asked Apr 23, 2004 at 4:58pm
Canon Canon LaserClass 730

Removing Canon MP730 Printhead

My Canon MP 730 has a clogged printhead. I suspect it will respond to a thorough cleaning, but I need some guidance on how to remove the printhead. When I setup the printer, I installed the printhead, and it snapped into place. Is there a latch or lever or other device that releases the printhead ?

Help please.
My MP730 has started to only print Black and Blue! No Yellow or Magenta. I have been using Jettec cartridges.

How do you clean the print head once removed if it dosen't respond to the head cleaning software utility?

Many thanks, Steve
by copels on May 29, 2005 at 1:37am Add comment
Remove Ink Cartridges
Lift grey lever to the right side of the cartridge holder to the up position.
The print head should lift out nicely. You may need to squeeze sides of the cartridge holder slightly to the center in order to clear the outer print head assembly.
by unknown on May 5, 2005 at 8:28pm Add comment
Just a little note to inform all that the printheads appear to clog very easily without continuous usage (one color or another or all). I became frustrated with this clogging and decided to see if the printhead can be rebuilt easily. It can be. Just remove the 2 screws that hold the contact plate down & cut away the RTV. You will be breaking the plastic seals (4) that hold the circuit board on, use some RTV for them upon replacement. Once you've got the head off the mount you can see the clogged holes in the ceramic piece. Soak the white ceramic piece in windex (keep the chip piece out of liquid)for 24 hours, blow out the clogged holes with a can of compressed air. also clean the little rubber thing. Re-assenble and it has worked OK for me, not sure how long it will last though. I see no reason why it should not last till it clogs again.
by nikkic on Jan 26, 2007 at 11:41am Add comment
Do you have to remove the screws holding the contact plates and heads. Can't you just take the entire printhead out of the printer and set the heads in about a 1/2 inch of windex solution and get the same results as taking the screws out and disassembling the entire printhead? Just curious if this will work. - bfsjr
Please try at your own risk -- A word of caution:
The Print head is sitting in a cradle. So do not confuse the cradle with actual print head. The cradle is the one that slides left and right on the metallic rod. Do NOT try to remove the cradle. Here is the link to canon to get some guide:

Make sure to use genuine Canon ink cartidges.

1) Unplug the power to the printer. Remove the USB printer cable.
2) Lift open the top cover by depressing the round button on the right side of the printer; exposing the printer ink cartridges.
3)Lift the grey lever on top of the cartridges. This dis-engages the printhead electrical connections. Remove all the 4 ink cartridges from the printhead. From the cradle hold the printhead from the top and lift the printhead by tilting it toward you. Make sure not to touch the electrical contacts in the back printhead.
4) Take a small plastic bowl and fill it with 1/4 inch or less with Rubbing Alcohol(70\% Isopropyl Alcohol). Dip the bottom of the printhead in the alcohol. Soak printhead in the alcohol and shake it lightly so the dried ink clogging the printhead can come loose. Us paper towels to soak excess alcohol from the bottom of the printhead. Make sure not to damage the printheads.
5) Pour some alcohol from the top of the each inlet of the ink cartridge seat and again soak up any excess alcohol with paper towel. Let the print head dry up little.
6) Put the printhead back in the cradle and insert back the ink cartridges in their right seat. Lower the grey lever back into its position so the electrical contacts are made on the printhead.
7) Plug the power and USB port.
8) Print a picture or diagram with color in draft mode. You might have to do this couple of times, so that the inks starts flowing from the ink cartridge through the print head. Then print the same in high quality. If the heads are unclogged your printer should work as new.
by Anonymous on Nov 12, 2007 at 4:36pm Add comment
I did this and still no black printing. Any ideas of what else I can try? Thank you so much... - Anonymous
Thank you. One of the most valuable and best worded tips ever read. I do this ever 6 months and printing never been better. - Anonymous
My MP730 stopped printing all shades of red. Thanks to the detailed explanation I was able to fix it. I tried cleaning with alcohol to no avail. So, tried with warm water and all is well. I will likely do this on a regular basis as preventative maintenance.

