asked Nov 22, 2006 at 11:41am
Canon Canon Pixma IP3000

Pixma iP3000, Clogged Cyan print head?

This is the second time I've run into this problem.

I've got a Canon Pixma iP3000 (purchased for printing photos) and was very happy with it when I first got it. After a while, I started getting a magenta cast on my black & white photos.

I ran the nozzle check pattern and found that I horizontal lines on the Cyan portions of the pattern. I ran the cleaning and deep cleaning repeatedly and it didn't help. So I called Canon tech support and they had me run some tests and clean it a few more times. I told them that I had been using Canon inks (I lied, I've been using generic inks from Abacus Ink). They sent me a new print head and the problem cleared up for several months.

Well it's back again. Same symptoms, on the Cyan again. I guess I need to use the Canon brand inks, but in the meantime, how can I get the Cyan unclogged? I'm nervous about trying to clean it by hand without some time of instructions.

SO is my assumption correct, that the head is just clogged from the cheap ink? Can I clean it with a Q-Tip? Where to I clean it? Should I use water, or rubbing alcohol or Windex?


windex buddy, never failed for me
by Anonymous on Nov 27, 2006 at 11:57pm Add comment
Yes this problem arises after a while (about 5 years on mine ) can't say if it's using cheap ink but anyhow I read this on a Ink manufacturesr web site not cannon but it works for me.
leave printer on, pull access flap down and raise top panel cattriges will centre themselves.
remove ink cartridges put in sealed plastic bag, remove ink cartridge carrier by raising lever on R hand side of carrier, run under tepid water (if in hard water area best use distilled ) until clear then pat dry with kitchen towel and either leave in warm place all night or gently dry with hair dryer I've just done this and I am back printing graphics after 10 mins

This is genuine but cannot accept responsibilty for any cock ups... Or buy new cartridge carrier from E bay approx £50.00 - Anonymous
I would like to address this very frustrating problem and give some direction to those of you who may come across this.
I had been using Cannon carts for some time but then purchased some other makes for my printer from a certain German supermarket chain. I am not sure if i am allowed to mention the the name but it was Lidl.

Now the colour carts seem to perform ok but i had started out with a problem on the black. On printing a glossy Picture i found that the black looked awful, in fact it was not Glossy but a matt finish.
On accidentally brushing my hand against the picture sometime later the ink rubbed off! I suspected the paper i was using as i had not used this type before. So i went back to my original paper and guess what? Yep the same thing happened. I then took the cartridge out and it stated that this cart was for the Cannon Pixma Ip3000, Well either i had a bad lot of ink or it was not the correct cartridge i did not know at this point.
Shortly after changing the Black i noticed that the colours then started to mess about especially the magenta. Cyan was also messing about. I ended up using all the stock of Inkrite carts i had and still had this problem with magenta. So this was what i did to correct the problem. I removed the carts then removed the carrier. I filled a small bowl with Methylated spirits and immersed the whole print head in it and left this for 24 hours. But before doing so i also carefully poured some from the bottle over each print port. And let this drip out into another container. I then left the print head to soak over night and went back to it the next day. I very carefully cleaned the print head with a lint free cloth and some more meths. I then fitted the carrier back into the printer and deep cleaned it. Wasted about 10 sheets of plain paper but now i have every port printing in colour and no more problems. It seems with some cheap ink carts they will block up your printer i will gladly give you the makes that i have always used. Inkrite Now some of these on Ebay you will find problems with the Black either at the start or half way through its use. The shelf life of these carts is approx 18 months and much of what is being sold on Ebay is old out of date stock! So becareful who you buy from. If you have a Morrisons Supermarket near by they stock some brilliant inks and they are cheap but will not clog your printer. As for Lexmark if you have one of these get rid of it they are crap! and don't listen to all the rubbish that most high street banks use Lexmark! If that is the case, then that is why your bank charges are so high! LEXMARK IS THE MOST RUBBISH PRINTER AND EXPENSIVE FOR CARTRIDGES I HAVE EVER COME ACROSS.That is the all in one mind you.
by unknown on Dec 10, 2006 at 1:22pm Add comment
I like the Methylated spirits use better than water. Where can I buy the Methylated spirits?

