that I was willing to try it as well.

by unknown on Jun 9, 2005 at 6:02pm Add comment
This is amazing! My printer wasn't printing yellow, but after a nice hot bath and multiple cleanings, the colors are now brilliant. But not as brilliant as whoever thought of this fix. Thanks Kevin and everyone.
by unknown on Jun 29, 2005 at 10:38am Add comment
I have the same problem...NO Yellow!!!
I will be trying this Water Technique tonight after work....
Will keep you all posted
by unknown on Jul 5, 2005 at 4:13am Add comment
First cart didn`t work, it was low on ink anyway, must not expect too much, Tried second cart with the same problem...worked wonders.
The Tinternet is a wonderful thing!!!!
by unknown on Jul 11, 2005 at 8:16am Add comment
Great ! Had the same problem with my 1220c & resolved it thanks to this forum - yellow ink wouldn't work anymore - a new (must admit 3 months expired) original HP cartridge had exactly the same problem (no yellow ink). After the "microwave & streaming water" solution yellow came to life again.
Important : the water needs to be almost boiling in the mug when putting the cartridge - tried it first with warm water and this didn't work. Good luck to any visitor of this forum ! - unknown
I've applied the hot water cure and the blue ink does finally come out on the tissue paper, but once I put it back in the printer, the color blue still doesn't print. The only colors are black, yellow and magenta.

What is there to do now?
by unknown on Jul 15, 2005 at 3:58am Add comment
I had this problem with three HP 78 cartidges on my G85. Bought three new genuine HP cartidges and each had at least one color that wouldn't print. I was about to throw the damn printer to the curb when I got a response from Bert to try soaking the cartidge in near boiling water. Wow! It worked on two of them. The other bled all the blue/cyan into the water and I had to toss it on HP's front lawn in Melville NY.

I boiled 3/4" of water in a pot, turned off the heat, and placed the cartridge into the pot the same way it sits in the printer. The water may have been a little too hot, causing one of them to leak all its blue ink?

Someone above asked why doesn't HP acknowledge this fix and suggest in in their FAQs? If they did, they wouldn't have sold me three new cartidges.

Anyway, I'm printing again but will never buy another HP printer.
by hpg85 on Jul 16, 2005 at 9:42am Add comment

My 1220C has started leaving dirty ink trails across the pages, even though have always used HP inks.

Also the printer is not feeding paper through properly anymore.

It has become very hit and miss.

Can anyone tell me if the problems are serviceable or is it time for a new printer?

If I can repair this printer where do you get the parts and how easy is it to replace any worn out parts?

by supes on Jul 21, 2005 at 9:54am Add comment
Everything is serviceable, to a point. Parts are still available. However, a good strip down and clean (especially the pick up rollers and Seperation Pad)usually pay's dividends. Try Moe's Roller Rejuvenator


HP Partsurfer


may help

by Trev Pearson on Jul 21, 2005 at 11:57am Add comment
Thanks Trev and Scoop for the replies.

Will get on and do some spring cleaning!

On average how long is it reasonable to expect a printer to last, mine is quite heavily used and recently have been printing lots of brochures so I expect it is rebelling.

Nothing lasts for ever these days but just wondered how long you should reasonably expect your printer to work properly?

- Anonymous
found this thread while trying to help someone with a lexmark doing its 'pretty in pink' impersonation

was as initially sceptical as most of the others about the boiling water/kitchen tissue solution

but it worked after one 20 minute dip!

don't you just love cutting-edge technology?!

now to check whether someone has past this tip to the lexmark thread
by scoop on Jul 23, 2005 at 3:10am Add comment
Seems like were all having alot of fun here. How about this one! My printer keeps telling me that the color print cartridge is bad/defective even after intalling two new color ones. I spent a whole whopping $8.00 on the printer here so lets all get together and help me out! Ha! Ha!

If i can get the printer to print it will start printing in all colors them it gloriously fades to black and white. every time, without fail. thats if the printer will print at all! I don't think the soaking thing will work here because the two cartriges are HP and brand new and seamlessly print color for a second or two! or better said a pass or two slowly fading out as if the printer was cleaning the heads! Hmmm? Does that make you wonder?

This printer was used in a print shop so I'm going to follow the instructions above and take the printer apart,but completely and clean it. Oh yea, about the part where you should rinse out the ink trap. DO IT!!!! There seems to be a nonending trail of ink running up the stairs and down the hall at my girl friends house. OOOPPS!!!!

In all reality if someone could help me out it would be greatly appreciated!!!!
by unknown on Jul 25, 2005 at 8:57am Add comment
Does anyone have a suggestion as to what causes this problem in the first place? If not, consider this. After opening the top cover and waiting for the cartridges to move center, I used a flashlight and looked inside the printer on the far right side where the cartridges rest. I was mildly appalled by what I saw - a virtual mountain of ink-gel-gluelike stuff that my color cartridge was comfortably resting on. I suggest that everyone do what I did and get a butterknife and scoop out all of that mess. This along with the hot water fix should keep us all printing in living color for a long time. Happy printing....
by HB on Aug 10, 2005 at 3:17am Add comment
Amazing! Spent two hours trying to reload printer drivers, clean the cartridge, etc., with no help whatsoever from the HP web site. I was ready to throw out one old cartridge, one "new" (but really two years old) cartridge and my 880C printer, when I came across this page! The hot water works.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I haven't even tried fixing my "new" cartridge yet, but the old one works like a charm.

Has anyone noticed that when you use the HP utility to align your cartridge, the picture of the test page supplied by HP shows only pink and black ink? Coincidence?
by bridge on Aug 20, 2005 at 11:31pm Add comment
I hate pink!!! My deskjet 870Cxi which I bought for $10 was doing the pink and black thing. I tried everying and even got a new cartridge. . . .Just pink and black. I was about to scrap it then saw this page. I just let the new cartridge relax for awhile (45min) in a hot water bath in a cup. Reheated the water 3 times to keep it hot. Used paper towel to check status occasionally by checking for all three colors. WORKS!! I'm guessing the original cartridge needs a bath as well . . .I'll wait till I need it. Thanks for the tip. THE HOT WATER SOAK WORKS!
by Anonymous on Aug 24, 2005 at 1:21pm Add comment
Well, MY Google search last night turned up this thread and VOILA!! tonight, another pink flu cured!! I need blue to print my logo (biz cards, brochures, etc.) so I'm back in business tonight and it feels so good. Bottomless thanks to all who posted. And let's spread the word. HP is selling far too many ink cartridges to those who don't know the soak trick.
by Kath on Aug 31, 2005 at 6:01pm Add comment
I would just like to say you lot rock my world. Coming across this list with my own pink-black only printing problems on an HP PSC 1210, I fully expected the soaking-the-cartridge method to fail miserably, but thought I'd give it a go - can't hurt after all. And lo, and behold! After a single 30 minute soak with about a centimeter of water (boiled in the kettle and poured into the lid of a vegemite jar, where I plonked my colour cartridge), I now have a functional colour cartridge.

You're the best. I will never doubt you again :)
by unknown on Sep 1, 2005 at 12:01am Add comment
What can i say - other than - MIRACLES DO EXIST..

Did the trick with Hot water - 45 mins and now all is alive again.

I wonder just how many color cartridges i have thrown out during my time using this printer not trying to recover what might have been left there.

But better late than never - THANKS a lot for all those replies - just wanted to add to it that it really works.

I have seen much (been in this business over 40 years) - but this beat most tricks i have heard - not to mention the price for doing this = 0.
by pg on Sep 1, 2005 at 7:32am Add comment

I have this printer, the problem is that it prints only 1-3 pages as they are, after that ptoblems comming up like bad color, light colors or what ever, or it prints halfe page or many errors on the page. I have new clors in the printer, I have to shout it down and start it to get 1-3 pages in well condition. what is the problem? what can I do?
by unknown on Sep 5, 2005 at 2:28pm Add comment
I had the same damned problem with my G85... the Yellow was missing.

I went through thee HP troubleshooting help plug-in stuff... did all the stuff they recommended, and then started to talk via email with their tech help idiots.

Of course, they told me to do all the same damned things I already tried... to no avail. When I pressed them, they immediately said they'd mail me a 78 color cartridge to "make sure" it wasn't the cartridge. (they would not overnite it!) They then went into this whole thing about my G85 being discontinued (old technology) and they'd offer an "upgrade" deal. Yea, right. For a couple of hundred, I could have a new printer that didn't even retail for the same cash I paid for this g85. They sure made it sound like a hardware issue, though. Just wanted me to swap mine (which I now know is PERFECTLY FINE) AND a couple of hundred bucks for new printer!

Well... long story short: I tracked it down myself to the cartridges being the culprit--the older one I had in AND a brand new one just purchased at Staples last week. I tried the same "new" cartridge in an HP 1220c that I have in my studio--same thing. The yellow stopped printing! Bang. The cartridge all along.

I tried the boiled water soak, which after a few tries DID get some yellow ink to flow onto a paper towel, but it never would work in the printer.

Today I went to staples and picked up another cartridge--hopefully. When I got back, a box was waiting with the new cartridge that HP sent me. I tried both and lo and behold, they BOTH worked in the g85.

So... shoddy production on #78 cartridges! Why couldn't they just say that this was a known issue and offer to replace all my cartridges? (I still have to try and return a couple to Staples without packaging or store receipt!)

RETURN THEM TO THE SHOPS AND COMPLAIN! Let's make HP pay for all these bad cartridges!

by Finzi on Sep 6, 2005 at 12:04pm Add comment
Thank You so much!!!!

I had an assignment due the next day and I needed it in colour and of course, when I go to print it my HP DeskJet 842C prints it in pink and black!!!. I tried the hot water soak & rinse and within 2 hours I had it finished.

Thanks so much!!!
by unknown on Sep 11, 2005 at 3:06pm Add comment
another 78 user here saved by the soak trick, well my psc750 was saved fron the window more to the point! thanks
by unknown on Sep 17, 2005 at 11:57am Add comment
The HP cartridges do not work if there is a vacuum inside them, the vacuum would keep the ink from flowing.

If you refill a #78 for example, you knock out the 3 plugs in the top, and after you add ink you leave the holes open.

Before anyone flies off the handle about HP I suggest they start reading Epson posts, (shudder), pretty soon you'll be very happy that all you had to do was soak the nozzles.

Another HP venting example would be the #56/57/58 cartridges, peel back then label on the top of one and you'll understand.
by Stephen on Sep 24, 2005 at 6:31pm Add comment
twit - Anonymous
If you are refering to me, and don't have the guts to use a name and email address, then you have certainly defined yourself.

And I do encourage people to read the posts on other printer lines, it puts their problems in perspective.

It's also interesting to read open threads, then you know which printers noboby here knows how to fix, there are very few HP threads with no answers.

After years of posting, (over 2,000 posts), and hundreds of HP printers I've personally fixed I think I do know a small amount on the subject.
by Stephen on Sep 24, 2005 at 8:54pm Add comment
I am very sorry. That was a drunken ignorant post on my part. I do not know anything about venting ink cartridges. I apologize to all for the negativity and stupid response to such a helpful forum thread. I've tried to spread the word so others might benefit. I really appreciate having found this site and will try to help rather than hinder in the future.

Ironically and embarrassingly, Stephen - sawman
Apology accepted.

Sorry I missed you in the chat room, it seems like I'll check it every few minutes for a couple of hours and noboby will sign in, then I'll walk away from the PC for 15 minutes and two people will join and then leave.
by Stephen on Sep 25, 2005 at 2:14pm Add comment
I had the same problem: my HP Deskjet print only black and pink after I replaced the cartridge.

I did the the trick with Hot water as suggested - but I have to do it 30min each time for 3 times in all... 1st two tries with no effect but after the third soak with boiling water in a coffee mug, the yellow and blue came out in a test print.......now all is alive again.

Like many others, I was ready to throw away my HP Deskjet 930C with the print black and pink only problem surfaced. Someone had earlier broght up a conspiracy theory on printer not working after x years or y number of print (frequency). Well, my problem surfaced almost exactly 5 years after I bought it....Hmmmmmm...

Nonetheless: THANK YOU ALL!! Saved me a bundle...

and my next printer will not be a HP!!!! ;)
by Anonymous on Sep 27, 2005 at 10:10pm Add comment
Yet another convert here! HP1220c stopped printing blue, and my logo is blue so that was a bit of a showstopper. It was a new cartridge so I knew it hadn;t run out, then tried 2 replacements and they were only printing pink! (never had a cartridge problem before this either so was starting to look at new printers...)