Thanks again!!! - Anonymous
This method works perfectly. Thank you so much!!!!
- Anonymous
I have tried this several times and still have no luck printing in black. The color works fine but no bleack. Any other ideas. - Anonymous
Thanks so much for these clear instructions! I used them for my Canon Pixma MX860. It's a little different because you take out the ink cartridges BEFORE you lift the grey lever, but otherwise, the instructions worked perfectly for me. I did this last night and today my printer is printing BEAUTIFULLY again! - unknown
I also have the problem of the MP730 only printing in black and blue. I've done the regular and deep cleaning as instructed by the user guide many times and it seems to improve a bit each time (but not completely back to normal yet when doing the nozzle check).

Do I need to remove the print head and clean it (or replace it)? If so, how?

Many thanks.
by asj.alt on Jun 14, 2006 at 3:59pm Add comment
I tried to remove my print head in the manner described above and it refused to budge, I then tried to push the sides of the print head outwards and the print head came out very easily?
When I removed the head there was a considerable build up of old ink around the surface of the print head although the nozzles didn't look as though they had been affected.
After a quick wask (under the tap) and dry I stuck my head back in and performed head alignment. After that I printed some test photos and my problem (banding) hand gone away!
by NutSoft on Jul 14, 2006 at 2:16pm Add comment
I replaced my printhead and now nothing works!!!!!!!!!!!!
please see seperate thread and if you can help I am now desperate!

by Siggy on Jul 14, 2006 at 9:08pm Add comment
Hi bfsjr,
I have never removed the screws I used isaprol alcohol to clean didn't have any problems but do remember not to get the contacts wet.
by banjolynn on Mar 26, 2007 at 5:34am Add comment
Many, many thanks for telling me how to replace the printhead - which I thought I would have to have done at great expense by a professional (to start with, the printhead itself is not cheap)! The problem - which began with stripey printing then all manner of strange behaviour by the printer - is now solved! Simple when you know how!

Canon apparently remove the instructions from the box, no doubt to encourage you to use them to do this simple operation.

Just one bit of advice: you may wonder if you've got the position right because the grey lever may not seem to be able to engage - it will, but needs a fairly strong push to click into position again.

My next problem I know is going to be the waste ink sump, which did cost a lot to deal with a couple of years ago. Anyone got any ideas about this one (for the SmartBase MP700 Photo)? Thanks!
by unknown on Nov 8, 2008 at 4:43am Add comment
I tried all of that & still No luck! What should I do Please help... - Anonymous
The error message that prompted me to clean the printhead was WRONG CARTRIDGE. The above guidance is very good and worked for me. I just used warm water, but will use the rubbing alcohol if it clogs again. My printer was unused for about three months, which probably caused the clog in part plus the printer is 4 years old.
by unknown on Jan 8, 2009 at 2:07pm Add comment
garryph,... There are many posted note on this web site on how to reset the waste ink counter for the Canon MP730. The real problem is that one day you will have to take the printer apart and clean or replace those ink pads since you don't want them to over flow onto your carpet or rugs.

I sell a Repair Manual the the Canon MP730 that will teach you and how you each step of what you have to do to fix just about any problme with the MP730. To contact me, just click on my USER ID and send me an email. I will reply.
by unknown on Jan 10, 2009 at 8:20pm Add comment

I am interested on your MP730 repair manual. Please email me how to order. - unknown
Still having printing problems...

The instructions made it easy to remove the printhead and clean it. A little warm water worked great. But I'm experiencing the same symptoms. When I send something to the printer, everything seems to work fine except nothing prints on the paper. Ink cartridges are all full. Printer sounds like it's printing, but the paper comes out blank. Any ideas? Thanks.

by robbie34 on Mar 22, 2009 at 8:48pm Add comment
Thanks for helping me fix my problem! (black ink not printing)

I soaked my printhead in alcohol first but that didn't clear it.
I then tried soaking in windex, which also didn't work.
Then I ran hot water through, and again it didn't clear. (There was some black ink coming out, but only a small amount.)

So I sat and ran hot water into the ink head side for quite some time as small amounts/stream of ink came out. I let it sit for a bit and did the same thing again- rinsing hot water with pressure of falling faucet into printhead for some time. After the 3rd time- when I ran hot water into the pad side- the clog washed out and now it runs great.