Thanks - Anonymous
i have a printer canon pixma ip1000. Its black print head is clogged and the rest of the colors are just OK for printing and I don't know how to clean its print head. I would be very glad if you could give me some instructions to clean the print heads.
by cistrusus on Mar 14, 2007 at 10:30pm Add comment
No. 1 this is going to take a long time, be warned.

No.2 Remove Ink cassettes and use sticky tape to reseal them so ink doesn't spill/ dry out

No.3 Remove Print Head from printer.

No.4 sit Print head in shallow dish with (distilled is best) water

No.5 leave to soak overnight.

No.6 Rinse Print head with running water and stand it on a folded tissue (absorbent paper) so ink and water can leech from the print holes. (about 2 hours)

No.7 REPEAT No.4, 5 and 6 until there is no stain on the folded tissue...

No.8. Refit Print head then Ink cassettes and carry out Head cleaning and print test....

It worked for me! (Canon Pixma iP1000) but it took a week.

Brian Hill
by unknown on Mar 23, 2007 at 2:34pm Add comment
This worked for me too.

I didn't do the 'folded tissue' step, but after leaving overnight soaking, put it back in the printer to try it out.

First day - it was better but not ready yet.

Second day - after a few cleans it all worked well.

Remember when soaking to be careful not to get the chip on the back of the print head wet. You have to be careful to avoid this. - unknown
My Canon IP3000 printer is less than two years old and the print head has clogged up three times over the last 6 months. In the past I have managed to cure the problem by filling old cartridges with Isopropyl Alcohol and then doing several deep cleans, this has always worked until recently, when no amount of flushing would cure the problem.
I have just dismantled the print head, unclogged the ports and refitted everything. One problem however, the printer is sending out an error message that there is no print head fitted and refuses to print. I suspect that Canon has set the printer up like this so that unauthorised servicing renders the printer unusable, unless that is, you know the servicing 'hack'that will reset things. So, is there any good hearted printer service mechanic out there that will help out? Cheers,
rim rim.
by rim rim on Jul 10, 2007 at 3:01pm Add comment
On the iP3000, if you removed the two screws securing the white ceramic slab the nozzles are mounted on, and bent it up far enough to fully expose the inside of the printhead ... it's very likely you damaged the ribbon cable.

The way the thing is made you can only move the slab just a little bit away from the plastic body.

It certainly helps to enable cleaning solutions to get into the middle of the problem, just don't use force when parts don't move any further.

My iP3000 has clogged up on the black again, struggling to get it working again. I flush it and it'll print a little then it's all stop again. Going to dunk the whole head in Windex for a few hours tomorrow.

Would be nice if these were like some older Canons with separate black and color printheads like the S450.

I keep the iP3000 because I imported the parts to enable the disc printing function Canon decided Americans weren't allowed to have. - unknown
I too have been seduced by the cheap inks and my Pixma 3000 also clogs.

Just a couple of things to add

InkyJet cheap inks,(made in China) the yellow turns green.(and no, I don't print in the sun,lol), no good for photographs.

And the comment on Lexmarks I fully agree with, only banks can afford to buy the ink for them, stick with Canon or Epson, leaders by far in every department.

The isopropanol alcohol idea is a good one, I'll be trying that one out.
by Ammok on Aug 6, 2007 at 11:34am Add comment
Methylated spirit = denatured alcohol. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denatured_alcohol

Found it at a hardware store.
by Anonymous on Sep 29, 2007 at 2:55pm Add comment
Ok, I soaked my ip3000 print heads in methylated spirit over night and now I am getting an error message that I don't have a print head installed. Any suggestions??
by Anonymous on Oct 3, 2007 at 4:54pm Add comment
i think you damaged the print head CPU by soaking it. i damaged two just by rinsing alot. the green panel on the back of the printhead has the chip on it. i highly suggest you seal that chip off with hot glue before you go damaging your printhead with water. you need to pry off the green board on the printhead to access the cpu under it.
by Anonymous on Oct 4, 2007 at 5:03pm Add comment
I successfully cleaned a friend's Canon ip3000 print head using denatured alcohol solvent I purchased from the hardware store. The black was completely blocked; some colors also clogged. After removing the ink cartridges:

STEP ONE: Lifted print head from printer. It pulls out easily because it is held in with the same swing down lever that holds the cartridges in place.