Fortunatley I've got access to an ultrasonic bath so whacked the cartridge bottoms in there for a few minutes (with lots of hot water), left to dry overnight and we're back in business!

Thanks Google, and thanks to whoever posted the hot water idea in the first place.
by Anonymous on Sep 28, 2005 at 8:28am Add comment
I must say, "that shit really works!"

Just another satisfied customer of the ol' microwave trick. Colors were flowing like a river of poo dumped after a wiskey binge.

Excellent! HP sucks anyway.
by unknown on Sep 29, 2005 at 9:38am Add comment
I've a 930c that still prints colour quite happily but I experienced a 'fade to grey' with the black output. Having found the solution to the pink colour problem intriguing and well worth spreading far & wide it wouldn't have fixed my problem.

Stephen's response (9/24/05) triggered the answer for me. I had refilled the cartridge to the maximum level and it had been working well for some time. Why had the output faded?? Simple - the vacuum had built up in the tank!! The plug is on the print head end of the black cartridge and therefore has to be fully sealed unless you really like a black desktop.

I untaped the plug, removed & refitted it then taped it up again. Problem solved!!!
by keggle on Oct 2, 2005 at 10:12am Add comment
Do you guys reckon this soaking technique will work for a hp psc 750 colour catridge? or has any1 tried it on already on it
by jmarincel on Oct 6, 2005 at 1:43am Add comment
I have an HP Deskjet 1220C color printer and can only print B&W pictures from photoshop, although the pictures are in CMYK mode. I'm able to print everything else in color from other programs, just not PS. Didn't know if it was a printer problem or a PS problem, anybody have ANY IDEA??
by Anonymous on Oct 11, 2005 at 1:47pm Add comment
OMG!!! Thank u ,thank u, thank u ,THANK YOU!! I tried the soak and rinse soln. and it has worked wonders!!.:)))))
by unknown on Oct 27, 2005 at 9:59am Add comment
take one new cartridge that prints only magenta, soak in boiling water for a few minutes, rinse, and serve on a medium in color!

thank you for your support...

HP support ... do your jobs!
by unknown on Nov 1, 2005 at 3:36pm Add comment
Magic!!! just magic!!
I have a HP 840C, AND the same problem. I sank my cartridge to solve the problem, but in first time, for my surprise, ALL the colors seemed to ran out of ink! I insisted one more time, and it really worked! all colors painting the hot water!
It´s like some McGyver thing, remember him?
Thanks a lot
Hugs from Brasil
by unknown on Nov 3, 2005 at 6:43am Add comment
I'm SOOOOO glad I found this thread!!! Thank god for the internet and being able to find tricks like this! I experienced the exact same problem like everyone else, and was a little sceptical, but figured what the heck. And it worked!
by Anonymous on Nov 5, 2005 at 12:02pm Add comment
Yes, HP sucks, and so does Dell for that matter. As far as their suggestions...I was told "Buy a new cartridge" that really turned me off. The guy couldnt even trouble shoot with me, he only wanted me to buy new products. Currently I am soaking mine, hope it works! I was tinkering with my printer for the last 4 hours before I found this thread. BTW - its my black thats not working.
by Anonymous on Nov 6, 2005 at 11:28pm Add comment
Same problem, HP1220 printer. What made it seem more complicated was that I had a print job running, five identical copies of a color graph. The first three printed normally and the last two printed in the black and pink. A new cartridge continued the pink and black print. Anyway did the tissue test followed by the hot water treatment. Got limited success. The last hot water test was with dish water. A little liquid soap in water acts as a wetting agent (surfactant) and I got flow. Thanks again, you saved me 300 to 400 buying a new large format printer.
by unknown on Nov 10, 2005 at 8:09am Add comment
Same problem as everyone else, although my printer is a dinosaur. Deskjet 712c. I have gotten so much use out of this poor thing, I should retire it. I often print 200 pages a night on this printer. I would buy a new one but haven't a clue on how to find one that would serve me half as well.
I hope your soak solution works for me. Keep your fingers crossed--I have two cartridges soaking right now.
by unknown on Nov 10, 2005 at 9:03pm Add comment
I have to report back--the soaking in hot water really does work. I am so happy! Now I can take my time to compare and price a new printer. I know I am on borrowed time with this ancient lttle printer of mine.

I saved the color cartriges that would only print pink and black. I have soaked two of them and both now are working. I have 2 more and will soak those when I need them.

I would like to point out that there was a great deal of soak time between the two I did try the soak method with. One started working within 10 minutes. The other took several reheats of the water and had to soak 3 hours. So if the soak doesn't seem to be working for you just keep soaking.

I have printed 273 scrapbook paper backgrounds since the soak and will print more tonight. I am still on the first cartridge. You have saved me SO MUCH money! Thanks so much for your idea!
by unknown on Nov 12, 2005 at 7:52pm Add comment
Dang I put the ole HP # 23 in the microwave on high for 15 seconds flipped it and 15 seconds more on the other side and WALA a 1 year old (3rd one) new started printing all the colors as if were brand new.
by Anonymous on Dec 3, 2005 at 6:56am Add comment
Not a good idea! There is a metal head on the cartridge and you NEVER put metal in a microwave. - moe
Not a good idea! There is a metal head on the cartridge and you NEVER put metal in a microwave. - moe
Not a good idea! There is a metal head on the cartridge and you NEVER put metal in a microwave. - moe
I had the blue go out on an 832c that I have had for years. New cartridges did not fix the problem so I went and purchased a new HP 1510 and after the first cartridge the blue went out again. Brand new cartridge and the problem pursist which brought me to this page. I used to love HP, but now I am seriously looking elsewhere.
by unknown on Dec 3, 2005 at 9:17pm Add comment
I had the same issues with the HP 78 color cartridge on my 970C & 1315 printers only printing out a magenta color that everyone has listed above. I refilled it with one of those cartridge ink refill devices and it did fill up the various colors reservoirs with ink ... however same thing - only magenta ink printing. I also tried a brand new HP 78 cartridge that I purchased a few years ago and the same problem. Luckily I have 2 HP printers in the house and was able to swap all the cartridges around and verify it wasn't a printer problem.

So I tried a few of the tips posted on this site: running the cartridges cleaning programs and putting the cartridge in hot water ... no help. So I took the "heat" tip one step further to loosen the dried ink in the reservoirs. I placed both the defective HP cartridges on a cookie tin and placed them in the oven at 200 degrees for about 10 minutes or so. Make sure you don't leave them in there too long or they might melt and also place them on some tin foil and a paper towel because some ink will leak out the print head nozzles. Be careful because the cartridges will be pretty hot when you take them out of the oven. After the cartdrige cooled down for a few minutes I shook the crap out of it for a minute to loosen up the ink. I then tried both of them in printer and they worked fine.
Hopefully this will save you from trowing away a perfectly good print cartdrige. If you leave it in the oven too long and it melts or you damage it ... well it didn't work anyway so at least you gave this method a try.
by JohnC on Dec 4, 2005 at 8:50am Add comment
Thanks for the cure! I soaked this new cartridge in hot water, then boiling water, then baked it in the oven at 200oF for 10 minutes and shook it and it seems to be working all right now.
I have to wonder why this all should be necessary but at least it works and I didn't go out and buy a new printer.
by unknown on Dec 7, 2005 at 8:39am Add comment
Hey, nice one!
My HP 930C refused to print black (despite a perfectly good black cartridge!) because of a 'fault' with the color cartridge.
This'll never work (he thinks)...boiling water in a cup, quarter-full, let it steam for a few minutes, dry after etc..
But blow me, it worked!!!!
As we say in the UK, "Bob's your uncle!"
Much appreciate everyone who contributed to this thread for convincing me to give this a go :-)
Shame HP website does not mention this trick.
by ChrisP on Dec 21, 2005 at 3:58pm Add comment
I had the pink/black syndrome as well on a Deskjet 812C printer using #23 cartridges. I used The Soak. It worked!

To be fair, although my cartridge was new out of the box, it had an old "install before" date (2002). Time sure flies.
by unknown on Dec 29, 2005 at 3:55pm Add comment
I don't believe it. I was given a hp deskjet 840c with two new cartridges because it would only print black, tried the soak thing ( 30 minutes in a cup of boiling water ), PERFECTO !!
Thanks very much whoever thought of this.
by unknown on Dec 31, 2005 at 11:46am Add comment
Thanks so much for the microwave hot water fix. It worked like a champ!

Has HP responded or commented to this issue or fix?
by unknown on Dec 31, 2005 at 1:27pm Add comment
i have a hp1220 deskjet professional
i replaced colour cartridge for twice but my print is bad
i use service cleaning but it does not work good and my print is bad
i am sure of my driver and cartridge
how i can correct this problem please help me .
by Anonymous on Jan 1, 2006 at 6:15am Add comment
Try the Micorwave and Hot Water Trick.

I just did it on my HP932c color cartridge that was printing only in
pink and black and it worked!

Welcome the the world of High Tech. - Anonymous
Suddenly, and even with a brand new color cartridge, my printer has started turning photo images into pale greenish striped verions of what they should be.

Not sure this is the same as the pink-and-black problem.

Anyone have a clue?

Thanks in advance,
by GG Murray on Jan 29, 2006 at 4:06pm Add comment
Oh no! The new HP78 printed only pink & black, same as the old one. I had opened my 970C and reseated most of the connectors before reading this soaking thing. My 970C was on its way to the curb. I didn't think it would work, but it did!
by unknown on Jan 30, 2006 at 10:57pm Add comment
Mine is currently only printing black and blue with one cartrige and no colours with the other. The worst is in its first soak now. :) fingers are x'd
by Anonymous on Jan 31, 2006 at 6:13am Add comment
What can I say, thank you. It's alive!!!! :)
by Anonymous on Jan 31, 2006 at 6:53am Add comment
I have a Dell Photo 720 printer, which also only printed PINK and BLACK. However, after having soakd the cartridge nozzels in hot water for ca 1 minute, it now PRINTS FINE. See also this article http://www.pacificink.com/link.php?pg=cartridgesoak.
by unknown on Feb 2, 2006 at 9:38am Add comment
I wonder if those guys at pacificink figured it out on their own or "borrowed" the idea from us. That article is recent. We've been offering that advice for years.
by moe on Feb 2, 2006 at 5:35pm Add comment
how about i Try the Micorwave and Hot Water Trick
by Anonymous on Feb 4, 2006 at 5:25am Add comment
how about Try the Micorwave and Hot Water Trick i don't understand please tell me obviously.
by Anonymous on Feb 4, 2006 at 5:31am Add comment
i have a hp1220 deskjet professional
i replaced colour cartridge for twice but my print is bad
i use service cleaning but it does not work good and my colour print is bad
i am sure of my driver and cartridge
how i can correct this problem please help me .
by Anonymous on Feb 4, 2006 at 5:33am Add comment
U guys are the best, have just done the hot water dunk for the hp 78 cartridge out of my deskjet 948c and it works. MWAAAAAH.
by anna_nz on Feb 6, 2006 at 2:32am Add comment
Thank you, whoever found the solution and to everyone that replied with their results. It's great, the soak method works!
I had the same problem with a remanufactured cartride hp 78. It printed only pink and black. I had to soak the cartridge into hot water twice for 30 minutes.
Great stuff!! Thanks again.
by Anonymous on Feb 15, 2006 at 1:42pm Add comment
Another success story! The soak method saved me some dough! Thank you whoever conceived this idea!
by Anonymous on Feb 16, 2006 at 4:05pm Add comment
Thanks to this forum and to everyone for their advice & pioneering efforts. The soak & rinse cure worked -- eventually.

It took me three time-consuming attempts, during which my mood deteriorated from jaded skeptic (having already tried EVERYTHING but voodoo) to conspiracy-theory crackpot (hp has one employee posting here under 155 different names, all of them vouching for this boiling water snake-oil).

I cannot complain with the results; all three colours are now, finally, printing properly. And it's a good remedy to know, as I suppose everyone's first inclination is to chuck the faulty ink cartridge (or even the printer) and buy another. My only regret is the hours I spent tinkering with this miserable little problem, instead of doing billable work for clients. I could have a new laser printer right now if I hadn't been so stubborn (and in my case it's pure stubbornness, not patience or perseverance). Instead, the rewards of this long and ill-tempered ordeal are that I have succeeded in restoring the status quo. Umm... "yay"?

Anyway, thanks for the advice and good luck to everyone who has this infernal "pink ink" problem.
by Anonymous on Feb 27, 2006 at 1:29pm Add comment
¡Another IDEA!