Wanted to post so people don't give up..
by unknown on Apr 21, 2009 at 4:31pm Add comment
I got the dreaded "WRONG CARTRIDGE" message and using all your great tips above, cleaned printhead etc. in isopropyl alchohol until no more ink was coming out. (Took care to avoid the contacts!)

Put everything back carefully, several times but it is still showing the same message.

Any suggestions anyone?
by skipskipskippy on May 4, 2009 at 10:09pm Add comment
I tried cleaning also and still get the same message
by unknown on Jun 8, 2009 at 7:33am Add comment
Is it worth buying a replacement part do you think? I have given up and just bought a new printer but it doesn't have half the features of my old Canon one... - skipskipskippy
My printer has not been working right. It just stopped printing, but would still go through the motions. I thought it would be my printhead so I saw some replys above and took my printhead out and cleaned it then replaced. I did deep cleaning, nozzel check, and printhead allignment. All of them printed very faint and patchy. Can some one help me make this a working printer again.

Thanks Lisa
by unknown on Nov 13, 2009 at 10:07am Add comment
Ok - To all of you who said you had particular problems with your black ink not printing and that you only got blank sheets. HERE IS THE ANSWER!!!

I had the same exact problem and despite everything I tried, the black ink would NOT print. SO FRUSTRATING. I called Cannon to get help and they simply said I needed a new printer because I should replace the print head, etc. etc. Ya, right.

I removed the print head, as per the instructions above.
I placed the print head in a shallow tupperware dish....and poured VODKA (LOL) into the top (where those rubber things are) until it filled the dish just below the part on the back that connects to the printer (and looks like a tiny motherboard), so as not to get it wet. I soaked it overnight and then I rinsed it under cool tap water (kept the water on low to not splash that back piece at all). TONS of ink came out and I continued to flush it with water until the water came clean. I then repeated the same Vodka step (I used Skye Vodka if you are wondering...although for the second shot I ran out of Skye and used Absolute!)....let it soak for another five hours and flushed it out again with tap water. I dried it completely with a paper towel and then set it in a warm room next to the window to dry completely. Once it was dry, I put it back into the printer....and VOILA!!!! It prints like new - not kidding at all. TRY IT!!!!
by unknown on Sep 2, 2010 at 2:04pm Add comment
Thank you! I'm trying this now. I had same thing happen with the black ink.
I think I'll try rubbing alcohol though...;-) - Ursa
thanks! it worked!
by unknown on Oct 14, 2010 at 7:11am Add comment
Have had the MP730 for 6 years now. Have never had a problem with it and really like the machine. The other morning, went to turn it on and the alarm light was blinking with a message in the LCD screen of "check printer". When I opened the top the printhead didn't move like it usually does to allow for changing of the ink cartridges. It's just not moving. Is the problem with the printhead or the thing that moves the printhead.
by unknown on Oct 20, 2010 at 6:43am Add comment
I have the exact same problem and we have had the printer for the same amount of time! Ours makes a noise when it "tries" to move like it normally would, only the printhead doesn't move. Please help!
- unknown
You are welcome, Eener. Glad it worked for you, too! My printer has had no problems at all for past 2 months and prints like new. Hope this solution helps others as well.
by unknown on Nov 7, 2010 at 3:21pm Add comment
I have a Canon MP730 all in one. Print head has been acting up for some time and a couple of days ago pretty much quit entirely--the carriage even jammed and Canon told me to send it in for servicing, though some twiddling freed the carriage and that is now working fine. However....I cannot seem to convince it to print. I have removed the head and soaked it in Windex--that did nothing. Took it out again and soaked it in rubbing alcohol--no change. I have squirted both Windex and rubbing alcohol into the cartridges and the top of the print head--no result. I've lost track of how many times I have run cleaning/refreshing with no visible effect.

Right now all I am getting is faint printing in magenta and sometimes cyan--NOT a terribly useful combination. I have changed out ink tanks once to make sure they were not the problem--no change. I'd be happy if I could just get black ink out of it....that would allow me to do SOMETHING at least.

Despite being nine years old, I have to say it is one of the best units I have ever used--cheap ink, excellent printing quality, and it's built like a tank. The print head seems to be the weak point in the system. Do I need a new one or is there something else I can try to clear the current head?
by DaveM48 on Aug 27, 2012 at 11:46am Add comment