STEP TWO: put two layers of paper towel in bottom of dish to protect sensitive sprayer heads;

STEP THREE: put enough solvent in dish to just cover the screens on which the cartridges sit when in use;

STEP FOUR: took the two small screws out that hold the white ceramic piece;

STEP FIVE: gently pried ceramic piece back and away, to reveal underside (no need to pull away glued points on both sides);

STEP SIX: Gently moved head up and down to slosh solvent around it as best I could. Also, used a table spoon to pour solvent over all orifices in print head, turning it upside down and then back a few times. Also used an air can with plastic straw to blow into and thru all orifices, alternately sloshing and pouring solvent over head(careful not to touch any of the holes, screens, sprayer heads with anything!);

STEP SEVEN: Final rinse with clean solvent poured directly from can over all parts, letting solvent overrun fall into dish.

STEP EIGHT: Gently shook solvent off head; took it outside and sprayed air from can into all orifices to clear out and help solvent evaporate. Let head sit to completely air dry for about 20 minutes.

STEP NINE: Reinstalled head, cartridges and it prints like a new machine.

AFTERTHOUGHT: Before using the above procedure I tried using warm water followed by ammonia soak, and it just did not cut the clogged ink. I found that not only did the above referenced solvent clean the head so it printed perfect, there was still a little ink bleeding out of the head when I finished, and it was no problem after all dried.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I have used my personal ip3000 for several years without a clog and I believe this is why: I have a double set of ink cartridges, keeping one set full at all times. Whenever a cartridge runs out of ink, I replace it IMMEDIATELY with a refilled one, giving the head no chance to dry for more than a few seconds.

I hope this helps, my friends.
by Anonymous on Jun 5, 2008 at 2:30am Add comment
I am glad I found this thread. My ip3000 was skipping strips of black, so I followed the instructions from anonymous (6/05/08).

I mistakenly used isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol 70\% solution instead of denatured alcohol. Didn't read the post carefully. And I did not remove the 2 screws or ceramic pieces. But it worked fine. I made sure I rinsed it thoroughly and let it dry.

A few weeks ago I made the mistake of buying a 3rd party black ink cartridges to save a few dollars. Never again. I won't say which store I bought it from, but it is a large office supply store that sells things like paper and, uh, Staples... - Anonymous
Hhmmmm, I have the same problem with Pixma3000, only it's the Yellow print head that is clogged. I have only used Canon cartridges, have cleaned nozzles and deep cleaned, but Yellow keeps causing problems. I have always replaced cartridges immediately as well, by having a spare set on hand at all times.

I have never removed a print head and would need simple instructions (no I'm not blonde). It concerns me to follow this advice on how to remove and clean the print head, when it is mentioned above that this can render the printer unusable. Can anyone advise me please?
by unknown on Jun 28, 2008 at 4:13am Add comment
I'm the "anonymous" with the nine-step procedure, above. To me, "render the printer unusable" is a pretty generic statement that means what? Certainly, if one is not careful and touches the sensitive screen or orifice areas of the print head during cleaning, there may be damage. I used "Sunnyside" brand "denatured alcohol solvent" and it worked fine. As I stated, I had more than one color clogged really bad - black completely clogged and one or two other colors clogged as well. I found no need for hours of soaking with the solvent. A good gentle sloshing, rinsing, some blowing with a "duster" air can, let it evaporate and walla! The printer continues to print like new. I use "American Red Cross" brand latex exam gloves for the cleaning of the print head, as well as for refilling all my ip3000 cartridges. With a clogged print head, I was looking at unpleasant alternatives -- New print head, new printer, etc.-- so I took the risk, and adventure, of cleaning the print head myself. I'm glad I did.