Hi to all the people that had suffered this problem....

I have a 3820 printer with 2 new cartridges that had the same problem (magenta didn't work). Because I could see that it was the same color (on the 2 cartridges) with the problem, I thought that the crash was into the printer...connections or something similar.

Surfing through Internet I discovered this page and applied your solution on one of my cartridges. After 2 tries the problem turned worse because only was printed with 1 color (yellow), but I thought that if I need to see the three colors for working properly, I would rise them ... so I took the cartrige in my lips and aspired smoothly two and three times until I could see the three color drops in the dazzles, after that I could see that all the colors worked in my printer.

I expect this can help you a little more.
by Anonymous on Mar 1, 2006 at 2:17am Add comment
yeah sucking is the shortcut.
I had soaked and dabbed but still no yellow on a remanuafactured cartridge. Sucking solved it.
As a sensible precaution: fold a paper towel to about twice the size of the printhead and suck through it to prevent getting a mouthful of ink. If you are careful you can get a nice print of blue pink and yellow on the tissue and back into the printer with that working cartridge!
by sucker on Mar 1, 2006 at 2:37pm Add comment
Don't know about this sucking on a inkjet cartridge. Can't be very healthy. Next thing we know the manufacturers will have to put health warnings on cartridges.

I managed to revive an old Deskjet 690C that have been gathering dust for a couple of years. Had two sets of cartridges. Black printed OK but no color. Sorted the problem out by holding the tips of the cartridges ander very hot tap water for about 5 minutes. - Anonymous
A lot of these cartridges seem to be bad from the start. Call HP and they will replace the cartridge.
by Anonymous on Mar 10, 2006 at 1:54pm Add comment
Sometimes you need to clean the service station, if you do not, then the wipers can deposit dried ink in the nozzles of the new cartridge.
by Stephen on Mar 10, 2006 at 2:21pm Add comment
Well I reported couple days ago how well cooking cartridges for an hour at 180 in the oven had totally restored a color and a b/w ctdg in my PSC 1315. Next day, though, only a little pink was present and that along the edges. B/W seemed to be fading again, too, so back in the oven for another hour. The b/w came back, ok, but not the color. Did the color for another hour and still nothing. It blots fine. Well, have 2 new ones arriving today and will try them.
Still think this is a tool that should be in everyone's printer troubleshooting kit.
by virginiajim on Mar 20, 2006 at 6:56am Add comment
Sweet - the hot water under the tap and sucking through a kleenex worked!! BTW, my teeth look a little blue though :)
by unknown on Mar 28, 2006 at 1:49pm Add comment
Blue Tooth... Hmmm...
by Stephen on Mar 28, 2006 at 8:27pm Add comment
Thanks everyone - it took three goes before the yellow came back but soaking in boiling water for a half hour or so WORKED! Now I'm getting my old cartridges out of the recycling envelope to do them too. I'll NEVER buy an HP printer again.
by Anonymous on Apr 6, 2006 at 10:46am Add comment
Thank you so much!!! It worked!
I started out wiht just running under hot water- and it was not quite enough in my case- so I soaked it in hot water (boiling hot) for about 15 min- took it out and wiped it with paper towel--and YES! Blue and Yellow are back! (I already had pink- plenty of pink...)

by unknown on Apr 12, 2006 at 12:34pm Add comment
The soak method worked great for me, then after a few weeks my printer only printed in pink and black again. I tried re-soaking and even the baking method; while the first test page comes out great, the subsequent pages are either pink and black or pink, yellow and black. Any ideas?
by Anonymous on Apr 14, 2006 at 8:43pm Add comment
I have HP OfficeJet G85 for over three years and suddenly does not print color right. I bought a new cartridge and did the aligenment and cleaning etc. The problem is the same: the color print is pink-yellow-ish either in print mode or copy mode. So I conclude that it does not print blue color.

I googled here and find many relevant threads. I read most but still cannot figure out what is wrong with my printer. I wonder if anyone can help.
by shouming on Apr 23, 2006 at 12:56pm Add comment
I soaked the printer cartridge in boiling water while I downloaded the newest driver for my HP3820. 15 minutes later, problem was fixed. Not sure which one was the answer.
by Anonymous on Apr 27, 2006 at 3:30pm Add comment
I have a HP Deskjet 3820. I have tried 2 catridges and both printed pink. I tried reloading the software, but I still got pink. So I concluded the printer was messed up until I came across this thread.

I boiled water and soaked the catridge in it for 30 minutes. I blotted it onto a paper towel and saw only blue and pink. I figured the yellow was clogged. I saw an earlier post that suggested sucking on the catridge would unclog it. Since I didn't want ink in my mouth, I used a vacuum with a narrow head to pull the ink out. I again blotted it onto a paper towel and saw Red, Blue, and Yellow!!

I looovvee the internet!
by Anonymous on Apr 29, 2006 at 8:45pm Add comment
I have an HP 882c, and here's what I did when my printer was only printing in pink and black:

I had tried the soaking of the cartridge in boiling water. Didn't work. After a minute or two of seeing all 3 colors after blotting on a paper towel...it was back to seeing only one color: red.

I put the cartridge on a folded up paper towel (about 3 of them, actually) and put it in my microwave (my microwave can handle very thin metal) for about 30-35 seconds on high. I watched the cartridge thru the glass. When I saw ink starting to come out of the end of the cartridge (lay the cartridge in the MW so that the end of it where the ink comes out is either to the left or right, not straight towards you), I opened the door. The cartridge was not too hot to handle, so I immediately put it under cold flowing water in the sink to cool it off. After a minute or so, I wiped it off and tried blotting it on a paper towel. I saw all 3 colors (yay!) I then put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes to fully cool it off. After that, into my printer for a self-test and it worked like normal.

Btw, the first time I popped one of my cartridges into the MW, I put it in for a minute and after about 40 seconds, I could hear the ink boiling inside. I looked in the MW and could see the sides warping on the cartridge (lol). Had a mess cleaning up the ink out of my MW tray, but I cooled it off and it works fine.

Good Luck!
by B|ondie on Apr 30, 2006 at 12:48pm Add comment
I am an old guy who had the same type problem that most of you described. I’m so old I forgot all the actions I took to rectify my color printing problem so I cannot describe in any detail what I did. The fact remains, - the water trick, hot, boiling, cold, let dry. blot, microwave, pan submergence, coffee mug dunking, invert, shake, – it worked. Seems I did them all, some more than twice, and the perseverance finally paid off. The only significant different action I took was applying centrifugal force. What a happy day it has been! Now I am sorry I threw away the replaced cartridges.
by tomcmg on May 14, 2006 at 1:34pm Add comment
I am an old guy who had the same type problem that most of you described. I’m so old I forgot all the actions I took to rectify my color printing problem, consequently I cannot describe in any detail what I did. The fact remains, - the water trick, boiling, wiping, drying. blotting, microwaving, pan submerging, coffee mug dunking, inverting, shaking, – it worked. Seems I did them all, some more than twice, and the perseverance finally paid off. The only significant different action I took was applying centrifugal force. What a happy day it has been! Now I am sorry I threw away the replaced cartridges.
by tomcmg on May 15, 2006 at 6:44am Add comment
Have problem as described, but when I soaked the cartridge it only prints grey now???
by unknown on May 17, 2006 at 5:05pm Add comment
the water trick worked for me. Yellow stopped working halfway thru a picture, so I figured it was out. Replaced cart with & problem persisted. cleaned the contacts, no help. boiled the old cart, problem solved. my 840c is spared from the landfill (for now).

Thank you thank you thank you!
by Anonymous on May 21, 2006 at 2:24pm Add comment
Note that there are print cartridges and printheads. I have a cp1160. I tried everything as I was out of two colors. Changed the printheads and now it works fine.
by Anonymous on May 24, 2006 at 2:25pm Add comment
The most common cause for a "deprimed" color is a cartridge that is very old. HP cartridges have a two year warranty, see http://h10025.www1.hp.com for details of how to check the cartridge. If the cartridge is still in warranty contact HP or your dealer for a replacement.

When buying new cartridges look for the "install by" date on the package.

To ensure the longest shelf life for unused cartridges store them in a cool place and keep them upright as they would be hanging on a store display.

Bob Headrick, MS MVP Printing/Imaging
by unknown on May 30, 2006 at 12:42pm Add comment
Just microwaved high each side 15 seconds. On second 15, ink spewed into microwave. Next time will only do 10 secs each side. Rinsed, blotted and dried too. Printed beautifully for the first time in a year. Many thanks to all!

Date on HP 23 cartridges was 2004, but bought new recently from Office Depot. You wouldn't believe how many times I have uninstalled, installed, searched for new drivers, and cleaned. Was ready to buy! Thanks again.
by choppy on Sep 16, 2006 at 6:24pm Add comment
LOL!! Thanks for the fix! A friend gave me his old Deskjet 812c and a dozen carts because it only printed pink & black. Tried the soak method and now i have a great printer and years worth of carts! LOL
by unknown on Sep 29, 2006 at 5:12pm Add comment
I was having a similar problem, but with my black cartridge. I could tell it was full, because I have hardly used it lately, and it was heavy. I tried the soaking, and after a couple of cups of microwaved water, and rinsing with very hot water, ink started to come out, so I thought it was fixed.
However, when I put the cartridge back into my HP PhotoSmart, I get a message that says "Black Cartridge Failed". "Replace Black Cartridge". I have seen this before(with other cartridges) but was never able to figure what to do except to put in a new cartridge. Since you people seem to really know your stuff, I'm hoping there is a fix for this. Please Help!
by joanm on Sep 29, 2006 at 8:41pm Add comment
I am absolutely thrilled with this site. I was quite aggravated after getting the "Black Cartridge Failed" message. I searched around on the web for some clues as to what the problem was, and finally saw a post or two discussing the fact that HP (and some other manufacturers) encode some info on the cartridges that enable the printer to tell if you are using an old or refilled cartridge.(or something like that) I started looking for info about resetting cartridges and found the following directions on how to reset for a #45 cartridge:

I did it and it actually worked on my cartridge!
I knew it was full!
I want to give credit where it is due!I located the site with the directions for resetting from a link from a forum on this site.
What a brilliant bunch of people! Thanks a million!

by unknown on Oct 1, 2006 at 8:25pm Add comment
Thanks guys great help i soaked it for bout 20 min and now jus lettin it dry the three colours are coming through so fingers crossed that this will work.. Screw HP the bunch of pricks i aint buying another one again..
by unknown on Oct 12, 2006 at 7:11pm Add comment
I really appreciate the help, but I've tried the hot-soak method and hot-rinse method on 4 different hp color cartridges including one that is stated as a "high capacity" cartridge to NO AVAIL! (more like high CRAPacity) And YES, all 4 are actual hp brand-name color cartridges. If I ever decide to purchase another hp printer would someone please shoot me? Spending this much time troubleshooting a 100$ printer isn't worth it.
by unknown on Oct 17, 2006 at 8:38pm Add comment
I had the same problem with my 960c. I replaced cartridge for the second time and the color went back to normal. I exhanged the cartridge for a sanity check and the problem came back with the old cartridge. I do beleive it was the cartridge.
by unknown on Oct 25, 2006 at 4:33pm Add comment
It's true HP product for home use does not have the same quality it used to have. I have gone thru 4 printers in the last 5 years. I have tried even their laserjet1100 and the mechanism failed after 9 months. If you do buy one get an extended warranty, because it worth it when you printer breaks down 6 months later when you are trying to pring an important project for school or work.
by giovannn on Oct 25, 2006 at 4:44pm Add comment
My 1120c had the pink/black print problem. Soaked the color cartridge head for about 15 min in boiling hot water. Dried. Works great! amazing!!!! Who'd a thunk it??
by unknown on Nov 9, 2006 at 8:17pm Add comment
chalk another success story up, it worked on my dear grandma's printer which had not worked in 3 years.
by unknown on Nov 21, 2006 at 7:42pm Add comment
Hi all, I tried this too and it worked for my 952C which could not print blue even from a fresh cartridge. It's an amazing thing but it works like a charm!

When I tried the process, I used an older cartridge that was known to be about half used. I had inserted a fresh cartridge when the cyan stopped printing, thinking that the half-used cartridge had a problem. To test this process I used the older cartridge.

I've notice that it not only prints but, the utilities show it is 100\% full of ink now where for certain it was not registering full before this process. Is it possible that the cartridge is wicking up water to cause this phenomenon? I did notice that my first couple of prints were 'water color-ey' in quality and the paper was sort of waffled where the ink was deposited, indicating perhaps some water content or thinning of the remaining ink.

Either way, I got cyan back and yellow too, so I'm happy! Thanks for this forum.
by suelange on Dec 7, 2006 at 4:27am Add comment
Awesome!!! I have my printer again!
by Anonymous on Dec 10, 2006 at 12:13pm Add comment
My T45 color cartridge went into a tiny depth of hot water using the microwave method above, then actually took about eight runs of the Clean Cartridge feature to get things just perfect, each run a good improvement over the one before. Someone's in line for some kind of Nobel prize here. Ex-cel-lent! Thanks.
by unknown on Dec 12, 2006 at 1:41am Add comment
When I recently replaced a colour cartridge for my 840C I used an old one I bought about 2 years ago. It would only print Yellow and Blue. Read your site (by chance) and Voila! I now print in colour again. Restored my faith in my fellow man being resourceful. Keep up the good works.
by James G on Jan 4, 2007 at 2:13pm Add comment
Hot water!! It worked, 3 HP cartridges that had been setting for some time are all working now!!

by unknown on Jan 11, 2007 at 3:57pm Add comment
I had two color cartriges for my 930c I got online at an 85\% discount a year ago. They only printed pink so I called the company and they told me the warrenty ran out after six months. They did tell me to try the soak method. I tried and one bled all colors on a paper towel but didn't work in the printer. I went one step further after several attempts and set the cartrige in the saucer of boiling water and let it soak for a minute and then cooked the cartrige for 15 seconds. Viola! red yellow and blue on the paper towel and from the printer. Praise the Lord and thanks for the advice on patience.
by unknown on Jan 20, 2007 at 5:34pm Add comment
Thank you SO much, the hot water c;leared the problem right up! Whoever thought of it: kudos. :D
by unknown on Jan 30, 2007 at 8:35pm Add comment
Just wanted to say thanks for the tips! I did a search on "printer only prints in pink" and found this page.
I did the soak for 30 minutes...and got a hint of blue to show up when I dabbed in onto kleenex. When I ran it under hot water, I got a bit of blue and yellow to show up. Kept running it under hot water and then some "crap" came out of the cartridge (went down the drain too fast with the running water to really see what it was). Wa-lah! The cartridge works!
by unknown on Feb 5, 2007 at 12:04am Add comment
When my 1120c started printing magenta only, after a period of inactivity, I assumed the cartridge was out of ink. When the second (new, HP original) cartridge did the same thing I wasn't so sure. When the third (new, Jettec) did the same thing I became certain it was the printer. If I hadn't of found this thread I would still be trying to decide which circuit board to replace. Works perfectly now. All three cartridges. Nice one. b0r15.
by b0r15 on Feb 6, 2007 at 6:29am Add comment
Brilliant! Convinced I had serious problem with my black and pink loving 1220C. Arrived at this page after fruitless searches in HP's site. 30 minutes of hot water soak and presto, working in full colour again! Thanks to all who found and explained this great tip.
by unknown on Feb 17, 2007 at 1:52pm Add comment
Another convert here. My HP OfficeJet t45 stopped printing yellow. Put in a new cartridge - still no yellow. Found this forum before I opened the second new cartridge. Did the soak fix on the first one, and voila!! Perfect colors. Perfect solution. Thanks.
by unknown on Feb 20, 2007 at 9:55am Add comment
I tried the cleaning and had no luck with two new cartridges. I also cleaned all the contacts. I finally got it working by giving the ink cartridge a really good shaking in the cradle jaming it in very firmly. All the posts gave me faith to keep trying. Thanks!
by unknown on Feb 21, 2007 at 7:57pm Add comment
i own a hp deskjet 1220c which i bought in 2001 and just hooked up on the 20th of this month( don't laugh it was not needed until now) i installed the print cartridges and got everything but yellow, i soaked the cartridge in hot water but not as long as some in the website, and i still did not get yellow. I bought a new cartridge and all i get from it is lines in the colors, but i get yellow. do you think i need to soak the other cartridge more? and does this printer have printing heads, and if so, do you know how to take them out, and can they be replaced.
thank you
by monarie on Feb 24, 2007 at 6:18pm Add comment
The printheads are part of the cartridges, they are what you are soaking.

Do the blot test on the color cartridge.

Remove cartridge from machine, fold a paper towel back over a couple of times so it is about 4 layers thick, shake cartridge up and down hard, shake over a sink unless you want to clean ink off the floor.

Now blot the nozzles of the cartridge on the paper towel, you should see three colored stripes, if you don't have all three stripes the cartridge is clogged, or out of one or more colors.

If the cartridge is clogged, then soak the nozzles in warm water for a couple of minutes and try the blot test again. A little warm water in a saucer works fine, you only want to wet the nozzles, keep the rest of the cartridge dry.

by Stephen on Feb 24, 2007 at 7:44pm Add comment
I soaked the cartridge for 30 minutes in very hot water then dryed it of with a paper towel, and did the blot test, i got all 3 colors, but when i put it in the printer and ran a test i only got black and maganta, i lost the blue??????????? and of course no yellow.
thank you all for any help
by monarie on Feb 27, 2007 at 7:10pm Add comment
If the service station is dirty the cartridge can get clogged back up fast.

Clean the cartridge again, and also wipe the rubber wipers in the service station. (thing the carriage sits on when not in use)
by Stephen on Feb 27, 2007 at 7:19pm Add comment
Wow, I had the same problem and had to use several methods. I replaced my cartridge with a knockoff cartridge that I had purchased a year ago for about $10. When I installed the cartridge it would only print in pink. The first method that I used was to soak the cartridge in hot water for about 30 minutes. I did this several times and I would still get only pink. Then I decided to microwave the cartridge. I microwaved it on high for about 30 seconds. I made sure to use several napkins just in case. After 30 seconds I heard like a small explosions and a fizz (like it was releasing pressure) I immediately took it out and the napkin was full of blue ink. I cleaned the cartrige and waited for it to cool. Blue was working fine but now no yellow or pink. I used the first method again but only blue would work. I then tried a third method and that was to cover the bottom with a napkin and try to suck on it to force the ink out. I still got only blue but this time I got a little yellow. At this point I didn't have anything to lose so I came up with my own method. These cartridges have on the top part little vent holes I drilled a hole in the yellow vent hole and another in the pink vent hole and blew as hard as I could thru the holes and presto pink and yellow started coming out. I then installed the cartridge and ran the cleaning and primer program that came with my printer. The printer is working just like new! I had learned about these vent holes from a refill kit I purchased at Costco a few years ago. The refill kit even came with a little drill tool to perforate the vent holes. The kit has instructions that explained which hole is the yellow hole, pink hole and blue hole. BTW, my printer is a HP 932C. I hope this helps someone.
by Anonymous on Mar 5, 2007 at 2:00pm Add comment
Not a good idea to put a cartridge in a microwave. They contain metal and metal and microwaves do not mix. I'm surprised it still works.
by moe on Mar 5, 2007 at 2:17pm Add comment
Damn, that soak method works. I never would have believed it if I hadn't done it myself. I soaked the cartridge in hot water for 30 minutes (I just sat the cartridge in about an inch of water--just enough to cover the area where ink comes out), then rinsed with hot water. I let it dry overnight. After a couple of prints, viola! Unreal!!
by hikernut2007 on Mar 15, 2007 at 7:02am Add comment
An inch is way too much, you need just enough to barely cover the nozzles.

When you use just enough there is no drying time needed.
by Stephen on Mar 15, 2007 at 7:57am Add comment
i finally got the cartridge to work, i soaked the entire cartridge in very, very hot water for 30 minutes, then tried it and got maganta, and blue, no yellow, so did it over again for 30 minutes and it finally worked great. now my problem is that the printer will not print a brillant red, always a darker red thans i have in my picture. Why?????????? is it the cartridge fault, or is it the black cartridge leaking over into the maganta?
thank you for any kind of help
by monarie on Mar 15, 2007 at 5:04pm Add comment
i finally got the cartridge to work, i soaked the entire cartridge in very, very hot water for 30 minutes, then tried it and got maganta, and blue, no yellow, so did it over again for 30 minutes and it finally worked great. now my problem is that the printer will not print a brillant red, always a darker red thans i have in my picture. Why?????????? is it the cartridge fault, or is it the black cartridge leaking over into the maganta?
thank you for any kind of help
by monarie on Mar 15, 2007 at 5:07pm Add comment
Soaking and rinsing worked great for me. Thanks for the suggestions.
by unknown on Mar 15, 2007 at 5:33pm Add comment

The colors can cross contaminate, but the black can not get into the magenta.

If the colors are off then it's either a color cartridge problem or a driver setting.
by Stephen on Mar 15, 2007 at 5:52pm Add comment
thanks for the help. the only color that is off is the bright red. all of the other colors are right on, and beautiful.
thank you for your help
by Anonymous on Mar 16, 2007 at 6:09pm Add comment
where are the drive settings located?
thank you for your help.
by Anonymous on Mar 17, 2007 at 5:08pm Add comment
It goes something like this:

Start>>control panel>>printers & faxes>>right click on icon for printer you want to work with>>properties>>Printing preferences>>advanced

The exact steps depend on the version of windows you are running, in some cases you go right from start to printerss and faxes.
by Stephen on Mar 17, 2007 at 5:16pm Add comment
I had the same problem (only printing black & magenta) with my old 812c. Soaking and hot running water cleared it right up. Thanx to all who input suggestions on this site.
by Anonymous on Mar 23, 2007 at 5:42pm Add comment
Add me to the list of people soaking worked for. I wasn't getting blue so I tried a remanufactured cartidge. Even though I had just unwrapped it, it was even worse than the first cartridge. It only printed pink. I tried cleaning the area the print head contacts..that did nothing. I tried soaking and had the first cartridge working (and I only soaked for about 10 minutes)
by Anonymous on Mar 27, 2007 at 11:38am Add comment
I tried the coffee cup 1/4 full idea - 90 seconds in the microwave and soak for a few minutes. then used a ear syringe to put air pressure on each of the fill holes (self refilled cartiridge) and the ink dribbled out in each color. Now the printer works perfectly
by heathkit on Apr 3, 2007 at 3:27pm Add comment
by moe (10/20/06 5:57 PM)
"You are asking everyone to climb off of a leaky boat and onto a sinking one. While HP's quality has gone down in the past few years, the other companies are even worse."

Hold up here. To say that by looking to other companies than HP, we would be jumping on a sinking boat, you must be getting paid by HP.

True, new companies do have a learning curve to catch up, but just look at most Japanese companies that got into a market that was OWNED by Americans.. and now... after the initial junk they produced, they now make the best quality cars and electronics around.

Consumers are losing against big greedy companies because we allow them to sell us junk.

Consumers need to demand more from HP and if they fail to deliver, than switch to another company. Period. Keep the power where it belongs: In the consumer's hand. We have the money that buys the product. I don't want junk. I am fed up buying junk in BOTH markets (home and business). The business models just cost more, but still die just as fast.
by Anonymous on Apr 3, 2007 at 4:09pm Add comment
I don't get paid anything by HP. I've just worked on thousands of printers from most mfgs. Truth be told, HP doesn't build any of their printers. They're either made by Canon (LaserJets) or Matsushita (Inkjets). If you want to experience real junk, go by a Brother. It's not about consumer satisfaction anymore, it's about making a printer as cheaply as possible in order to sell the expensive ink or toner.
You seem to have read the forum a bit. Keep in mind that all the mfgs. are aware of this forum and there are lots of people who have used it to extract free printers from whatever mfg. was knowingly selling a defective product. They call up and say they have a problem with their printer. The reps try and offer them a discount on a new model. They mention this forum and next thing you know, they have a new printer on its way to them at no charge. Knowledge is power. This forum has done more to increase customer awareness than any other printer forum. All the mfgs. monitor the forum regularly. There have been reps from most of the printer companies who've posted to it in the past.
You don't have much choice about buying junk. Some junk is better than other junk, but nothing lasts forever. Eventually every printer will break down. People who tend to gripe the most, got their printer free with their computer and can't comprehend why it broke after the first ink cartridge replacement. If you buy a sub $100 printer, expect it to fail shortly after the warranty period which is probably 90 days. Generally, the more you spend on a printer, the longer it will go before its first failure.
by moe on Apr 3, 2007 at 4:41pm Add comment
Hey Babe
don't knock Brothers, i have 2 printers, faxs , telephone and etc, outfits that are perfect. one is 6 years old, the other is 2 years old, and i have not ever had to soak the heads in hot water.
thank you
monarie - Anonymous

I read the forums regularly.