Re: Your yellow problem -- I don't know from your description if you tried my method. If not, you may want to try the solvent along with some blowing with the duster can. Good luck!

by Anonymous on Jun 28, 2008 at 6:57am Add comment
Thanks so much for your reply. I haven't tried your method as yet, but would like to give it a go. What concerned me was the entry by rimrim above, which said that by removing the print heads he then was given an error message that there is no print head fitted and refuses to print. I suspect that Canon has set the printer up like this so that unauthorised servicing renders the printer unusable, unless that is, you know the servicing 'hack'that will reset things. I'm afraid I'm pretty basic when it comes to fiddling with these things and I can't afford to either be without or have to buy a new printer right now. I guess I will just have to try to follow your instructions and see how I go. I do appreciate your time and help, thanks.
by unknown on Jun 29, 2008 at 2:04am Add comment
I feel the 8 step cleaning procedure above is probably the safest way to clean Canon printheads. I think I might have damaged my printhead when I removed the ceramic section because it was difficult to release.
I had to eventually bite the bullet and buy a new printhead. My printer has been working fine with a new printhead. I am also being more particular about the make of third party inks I use because I'm sure that using many different makes contributed to the clogging of my original printhead.
Since I posted my original query above I have had similar problems with my Epson printer and I think the method I used to clear the clogged printhead on the Epson would also work on the Canon. I bought some silicon tube that was a tight fit over printhead inlet holes(where the cartridge outlets locate on the printhead). I then filled a syringe with Isopropanol and injected it into the silicon tubes that were attached to the printhead inlet holes. It could easily be seen which jets were causing the problem because a fine spray was emitted from the clear jets whereas a back pressure was felt in the blocked jets.After leaving the tubes filled with the alcohol attached to the blocked jets over night I repeated the process and gradually ink/alcohol started bleeding through. The clogged jets were eventually cleared and the printer is printing like new. Hope the above might save someone the cost of a new printhead.
by rim rim on Jul 14, 2008 at 7:36am Add comment
Thanks for info about your experiences, rim rim.

Here is detail about how I refill my ip3000 cartridges:


SUPPLIES: Ink jet refill ink (I use "Ink Station" brand); Latex gloves (I use "American Red Cross" exam gloves); 1 bead reamer (hobby store item - like an ice pick with abrasive stuck to it); 1 needle-nosed pliers; 1 small flat head screw driver; one small glue gun with glue sticks; some q-tips; paper toweling.

SETUP: A flat surface, or table top, covered with protection from spilled ink soaking through. Keep all refill supplies in a box for storage. Don't refill cartridges with your good clothes on. You will invariably flick little tiny ink residue around. I warned you!

INITIAL CONSIDERATIONS: Each ink cartridge has three openings with which to be concerned: 1. The input hole on top which will be opened and resealed with hot glue each time you refill the cartridge; 2. the vent slot on top (look close, it's there but hard to see) which will be covered with tape to prevent drying when cartridge is not in use; 3. the outlet hole on the bottom that will be covered with a cap to prevent drying when not in use. About half the cartridge (above outlet hole in bottom) has absorbent material that soaks up the ink from the other half, which is the reservoir you fill up.

PREPARATORY PROCEDURES: You should have two sets of cartridges for your printer: those in use, and those refilled and ready to replace empty ones. Always replace an empty cartridge immediately with a filled one. You don't want to let the print head get dry. For the empty cartridge, cover the vent slot with a good sealing tape immediately and cap the bottom hole immediately. Store it in a small plastic bag until you can refill it. Again, so as not to let anything dry out. Fill the empty cartridge soon, within a day or two, re-cover vent slot and cap hole in bottom; store in a tightly sealed small plastic bag with twist tie until needed.