The Epson posts outnumber the HP posts.

More of the HP posts get answered.

Try this, on the main forums page click on the open threads link, then look through a few pages, you might see an HP or two, but the other OEM's will outnumber HP by a good percent.
by Stephen on Apr 3, 2007 at 5:52pm Add comment
I seem to have the opposite to Pink flu! Pink is the only colour I can't get out of one of my cartridge. Blue, yellow, gren perfect. I've tryed the water thing several times to get the pink out, but it aint coming! Any other useful tips? Another cartridge of mine has pink flu and is sitting in hot water now, fingers crossed it works.
by unknown on Apr 17, 2007 at 3:31am Add comment
Just continued my desperate attempt to get my cartridge working (i've been trying for 2 days now)I found this forum about 2 hours ago. After completing the hot water soak and rinse and seeing no ink coming through i quickly sucked the cartridge to try and draw the ink through. I dryed it off placed it back in my printer, and way hey, it worked at last!!! Although I now have blue teeth, o well at least I can print!!!
by unknown on Apr 17, 2007 at 4:22am Add comment
so glad i found you...my printer is back in business and i no longer feel like kicking it down the stairs. you might not have saved my life but you certainly saved my printer's.
by t'mara on Apr 22, 2007 at 4:46pm Add comment
Sitting here laughing. Yeah - I've had the same reaction to problems it presents. The 1220C printer does such a great job for photos and prints the same color tones as the monitor. wysiwyg. I love it! Possibly you do too. This forum is a great place to exchange information. If there is no customer support for the printer from HP, then this group of users is even more valuable. We have a place to exchange growing competence in repairs, cleaning and ink problems. - Anonymous
Mines been narky for a while, it printed just yellow, then it just printed magenta, after soaking it I got all the colours coming out of the end, but it doesnt PRINT the magenta. It comes through and everything when blotted, but nothing on paper. I'm thinking about just chucking it out the window and listening to the satisfying tinkly smashy noises as it rolls off down the hill.
by Anonymous on Apr 25, 2007 at 7:39am Add comment
Hi there, for those who do not like to wait for the slow method of using water for 30 minutes, do as I do and it WILL ALWAYS WORK. PUT YOUR MOUTH GENTLY OVER THE SILVER SQUARE, AND SUCK, SUCK, AND SUCK, and then dont forget to spit and wash your mouth very well otherwise you will have a very colored smile, usually black because all the colors will come out at the same time and mix in your mouth. PERMANENT FIX, ALWAYS WORKS. After 1 minute under hot water then suck.
by unknown on May 2, 2007 at 8:50pm Add comment
Cesar, I'd like to introduce you to Helen 5 posts up. You guys are a match made in heaven. You guys might start a whole new fashion trend. Colored teeth.
by moe on May 2, 2007 at 9:00pm Add comment
LOLOL i didnt even bother to keep reading till the end of the thread so I was not aware that she posted that one. SHE IS TOTALLY RIGHT!!! My god she's a genius. I have worked 4 years for HP and I tought that the secret trick didnt escaped the small circle. Now that I dont work for them anymore I can say that the reason why they dont tell costumers to do this has to do with health and safety ONLY. You guys should see the happy look in many costumers faces when they saw their printer print a fine quality picture 5 minutes after fixing "the big problem".
by unknown on May 2, 2007 at 9:54pm Add comment
And another one!
Thanks for this great tip...

a bashful HP employee!
by Anonymous on May 16, 2007 at 12:25pm Add comment

The hot water trick worked. Thanks for the tip
I had similar problem with a HP6520 Ink Catridge, did the following:
1. Soak the ink nozzle part in near boiling hot water for 5 minutes.
2. Remove, rinse off with running hot water.
3. Blot with paper tower.
4. Check if ink color visibly shown on paper.
5. Repeat Step 1-4 if ink not running on paper
6. Dry off ink catridge
7. Clean electrical contacts with Q-tip.
8. Test with printer
by Anonymous on May 16, 2007 at 10:51pm Add comment
The oral cartridge priming technique was documented as far back as 2005.

by Stephen on May 22, 2007 at 9:10pm Add comment
I have a deskjet 1120C that hasn't been used in 7 months. I hooked everything up for a test print only to receive a printout with pink colors!!!! Performed all the normal troubleshooting techniques with no success. Found this forum from a google search. Soaked the cartridge in hot water for 15 min. Then 1 min in running hot water. Patted the cartridge dry. Reinstalled. Everythings works now!!!! Nice work people for posting this information. HP should link this site with their support site.
by unknown on Jun 21, 2007 at 6:47pm Add comment
Mine does the same thing and I've tried all the same with no change. Did you ever figure out the problem?
by Anonymous on Jun 23, 2007 at 2:21pm Add comment
I have soaked my new cartridge only once and it did not do the trick.. Only the magenta stuff comes out when I wipe the bottom.. The old color cartridge I had in there I soaked a little to and saw all the colors come out and that still did not work when I put it in printer.. Still magenta and black.. Guess I might have to soak it five times like some of these people here..... My goodness! No wonder this printer was free!
by unknown on Jul 8, 2007 at 1:56am Add comment
Thanks to all, I was able to unclog the black cartridge on my printer with the hot water trick.

My cartridge had run dry sometime back, so I got a ink refill kit (found one for a buck at a local $ store) and refilled the cartridge, but the cartridge would not print. Tried all the utilities like priming etc but no luck. Stumbled upon this post when I googled unclogging the cartridge. This is what I did.

1) Soak print head in hot (nearly boiling) water in a cup for 2 min.
2) Covered the print head in paper napkin and used gravity to prime the head by rapidly moving the cartridge (with print head facing down) from shoulder high to knee high, abruptly stopping when I got to knee high in order to cause the ink to flow out. Blotted on tissue paper to check ink flow.
3) Blotted the cartridge dry and let it air dry.

Lo and Behold, I'm back in business printing in black color.
by Anonymous on Jul 8, 2007 at 11:16pm Add comment
Yay all the way from Edinburgh for the soaking / napkin trick. One 1220C back in business.
by Anonymous on Aug 27, 2007 at 2:16pm Add comment
Here is another chap who wants to send kudos to the guy who posted the 'hot-water' method. Magenta-flu cured by boiling some water and putting both the color and black cartridge in it for 1h.
After that I cleaned the head of the cartridges with a kleneex and then put them in vertical position on some toilet paper until ink stopped pouring.

Works like a charm! Thank you so much guys!

Shame on HP :(

PS: did you know that HP ink costs more than oil, wine, and... human blood? You can find the comparison on google.
by nervous on Sep 12, 2007 at 12:59am Add comment
Pen Recovery Diagnostic test.
If printout have incomplete text or graphics that are not corrected by cleaning the print cartridges,use the Pen Recovery Diagnostic test.the pen Recovery Diagnostics Test is a tree Level Cleaning procedure that attempts to clean Blocked print cartridge nozzles.
Read more http://www.coldreset.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=207
by unknown on Sep 12, 2007 at 10:39am Add comment
Tried it on my old HP Officejet T45 and it works - now get more than just magenta. Thanks!
by unknown on Sep 15, 2007 at 10:28am Add comment
Thanks everyone. I had suspicions that this was a wind-up but it isn't. Half an hour in a mug of hot water and bob's your uncle - no more pink and printer back in perfect working order!

by Helly on Sep 15, 2007 at 12:21pm Add comment
Thanks for the fix, worked a treat.

by charleykay on Sep 22, 2007 at 2:34pm Add comment
It does work :-)
by unknown on Sep 28, 2007 at 11:15am Add comment
Thanks for the super-useful information. I was pulling my hair out. My 832c is happy again.
by unknown on Oct 4, 2007 at 5:18am Add comment
The hot water trick just saved me the cost of a new print cartridge. Thanks to all!
by unknown on Oct 5, 2007 at 7:14pm Add comment

I just wanted to add, that this does work, even to today. I doused the cartridge in hot water once, for about 15 minutes. Oviously it wasn't enough, as magenta was still the only color coming out, no yellow or blue. So I got as hot of water as I could, let it set for about 30 minutes, then re-heated the water, and let it set for another 30 minutes. Then I tossed it into my freezer, and let it set in there for about 5 minutes, dabbed it, all three colors came out, tossed it in the printer, let it print a test page, and it worked. This coming from a printer cartridge dated Jun of 2004, brand new out of the box with this problem, and for a Photosmart P1000, which takes a 78 Color cartridge.

Great work, I'll never forget this one.

by unknown on Oct 21, 2007 at 3:28am Add comment
Thanks so much for this tip.

Had 2 printers (HP Photosmart) with this problem -- and it appears to be solved. (my first attempt failed, but I think because I didn't soak the cartridge for long enough in hot enough water).

Thank you!
by Anonymous on Nov 4, 2007 at 10:37pm Add comment
Excellent suggestion. It worked for me.
by Anonymous on Nov 30, 2007 at 7:19pm Add comment
Thankyou to everyone on this thread!
I have just solved the 'pink' problem. Have not been able to print in color for months and almost gave up & bought a new one.
Many, Many thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
by png on Dec 3, 2007 at 11:43pm Add comment

Me Too.

You guys rock. Soaking worked perfect for me. Make sure you give it a a full 20-30 minutes, then the paper towel test.

The sun shines on every dog's a$$ once in a while!
by unknown on Dec 7, 2007 at 9:19pm Add comment
I microwaved 2/3 cup water 1 minute, put head only in water 30 seconds, put pressure, using refill syringe, into filler holes, cleared instantly. Cool - Thanks!!
by wizardnot on Dec 11, 2007 at 8:24am Add comment
I was so sure my HP 970 CXI was toast when it did the magenta only thing with four different cartridges, that I put it by the end of the driveway with a "FREE" sign on it. After missing the printer's quality, high speed and features for a month, I bought a 970CSE on eBay, and was really ticked when that one had the same apparent problem (with the same cartridges). At that point I figured it might be a cartridge problem after all, found this site with Google, did the hot water thing, and it fixed the problem, three cartridges successfully refurbed. I hope my old printer is working well for whoever picked it up! By the way, if anyone wants a really good printer really cheap, the 970 CSE and CXI's are going for about ten bucks on eBay these days.
by unknown on Dec 11, 2007 at 9:13pm Add comment
Assumed my original (2002 vintage) 78 cartridge was empty a year or so ago when it started printing only in pink, and eventually ordered a remanufactured one to replace it. That went the same way at which point I decided it was unlikely to be an ink problem. Googled HP78 "magenta only", found this site, soaked the 2 cartridges, and printed in full colour about an hour later.

Good stuff on here. Maybe I'll try the cartridge sucking technique sometime I feel my diet isn't colourful enough.
by Anonymous on Jan 1, 2008 at 5:51pm Add comment
Hot water solution worked again on my 1220C.
by unknown on Jan 29, 2008 at 7:53pm Add comment
For my HP3940 printer HP21 black toner cartridge problem it worked too!

Took REALLY hot (boiling point) water but I soaked for only a couple of minutes & shook it hard several times & tapped it on my palm to get it going. This was a super dry cartridge that had been sitting around empty for a year or two & recently filled with off-brand toner!

I did have to realign my print head & stuff, because it was a bit blurry, but WOW! After DAYS of fighting this printer, it was WORTH it!

by unknown on Feb 6, 2008 at 11:33am Add comment
Tnk You thank you!! :))
My HP Works again after 5 months of pink printing !
I used soak method as well but I needed to use ir 2 times until all 3 colours came out!
My boyfriend loghed at me at the begining and I didnt believe but result shows everything..:)
by unknown on Feb 9, 2008 at 5:18am Add comment
This works great, thanks!
by Anonymous on Mar 11, 2008 at 5:02pm Add comment
Can someone go over the soak method again please? I am only seeing the responses and not the original instructions on how to do it. Do I soak the whole cartrige or just a part of it? This would be great if it works. I was about to buy a new printer. Thanks!
by unknown on Apr 23, 2008 at 8:30am Add comment
Hi There cmmalcom,
Hold the larger part of the cartridge in your hands and just soak the nozzle. The water can come up over the edges about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch.

The thing that works for me, is to use hot water, not boiling.

Put hot water into a small shallow bowl and put the cartrige nozzle end into the water.

The little dish that I use has a bit of a lip on it, so the wider part of the cartridge rests on the rim. I let it sit for about 5 minutes, then swish it to dislodge dry ink and to get some colour coming into the water.

Then, using a damp blotter or folded paper towel, I gently press the print head into it.

You should see the colour streaks marking quite easily. If not, try the soak method again and repeat the blotting process. On a couple of occasions when I was busy, the cartridge was in the hot water for about 20 minutes (so it had even cooled in that time). After I swished it and blotted it, all three colour streaks clearly marked. Dry the cartridge carefully, not touching the printhead. (remember you just blotted it anyway) Then put it back into the printer and go through the cartridge change procedure that comes with the printer software.

You can also use the "clean cartridge" choice, to see if you're satisfied with the results or not. If it's a new cartridge, and you're not satisfied with the printout from the clean cartridge process, repeat the soak method.

This should help you, I feel. Take care and have a good day.

- Anonymous
The heads are the copper colored things on the bottom of the cartridge. That is the only thing that needs to come in contact with the hot water.
by moe on Apr 23, 2008 at 9:06am Add comment
I know it seems a bit obvious but has anybody tried to use the 'Prime' button, I tried it a couple of times and it worked for me. It, at least, makes the prints acceptable
by Anonymous on Jun 1, 2008 at 9:36am Add comment
I have HP DeskJet 950c, because I haven't used colour printing for a few months, yesterday, I wanted to print colour graphs, I discovered that no yellow colour. I tried toolbox - clean the Print Cartridges, a few times, it made the matter worse, no other colours except pink and black. I tried to uninstall and reinstall printer software, following HP website instructions in problem solving. Nothing worked!

I found this website, soaked the whole colour cartridge in a mug with boiling water for one hour, and dried with toilet tissues and pressed the head on a tissues, voila! I got three colours. I let it dry for 10 minutes and put the cartridge back to the printer. The colours were wonderful, as good as new. Million thanks everybody!
by Anonymous on Jul 18, 2008 at 5:11pm Add comment
I soaked some cartiages that we had brought almost three years ago & it worked!!!! At first it was only printing in pink (shades) and black, but after soaking them in boiling water it did the trick. At first only magenta was bleeding out, but I just kept boiling some water (about 1/4 full in a small plastic bowl in the microwave) and letting them sit about 15 mintues. Finally, green and yellow started to show up. I dried them out for about 15 minutes and started printing test sheets of various colors and it is fine now. Thanks to whoever started this thread
by Anonymous on Jul 20, 2008 at 10:17pm Add comment
Tried the soaking trick. Little silver foil strip came off in the process. Cartridge now only good for use as a paperweight. Thanks.
by Anonymous on Jul 21, 2008 at 2:29pm Add comment
What brand & number cartridge were yours? Neither of mine have silver foil anywhere so I can't imagine!? (I've soaked mine in various temps & various lengths of time on 10 different occasions with NO physical damage EVER!)

The soaking trick is basically a last resort method anyway--don't feel too badly--it prolly was a paperweight anyway.
by unknown on Jul 22, 2008 at 6:35am Add comment
At first I thought "ok, this fix is a joke". I used 3 brand new cartridges out of the box, and I was sure that it was the printer.

Needless to say, I soaked the cartridge in water and I have color. Out shop is thankful! http://neworleanscomputerrepair.com
by unknown on Jul 23, 2008 at 9:35am Add comment
I've had several messages over the past year saying the same thing and I'm glad you tried the 'fix' and that you're still in business. It wasn't me who discovered the 'fix' by-the-way, I just passed it on when someone helped me. This is a very good website in support of owners of the HP1220C printer, but the 'fix' works for any make of cartridge. All you have to do is pass it on and help someone else and we can all keep printing.

by Anonymous on Jul 23, 2008 at 3:37pm Add comment
You're a nice person Anon.... I'm SO thankful for this inane little tip that I thought would NEVER work.

I can't TELL you how many HOURS I'd spent on idiot printers over the last 10 years trying everything under the sun including uninstalling, reinstalling, plugging, unplugging, printing test pages, holding buttons down while flapping open & closed the lids, calling tech support, writing emails of complaint, etc., only to end up junking the 'broken' printer or buying expensive new cartridges, when this little trick would've probably done the job.

Thanks a million! - Anonymous
I'll take the credit for the hot water idea. I came up with it more than 10 years ago. I can prove at least 5 1/2 years with this post. http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/forums/inkjet/8180#2
by moe on Jul 23, 2008 at 5:03pm Add comment
Pardon me, moe! So YOU'RE the sweetie who generously shared!?

I should've looked back in the thread--I THOUGHT there was someone besides "Anonymous" but was in a hurry. But by all means, I do want to give credit where credit is due, so THANKS A MILLION MOE!

It's unexpected & so nice to have 'insider' secrets & someone who shares with us novices (especially when it comes to foiling the big comglomerates who's only solution it seems is to recommend that we buy their newer, updated products.
by unknown on Jul 24, 2008 at 5:18am Add comment
another satisfied customer... took 3 soaks but we're back to full color. best thread ever. ok... best printer thread ever. thanks all!
by Anonymous on Aug 5, 2008 at 8:36pm Add comment
Thanks so much this worked great for my deskjet 722C. One soak and a minute under hot tap water = no more pink!
by Anonymous on Aug 19, 2008 at 2:43pm Add comment
WOW!!! Even after all these years that the advise was first given, this soak and rinse fix still works!!! I just knew my old HP T45 had bit the dust. I tried the soak and rinse (did it 3 times) and it WORKED!!! And me...Mr. Skeptical!!! Give this a try it just might work for you too. Kudos and Thankyou thankyou THANKYOU!
by unknown on Aug 20, 2008 at 5:20pm Add comment
wait a sec--someone just posted..........

"Ok,beware of the sucking technique, ink and pigments can be very bad for you. Please don't do this again. Coulours are not made from rainbow powder, they're made from chemicals, often dangerous ones..."

I'd like to know your point ?? >What does the composition of the ink have to do with soaking? So a tad flows out, you wash it down the sink & dab the contact with a tissue then throw it away. Good GRIEF man! If I had to worry about every little bit of chemical contact I have throughout the day, I'd be in lockdown in a mental institution!

"please don't do this again" ? FYI, this method has worked for about 99\% of the people who've posted on this board, so you can go live your life by the rules... be sure not to step on any cracks for fear you may break your mother's back! Goodness knows the fear is surely going to give yourself skidmarks!

Geez! HOwever, you method does sound plausible too--when the boiling fails, I may try it!
by unknown on Sep 10, 2008 at 7:15am Add comment
I think s/he was warning people about the "suck the ink out of the cartridge with your mouth" technique suggested by a few posters in this thread, Luvvy!

Haven't had to try such drastic measures myself yet...
by Anonymous on Sep 10, 2008 at 9:31am Add comment
Ohhhhhh! Sucking the ink! My apologies! I've not been able to view the complete thread in a while due to some weird problem w/ my software and/or never realized some had resorted to sucking! thanks!
by unknown on Sep 10, 2008 at 1:21pm Add comment
IT WORKS!!!! what i did was different. instead of soaking it in hot water for 30 minutes several times. all you need to do is put the cartridges you need to come back to life in a pot. fill it up with water. and then boil it. when the water is done boiling. DON'T STOP IT!!! put the stove on low and keep it there for about an hour. after about an hour. dry the cartridges with a towel or cloth like thing and then press the ink side of the cartridge(s) on a paper towel and see if all three colors comes out....it worked perfectly for me. all three times
by unknown on Sep 29, 2008 at 8:07pm Add comment
The soaking & running water trick worked for me too! I was sure my printer was kaput, but now it's printing glorious color again. Thanks to all that contributed to this fix. :D
by unknown on Nov 24, 2008 at 6:58am Add comment
Thank you, it worked!
by Anonymous on Feb 12, 2009 at 4:02pm Add comment

I had this same problem but my printer was only printing pink and blue. I simply changed out the cartridge and it automatically printed out a test page. I then ran a test and it printed yellow and all of the other colors that I was missing. This is a great site! Thanks!
by unknown on Feb 16, 2009 at 8:59am Add comment
I have an HP Officejet Pro L7680 that prints all colours except red. Any suggestions on how to get red to print. All colours separately work (BLACK, MAGENTA, CYAN, YELLOW) but I can't get red?? Have tried all the reinstalling and replacing cartridges, although they are replacement refills rather than genuines - would this really make such a difference?
by Anonymous on Feb 17, 2009 at 9:20am Add comment
Actually I have just found that the problem is that it won't print yellow!!!! It is full and a genuine cartridge, but it appears to be blocked. How can I clear it? - Anonymous
Huh, 300 posts above, that deal with clearing it and you have to ask again?
by Anonymous on Feb 17, 2009 at 12:02pm Add comment
Well pardon me but being a total novice, I had absolutely no idea what you were going on about on these threads as mine was not the same make or model. We are not all experts at knowing some of the jargon that you are going on about here so thanks for your sarcastic remark, next time I shall seek advice from somebody a little more helpful. I almost put my cartridge into the water, but I didn't because I realised that it could not be what you lot were going on about!!
by Anonymous on Feb 18, 2009 at 9:35am Add comment
As I have an Officepro L7680 I don't know what to put into the water to try! My ink cartridges are a single colour, but I also need a printer head which has the copper connetions that you seem to be referring to - so what do I try to soak - the ink cartridge or the print head? I don't want to damage anything? It is not clear from your posts as you don't have the same printer.
by Anonymous on Feb 18, 2009 at 9:43am Add comment
Someone please tell me how to "run the clean function"? I can't find any of these ultilities. Thanks
by Anonymous on Feb 22, 2009 at 3:25pm Add comment
I was a little bit suspicious, but I must confess that the "soaking - sucking" trick did just work perfectly to fix my pink and black problem with a Deskjet 710c

Many thanks to everybody here
by unknown on May 8, 2009 at 1:32am Add comment
My IT Help Desk person told me the "HP 6122 prints in black and pink only" problem sounded fatal and to junk the printer. Fortunately, I found this discussion and figured what do I have to lose. Like so many before me, I can happily report that the soak method worked like a charm. The person who figured this out in the first place is a genius (or crazy!). THANKS!
by unknown on Jun 3, 2009 at 2:12pm Add comment
It was probably me. I've got posts on the forum going back to 6/02 advocating the use of hot water to clear ink clogs. I'm a bit of both. Most people think me a genius. Wife thinks I'm crazy.
by moe on Jun 3, 2009 at 3:26pm Add comment
I have a old workhorse hp deskjet 720c and a hp deskjet 895cse.( yeah i know there old... but they will still print long after that brandy new printer you got yesterday crokes... ha ha ha) Im getting the same problem in both now i believe it is the cartridge. i bought a double pack. both failed out of the box. the box i got for 7 dollars so im not crying too too much... but i got me thinking about the experation of the ink. i will bet you the cartridge expired...

IT/Printer Tech
by unknown on Jun 10, 2009 at 11:35am Add comment
That would be a safe assumption. I've used expired cartridges that were 4 or 5 years old. Dunk them in really hot water for a minute and they start flowing again.
by moe on Jun 10, 2009 at 1:20pm Add comment
thank u...but if i soaked the catridge....i will wipe it or dry it infront of aircon or electricfan?
by Anonymous on Jul 19, 2009 at 3:00am Add comment
just dab it w/ a tissue until the excess water/ink is gone. it's not rocket science.
by unknown on Jul 19, 2009 at 5:41am Add comment
Yup!!! The soaking method still works, WOO HOO!! If it doesn't work the first time, just keep trying. Mine worked on the second try. This is what I did:

Put water in a small bowl.

Microwaved for 2 minutes

Made a small stack out of a small eraser and bottle cap to get the cartridge to stand upright on its own without the heads touching the bottom. Let it stand in hot water, where the heads are just soaking, for about 15 minutes. Once in awhile, swished cartridge in the hot water to loosen any clogs and lightly blotted on folded paper towel to see if the blue and yellow will come out. Then put it back in hot water.

Once 15 minutes up, blotted and jerked stating from top (shoulder) to bottom (waist) to get inks going thru. Watch out for little spurts.

Then let it air dry for 15 minutes. Used my lovely invention of the bottle cap and eraser so cartridge can stay up on it's own while air drying.

Then put cartridge in printer if it looks completely dry.

Now my first try like this didn't work. Did the process again but let the cartridge stay in for 30 minutes instead of 15. Then air dried for 15 still. Just need patience while doing this process till you can get the inks to flow.