STEP ONE: Turn on glue gun, insert glue cartridge and make sure you have hot glue ready.

STEP TWO: Leave cap over outlet hole in bottom of cartridge. Remove tape from vent seal on top of cartridge.

STEP THREE: Remove old glue that seals refill hole in cartridge. Begin by using small flat head screw driver to push under edge of glue. Pick at it with needle nose pliers. Use bead reamer to pick at glue that plugs hole. After picking, pulling, etc. you should be able to remove all the old glue. Stick bead reamer down into hole to clear it. Don't worry if some old glue falls into reservoir. It won't hurt anything.

STEP FOUR: Wipe off ink from bead reamer with paper toweling. You don't want to get ink on other cartridges of different colors later.

STEP FIVE: Refill ink cartridge reservoir. Sometimes bubbling comes out. No matter, just wipe it away with paper towels as you fill it. Don't fill reservoir to top. Leave at least 1/8" or more space. Otherwise, as you handle cartridge later, you'll squeeze out ink and make a mess.

STEP SIX: Once full, carefully keep cartridge upright, wipe away excess ink spillage from top.

STEP SEVEN: Place hot glue over refill hole, and immediately wipe away excess glue with a q-tip. Inspect hole to make sure hot glue sealed hole. If unsure, place a bit more glue on hole and wipe excess away again.

STEP EIGHT: Leave cap over outlet hole on bottom of cartridge and seal vent hole on top with tape. (standard scotch tape will not do. you need a good small strip of duct, masking or other tape that will seal the vent hole so ink will not dry out.

STEP NINE: Your refilled cartridge now should be capped on bottom, inlet sealed with hot glue and vent hole on top sealed with tape. Store it in a tightly sealed small plastic bag until you need it.

I hope this is helpful, my friends.
by Anonymous on Jul 14, 2008 at 8:53am Add comment
I was delighted to find instructions to clean my printhead. However, before I got to that point, the entire printhead got stuck on the right side of the printer underneath the case, and I can't get it out. I have tried everything I can think of short of breaking it--turning it off and on, opening and shutting the top, pulling on the printhead and the cables. Nothing. Any suggestions, pleeeeease.
by unknown on Aug 28, 2008 at 3:54pm Add comment
First, be aware that your printer probably doesn't like to be turned on with the top open and cartridges pulled out. Therefore, when you open the top and the head moves to the center for removal of cartridges, unplug the printer before the head has a chance to go and hide from you. You usually don't have to worry about this when changing a cartridge, but if it sits open for very long powered up, I think the head can move back to it's cubby hole. Now, lets see if we can get the printer back to operation.

You didn't say if the cartridges are in the head or not, so I'd suggest try to get the head back where you can put them in and see if it will at least go through the correct motions of printing. Then you can start again with cleaning the head.

Pulling or tugging on the print head or cables can ruin the printer. Please do not do that. The print head should come out on its own. Here is what I suggest:

STEP ONE: Turn off the printer.
STEP TWO: Unplug the printer power cord from the power source.
STEP THREE: Unplug the printer cable from your computer.
STEP FOUR: Turn off the computer ("turn off computer" thru Windows).
STEP FIVE: With the computer off, plug in all the above things you unplugged.
STEP SIX: Now, with everything plugged back in, start up your computer. Be patient for a while; let everything load; then try to print something. See if the head behaves.

If the above does not clear the problem, do all the steps above, except replaced STEP FOUR above with STEP FOUR A below:

STEP FOUR A: Turn off the computer manually like this: Close all applications and manually turn the computer off by holding in the computer's on button. Don't let up until the computer shuts off.*

If the above does not clear the problem, go to "Control Panel", find "Printer & Faxes", double click it. Find your printer listed, click on it and look for "delete", and click it. This will remove your printer's driver. Restart "reboot" your computer and reinstall the driver, per instructions that came with your printer.

If these things don't clear the problem, I think there is a problem beyond what I can see from here.

Good luck, my friend. I hope this helps.