So the "soaking method" still stands after all these years!!! YEAH!!! : )
by Anonymous on Jul 26, 2009 at 4:06pm Add comment
how do i set it to print automatically black(using black catridge only)
by Anonymous on Jul 30, 2009 at 3:43am Add comment
Yup! Another convert! This really does work.
I had an old stored cartridge that went
from no colour to completely working in
two soaks. Thansk to all.
by unknown on Aug 1, 2009 at 1:33pm Add comment
I bought three compatible carts from three different vendors and I've tried all the above methods apart from the microwave but I'm unable to get any of them to print with all the colours. One won't print any colour at all, one did intially print pink and yellow for a while but now won't print any colour at all, and the other one prints pink only. £40 down the drain and I'm just about ready to dump the printer and start afresh with one with individual inks - and not an HP I hasten to add! Any last thoughts before it goes to printer heaven? I hate to give up though.
by unknown on Aug 20, 2009 at 8:19am Add comment
bear in mind that it takes SEVERAL tries to loosen & dislodge the clots & dried toner. Remember it's been dried for years in many instances. Did you use water at the boiling point? You've nothing to loose if you haven't,...so do it. I seem to remember even blowing thru the top holes in mine after soaking in the hottest water to try to shove the clot thru the printer end. (I was desperate & really had no funds to buy another) --it paid off, but it did take 20-45 minutes sometimes to soak, test, resoak, test, etc.
by unknown on Aug 20, 2009 at 11:00am Add comment
Thanks, tried several times but I'll give it another go and maybe try them in the microwave as well. I know one is 3 months out of date as I bought it knowing that but thought it was worth a try for what it cost (£7). Maybe the others are out of date too but they're not dated so I don't know. - unknown
Just remember that the microwave in most examples above was used for BOILING THE WATER ONLY! Don't put the cartridge in there as there may be metal that will warp, spark, etc. & ruin it beyond repair. Just make sure the water's hot. It's not 'magic'.... You may have to resort to shake, rattle & rolling the cartridge before, during & after the soaking (do dab away any loose ink) or best to be over a sink so if any flies out it can be cleaned easy. But it may take some physical agitation after the hot water to get the clot thru or softened.
by Anonymous on Aug 20, 2009 at 12:25pm Add comment
I boiled the kettle and put the cartridge head in the steam for about 10 seconds and then soaked it in boiling water for 15 mins then for 30 mins and IT WORKED! I think I'd probably softened the dried ink previously and this finally shifted it. Brilliant, I'll try the others again once this one runs out. Thanks both for your help. - unknown
Thank you, Thank you!! for this site. I had this pink problem with an old computer and printer, HP didn't give me any good ideas to clear it up. Since then I got another computer and printer from a friend and the same thing happened-pink- when I went to print. I soaked all of the cartridges that I had and I couldn't believe it, they all work great now. I can't thank you enough!!!
by unknown on Aug 24, 2009 at 5:40pm Add comment
if there's same problem with other models of printers, don't focus unto ink cartridges, pls check also the circuit connecting to print cartridges sometimes dirty and a lot of waste ink over.. problem occured like Ink cartridge missing poor color prints
by angelo101 on Aug 25, 2009 at 1:09am Add comment
angelo101--your comment does not make sense. WHY would you post something like that when there are almost 100s of people who have been helped with this simple fix? And it works for HP, Canon, Epson, etc... People definitely SHOULD focus 'unto' ink cartridges first & foremost if the color/print quality is off. I hope your off-topic comment is removed...JMHO. - unknown
Indeed. I had the exact same problem today, was ready to go out a new printer, found this solution, gave it a shot and now have 3 (three)as good as new 1823D cartridges for my trusty 720C. Thanks to all on this forum!!!
by Anonymous on Sep 26, 2009 at 6:50am Add comment
can someone please help..i need to remove some ink inside this printer..can someone direct me to some instruction on how to open this printer's case..i would very much appreciate the assistance
by Anonymous on Oct 22, 2009 at 8:13am Add comment
do an internet search or mfr website search for the schematics or Users guide. There's usually a diagram, line drawing page or 2 that shows how everything fits together & has a legend for what each little thingy is. You'll probably find in that diagram the screws or whatever's holding it together. - unknown

The water trick is great.I have somthing to add to the process....

If you cartridge is starting to spirt little bits of cyan and yellow but not quite working. You can speed things up by shaking it hard and then standing with you bare heel on both sides of the cartridge...Once you do this it starts to come out properly.

Mines working now thanks guys!

Realy old cartridge too!
by Anonymous on Oct 24, 2009 at 6:37am Add comment
Thank you!!! I have an hp officejet 4200, and have had this problem with several new cartridges after just a few prints. So glad I found this!
by unknown on Nov 17, 2009 at 11:03pm Add comment
Yet another very happy person thanks to this forum. I had been trying all the obvious things to try to get my HP 970cxi to print in anything other than pink and black without any success - my local supplier had kindly replaced the previous two cartridges which had both exhibited the same symptoms. Now, thanks to the well tested 'standing the cartridge in a mug of boiling water method' I have full colour capabilty once more. Brilliant stuff - so simple but it really works - I was lucky it seems as it worked first time I tried it.
by NickyR on Dec 30, 2009 at 10:36am Add comment
Wow, After three tries I have color and black text instead of pink pictures and blank spaces with cartridges that were registering 90\% full. It took three tries and it isn't perfect yet (running out of pink?) but what a relief to find out what the solution is!
by unknown on Jan 2, 2010 at 1:00pm Add comment
I have an HP Deskjet 1220C. It used to print fine, but it has been quiet sometimes that prints with shadow line beside the main print. Kind of fuzzy. These fuzzy prints are on the left side of printed page.

I took it to a printer repair shop. He charged me, but was not able to find the problem. I use refiled inks, but I have also bought new inks too it did not make any changes.

I have cleaned the nuzzle and anything that I thought could solve the problem. I think there must be other kinds of problems beyond the ink and nuzzle cleanings. Does anyone knows if there could be any other harware issues with these printers?
by unknown on Feb 6, 2010 at 9:29am Add comment
Why would you pay to have something not fixed? That reminds me of Frys charging a diagnostic fee when they had no clue what the diagnosis was. I don't know how you are cleaning the nuzzles (sic) or if you even know what nozzles are or where they are located. Here's a couple of things to try. Open the lid so the cartridges move to center. Take the cartridges out and dunk them in a shallow dish of very hot water and blot dry with a paper towel. Unplug the printer and move the cartridge holder all the way to the left. On the right side, you'll see the service station. It's got some rubber thingys on it to clean the bottom of the cartridges. Get a spray bottle of your favorite window cleaner and douse the top of it. Then blot it dry with a paper towel and put the cartridges back in.
by moe on Feb 6, 2010 at 12:51pm Add comment
The Hot water was my idea. I thought of it and decided to post it here, so it helps everyone.

Lance Boil
by unknown on Mar 4, 2010 at 10:58am Add comment
i need to know how to fix my printer so what i am trying to say is that i want for you to help me with it with all of my true problems!
by Anonymous on Mar 8, 2010 at 5:20pm Add comment
Sorry, we can't help you with your true problems. Perhaps you should visit a psychiatrist. Those kind of things can't be done online.
by Anonymous on Mar 8, 2010 at 11:16pm Add comment
I have an HP Officejet 6500 that would only print pink and black like the previous posts. Putting the cartridges in any kind of water sounded a little scary. I surmised that the problem was with the electrical contacts. I once had this problem with a cell phone battery. I took the color cartridges out that were not working and used a pocket knife to lightly scrape the contact surface to remove any oxidation. I think the copper is lightly oxidized. It worked. You may have to scrape a couple of times but it worked for me.
by unknown on Mar 18, 2010 at 7:55am Add comment
Thanks for your post. I am somewhat supposedly a technical person. I will try your suggestion when I get time. But, cleaning the cartridge and contacts I have done. The printer print fine with all colors. But, the left side of the print out(opposite side to where cartridge stops)is distorted and a bit fuzzy. That is why I think it is more to do with the electronic side of the functions that with cartridge.

Thanks again,

Bandeh - Anonymous
Thank you so much to everyone who posted to say that they tried soaking the cartridge in hot water and it worked. I was skeptical about it but seeing how many people posted that solution, I tried it and lo and behold, got yellow and cyan to come out as well. I'm so glad I found this thread. Wish I hadn't junked new cartridges that didn't work for me before because they were old.
by unknown on Apr 25, 2010 at 11:48am Add comment
i get pink and yellow. its just the blue doesnt work. i'm trying the hot water solution but nothings happened so far. i've only had it in for about 10 mins so far and i heard you should leave it for around 30. how long did it take before you started to see any results?
by unknown on May 9, 2010 at 10:39am Add comment
1st. Are you sure there's Blue IN there?

2nd. It may just take blue longer/higher temperature (even almost boiling) to unstick.

This remedy has worked for SO many people! Personally I don't use colors, but can attest it def worked on my black cartridges at least 4-5 different times.

g'luck! - Anonymous
Amazing! The soak thing works! You dont need to wait for it to dry out - just wipe it and stick it in!!!
by unknown on Aug 2, 2010 at 6:34am Add comment
My HP23 cartridge was fine and then yellow stopped working. I tried 2 other new cartridges and it did the same thing. Its so strange. I bought the latest one in May '10 and yellow didn't work. I soaked it twice in the hot water and I now see all 3 colors on the paper towel. How long should I wait for it to dry out? Thinking back I wonder how many I wasted because of similar occurances..
by unknown on Aug 10, 2010 at 5:01pm Add comment
Just blot it dry with the paper towel and reinstall.
by moe on Aug 10, 2010 at 5:40pm Add comment
It works! Too bad I didn't stumble upon this thread before I threw out my original cartridge!
by unknown on Oct 28, 2010 at 11:03am Add comment
I have had many cartridges for HP Store in the past two years that were faulty like this. One color or another didn't print. At $50 a pop, that is not good. Good to know the soak in hot water trick.

I'm wondering about this new problem with my HP 1220C PS.

It began right after installing new cartridges.

Photo (8x10) prints well at first on each page--but some colors drop out by the end of the page (looks like I have plenty of green, but not enough black and red by the end.

Have tried to different sets of cartridges with the same results. In my small town in rural Alaska, there aren't any others who use this system.

Does this sound like a printer problem?
Can I troubleshoot it in some way?

Or is this a cartridge problem? I won't be ordering any more cartridges from HP store--have wasted hundreds of dollars on them. And I can't get new ones in town to try those either.

The 1220C is compatible with my dual system G4 OS9/OS X 3.9. and the system is compatible with my slide and flatbed scanners.

I have thousands of slides and I print notecards and photos from my work. I like to have control over my work. I use photoshop and print from Pagemaker.

Hard to upgrade in this situation.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/suggestions.
by akmk on Nov 5, 2010 at 2:49pm Add comment
Did you find an answer to this problem? It is 2010 now and I am having same problem with HP 1220C-progressive loss of color--especially magenta and black. By the end of a printed photo, all I get is pale green.
by akmk on Nov 6, 2010 at 3:07pm Add comment
I found a workaround (though not a fix) to my progressive fading color problem when printing photos with my HP 1220 C (PS).

The discussion and link are here: http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com

Something went haywire in my software all of a sudden when changing cartridges and photos would not print without a fadeout gradation of color when selecting the photo paper type before printing as I always am used to doing for best quality.

The workaround is to select "bright white inkjet paper" in the HP print driver under feature rather than selecting any of the photo papers. Then go ahead and feed the photo paper through.

It aggravates the already touchy feed problem a bit, but will print color fine throughout the whole print.

So it wasn't the cartridges. And it isn't the printer hardware. It's a software thing. Don't know how many folks are hanging onto their HP 1220 C printers, but mine is compatible with OS9, OSX dual system Mac and my beloved Pagemaker from which I still print everything.

Upgrades of everything forestalled for now.

I'd get rid of and reinstall the printer driver, but that's an almost impossible task to do correctly on a dual system Mac.
by akmk on Nov 6, 2010 at 8:21pm Add comment
Guess I'm just talking to myself here. I've started a new thread.
Workaround doesn't work anymore. Problems persists on all paper types.

The odd thing is the printer utility tests out okay--all colors show up fine.

But not the color photo prints themselves.

Progressively loses color on the photo prints, each and every time.

Starts good, then fades out, especially magenta.
by akmk on Nov 8, 2010 at 3:26pm Add comment
Today I put an HP Deskjet 952C back into service again after two years of sitting idle in my daughter's room. Bought new print cartridges (HP 78 color and 45 black). Only printed in fuzzy pink and black. I immersed the color cartridge in a coffee cup with boiling water for 25 minutes. I pressed a tissue against the little silver square, but only magenta came out on the tissue. However, when I put the color print cartridge back in, I got perfect, sharp printing..! I have not had such a problem with an HP print cartridge in the 15 years that I've been using them. The boiling water technique works..!
by unknown on Dec 4, 2010 at 12:10pm Add comment
This issues looking printer head problem. check the following Steps for cleaning printer head :

Click on the Start button if you have Windows XP. If you have Windows Vista, click the Windows icon that resides in the lower left corner of your computer screen.

Click on "Control Panel," then "Printers and Other Hardware." Finally click on "View Installed Printers or Fax Printers."

Right-click on the name of your printer and choose "Printing Preferences." This should open a new window; next look for a tab or button marked Maintenance, or something similar.

Find the button that says "Print heads" or "Clean the Print heads" and click on it. You may be asked to choose which print heads; choose them all if you are. Make sure there is paper and ink in your printer, and that it is turned on ahead of time.

Take out the page your printer has printed and see if there are any grids or boxes missing. If there aren't, then you can just exit the program--your print heads are not clogged. If there are grids missing, then click on the "Cleaning" or similarly worded button.

Once the cleaning process has completed, print another page to be sure that your print heads are no longer clogged. If they are still clogged, repeat Steps 1-5 until your printer is printing clearly.

by unknown on Dec 5, 2010 at 9:58pm Add comment
This just wastes ink. Using ink to clean dried ink is both stupid and a waste of money. Boiling water is free and works a heck of a lot better. Please don't espouse HP's inane methodology on this forum. We're all about saving people money, not helping HP's bottom line. - moe
Great suggestion about soaking in very hot water. I tried it and my color is now great.
by unknown on Jan 21, 2011 at 2:41pm Add comment
I was about to consider a new printer until I found this thread. A few soaks and rinses (and using the tissue on the head method afterward to see if it was good or needed another soak), and color was back!

One thing I found is when the tissue showed all three colors open, I wiped it dry and put it back in to do the test. It was good but slightly streaky, so I did a quick dip and rinse in the hot water and just let it air dry for 1/2 hour and now the colors are all solid.

Thank you for the tip!!
by unknown on Jun 12, 2011 at 11:46pm Add comment
My printer only prints photo's in green,blue, yellow, no red. Can you help me.
by unknown on Jun 24, 2011 at 9:43am Add comment
Thanks guys.... Well, soaking in hot water didnt work for me. However, i tried the sucking method which someone in this forum mentioned.. and it worked perfectly... i didn't mind few traces on inks on my tongue, but it worked like a charm.. here's what i did

1) Soaked the cartridge in hot water for 15 mins
2) Blotted it with tissue paper
3) Sucked it lightly and then little harder..

Bravo, all three colours came out...!! thanks thanks
by unknown on Jul 17, 2011 at 11:49pm Add comment
This is the only thread I could find in a search, that comes close to my problem. I have a HP 952C. I always buy outdated 78 XL color cart. online. Saves money and up until now, I never had a problem. This cart. is dated puerto rico jan 2010.

The only color I don't see on tests is blue. I tried just blue, and it prints a striped pinkish. I just got it today, so have emailed the seller. Waiting for a reply from him.

Would your methoda I'm reading about, help this? Otherwise I'll be sending it back. I NEED some color ink.

by Just me 1 on Jul 20, 2011 at 8:43am Add comment
I read thru the first 1/6 of this thread and tried the saoking method. It didn't work. I only got pink(magenta) working and that's where I started.

I figured what do I have to lose !!! So, after soaking ofr about 1/2 hour, I used compressed air in a can and blew into the nozzles to push stuff out of them, and them used a shop vac to suck onthe nozzles.

AND, all colors work 100\%! YEAH. If all else fails, try priming or sucking on the nozzles with a shop vac!
by unknown on Jul 20, 2011 at 1:04pm Add comment
go on google type in hp desk jet 3940 dpiver cllck on driver download follow instructions
by unknown on Sep 18, 2011 at 8:02am Add comment
go on google type in hp desk jet 3940 dpiver cllck on driver download follow instructions
by unknown on Sep 18, 2011 at 8:02am Add comment
Sooo happy! I signed up for this site just to say a huge thank you! It's after midnight & my college paper is due tomorrow. Soaking & the last minute panic (when yellow still wouldn't work) of sucking the ink out...well, my words may be more colorful, but my printer freakin works!
(HP 1215 on Vista)
by zenbella on Sep 29, 2011 at 12:20am Add comment

My printer was only printing black and magenta, I changed the other cartridges and now it is only printing black and cyan.

Please help?

by unknown on Sep 29, 2011 at 2:58am Add comment
I have done the same with my C4400 HP with ink cartridge 350 and 351.

It was only printing magenta (not even black) and I knew the cartridges were full since i have only printed like 10 pages, since the 4400 I use it mostly for scanner and as a card reader. I have done it on the black ink cartridge :

1) Normal size coffee mug, fill with water about 1/4 of the way. Place it in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds. Then place the cartridge in it just the same as you would the printer. Let it sit for 30 minutes.

2) A bit of running hot water on the copper part (less than 2 minutes). Make sure you dry the cartridge well.

3) Place it on the printer.

4) Good to go.

Going to make the same on the colour one right now. But I think HP needs to make some changes on there ink delivery system
by unknown on Oct 9, 2011 at 5:39am Add comment
I had a lot of new HP 23 and 78 toner cartridges that had the same problem. I did soak the head per the other posts and got one to work that way. On the others, I had to soak them and then put them in the printer and run the clean program. This was not perfect so I ran the PRIME program. After running the PRIME I had all three colors back. Manged to get 5 out of 6 cartridges fixed this way. Right click on your printer and go to PROPERTIES, click on the SERVICES tab and then click on the CLEAN THE PRINT CARTRIDGES button. After it has printed a test page, if you only get black and magenta, click on the PRIME button. After this you should get a test page showing black, blue, magenta, and yellow lines. If this is the case, press the paper feed button on your printer for 5 seconds and you should get a perfect test page. Good Luck.
by unknown on Feb 15, 2012 at 9:24am Add comment
This is so strange. It will print perhaps the first inch or so of a full-color page with all colors, then the yellow stops, then the blue, and only the red and black print. This happens EVERY time. So it's not as though it's out of yellow or blue ink, because it starts to print fine, then the colors cut out. BUT if I run a test page with four stripes of each color running horizontally, they all print out solid and continuously, go figure. The HP test page also prints out fine. Though when I print out a clean print heads test page, I only get the black, every time.

It shows the same level of ink for all colors.
What the???

Oh yes, I have a Mac and for some reason when you go to download manuals, HP only provides a Windows version..
by unknown on Mar 23, 2012 at 5:00pm Add comment
I was recently given a used (looks in excellent condition) HP Color Laserjet 3600n printer. It has a large black cartridge in the top but the four smaller ink cartridges are missing. Can the printer operate without the missing smaller cartridges? I am running Windows 7.
by glo2010 on Mar 30, 2012 at 8:57am Add comment
First off, laser printers don't use ink cartridges, they use toner. Second, there are 3 cartridges besides the black, not 4. Third, they are all the same size. Fourth, you posted your problem in an inkjet thread and are lucky to be getting help. Now that's out of the way, all cartridges have to be installed for the printer to work.
by moe on Mar 30, 2012 at 9:31am Add comment
Thank you that answered my question.
by glo2010 on Mar 30, 2012 at 2:49pm Add comment
Came across a HP 712c like new with the original cartridges -- I don't knew where this thing sat, but it even smells new! The cartridges being of the 45 and 23 type, I wet a paper towel and folded it up against the heads and sealed that in a plastic bag for 24 hours. Those old cartridges work like new now.
by capnblinski on Apr 13, 2012 at 8:31pm Add comment
Applying downward force to the cartridge as in shaking downward would also help to get rid of any possible air pockets that may be preventing proper ink flow. Cover the print head while you're doing the Watusi.
by capnblinski on Apr 15, 2012 at 11:42am Add comment
I've been trying and trying and trying. I have the same problem as mostly everyone else did: Nothing but magenta coming out. I tried soaking in water, rinsing under the tap, shaking, microwaving, dabbing on tissue, sucking, rubbing with alcohol, printing a mass amount of colour pages (to see if eventually it would work), banging the cartridge but still all I get is loads of magenta. I tried like 6 times with the water in the mug, it's been 3 days, I guess i'll just keep trying.
My cartridge is #57.

Out of everyone who said it worked for them, chalk me up on the "doesn't work" side. and I know there's lots of ink in there.
by unknown on Jun 11, 2012 at 8:05pm Add comment
About 3 months ago, my printer stopped printing red. Everything looked pinkish. I bought a new cartridge - same thing. Then I found the "soaking" instructions on this website and finally got the 3 colors (blue/magenta & yellow) to come out when I pressed the cartridge into a paper napkin. It took 4 soaks with hot water. Then I put the cartridge in after letting it dry out for an hour - and now it is only printing yellow & black. It's a new cartridge - so it shouldn't be out of ink. I did the "clean" the cartridge twice after the soaks. And I primed it once before the soaks. Any suggestions on what I should try next?
by audrey2012 on Oct 11, 2012 at 8:47am Add comment
Talk about a late reply - there is a refill fit that comes with a syringe and you put the cartridge in a holder and pull about 1 ml. of ink out into the syringe and this is what works when nothing else will.

If no go, then the cartridge is junked. ;) - capnblinski
I have a friend with an Acer laptop with Windows 7, Microsoft Office and an HP Photosmart 6520 all in one printer. When he types his emails, everything looks fine but when he prints a copy off, it shows that everywhere he clicked the space bar, several A's appear. He has the keyboard set to English. Is this a printer problem? Anyone any idea what the problem is please?
by brbrown on May 18, 2013 at 2:19am Add comment
I have had my printer for a few years and have never had problems using refurb carts from a local business that I have used for years. Suddenly, it is giving me an error message and won't print with these carts any more. I have checked them all, they are all full and in mint condition. I purchased a full priced HP cart and it worked fine. Any idea how to fool my printer into thinking it is an HP cart?
by unknown on Sep 6, 2014 at 6:23pm Add comment
IDK the exact same thing is with me except it can't print black and orange it hink that its the printer, sorry
by ttyty on Jan 15, 2016 at 3:22pm Add comment

hi everyone. i have an hp ink advantage 5525 all-in-one. changed all cartridges as they were empty and when i tried to print i got blank pages. i gave a print order a couple times to find out what was going on and found out that yellow and magenta inks worked but not cyan and black. removed cartridges, clean and all many times and nothing happened. then i tried this youtu.be/f57jOGj-G5s and the print quality of magenta and yellow improved significantly but still no black or cyan at all. i can't do the running water thing because the print head is not detachable. any suggestions?

by stelios on Jan 24, 2016 at 5:44pm Add comment

Excellent thread!I have an old HP895cse that has worked great for years.Then I started having the same printing issues as everyone on this thread.I did the hot water soak for about 30 minutes and got a bit of color so I knew that the cartridge still contained some ink.I was going to do the hot water flush but I thought that was a huge waste of water.So instead I blew as hard as I could into the air holes for each color in the top of the cartridge.I continued to blow until color ran out the bottom from the metal print plate.Then I cleaned the metal plate of crud and blew again until a drop of each color again came out the bottom.This method worked for me and probably will for you too.Try this trick before wasting all that water.You can't lose anything!

by abbie on Feb 29, 2016 at 4:06pm Add comment

Hurray!! It worked out to me too. and then I had to setup another printer that I bought brand new and then I set it up with the below steps given in this website,


by rickderick7 on Nov 7, 2019 at 4:41pm Add comment
There are two reasons why I think the water solution works:

1(the most obvious): Hot water could dissolve some of the ink in addition to washing it away

2(less obvious but still possible): The cartridge needs to have somewhat of a vacuum to work. Since hot water holds less air, it could also with its high temperature and lack of air draw some air out of the reservoirs, thereby creating a more vacuum-like environment.

Just for anyone who wanted a semi-technical explanation.
by unknown on Sep 20, 2005 at 11:12pm Add comment
pointmanx, that shows a rather profound ignorance of physics(no offense). Temperature, pressure, and volume. When temperature increases in a confined volume the pressure rises inside.
FIXED my old 722c!!!! There should be a class action suit against HP!!!!!! - Anonymous