* For future reference, whenever you manually shut down your computer, never turn it back on quickly. Wait at least 10 seconds to allow the hard drive to stop spinning. Otherwise there is a chance of ruining the hard drive.
by Anonymous on Aug 28, 2008 at 11:35pm Add comment
Like most people I have recently had clogged print head problems.

I took out all the cartridges, then the print head and left it to soak over night in hot water. I removed the 2 small screws that hold the jet plate prior to soaking in the water. I then flushed with hot water. Dried everything out. Put back the plate on the bottom. Unfortunately I still had problems with the magenta. But another soak and good flush seems to have cured the problem. Fingers crossed this will not happen again for some time. The difference in my photos is amazing, so it must have been blocking slowly over the last few months.
Back to Canon originals now, no more cheaper cartridges for me.
by motormickey on Oct 14, 2008 at 1:05pm Add comment
How is the print head removed from a Canon iP2400?
by unknown on Dec 14, 2008 at 3:39am Add comment
I read all the messages and, like John Melhuish, wondered how to remove the printhead.
I have an ip4200 and the large black cartridge has a blocked printhead so I can print anything in colour but not plain black. Having decided to replace the printer if cleaning does not work I thought what the heck and delved in.
It is easy, lift the little handle at the LH side then remove all 5 cartridges - underneath you will see a black plastic "tray" with the 5 dots where the cartridges line up, just pick up the "tray" and swing it out towards you.
Mine is sitting on loo roll dampened with "flush" (from a previous refill kit) with a drop of it on the large black's position - the others drank up the liquid, confirming which is blocked, hopefully this should do the trick overnight.
by unknown on Jan 8, 2009 at 7:05am Add comment
I am having the same problem as everyone else, and I was going to take out my print head to clean it. I was about to soak it when I saw that the bottom had a sort of electronic chip on it. this is the head for a Canon iP3000 printer, will soaking the head damage these chip? Thanks everyone!
by unknown on Mar 15, 2009 at 7:32am Add comment
Remove printhead from my MP760 soaked in hot water twice (second time just to check to see if any more ink would come out) blow dried with compressed air, let sit on a paper towel upright for a while. Reinstalled worked perfect. Thanks to all who posted all of the instructions. I am in no way a geek but everyone on here made this repair easy.
by insurancepro on Mar 29, 2009 at 3:01pm Add comment
This printer must just stink. I have the Canon IP 3000 and started having problems with the print heads myself and cleaned it once by letting it soak in alcohol and it worked for awhile, then jammed up again. It will not print black. I do use the cheaper cartridges because cannon ones are so expensive, but i bought a canan black cardtridge this time and I am in the process of cleaning the print head again.

I know i will never purchase a cannon printer again after the problems i have had and then reading that everyone else has the same problems, so they just make the printer very cheaply (poorly).

by Anonymous on Apr 10, 2009 at 4:38pm Add comment
My test pattern shows the top Cyan band with the top half dark and the bottom half light with no gaps. I have noticed the bottom half of the 6C 6C 6M 6M and 6Y red. There is no indication of missing print. I have tried the clogged head cleaning process above to no avail. Can this be caused by a different problem?
by alholme on Apr 20, 2009 at 4:10pm Add comment
I had the same problem only the top half was light and the bottom dark. I was totally stumped as it was obvious that it was a different problem than a clogged head. After wasting much ink, I was ready to give up. I shut down my computer and printer, rebooted, and ran the test pattern again and voila, the problem disappeared! Hard to believe but it worked. Hope this helps. - unknown
I have got EXACTLY the same problem as alhome above. In fact, if I print a page sized Cyan square it comes out as alternating lines of Light/Dark Cyan.


This is only when printing in Standard Mode. If I print in High Quality mode the problem goes away!!
by snowy2008 on Apr 27, 2009 at 8:15am Add comment
Do NOT use denatured alcohol!!!

It has a bittering agent that leaves residue behind. Stick to isopropyl alcohol only.

my ip3000 was printing greenish so I took all the tanks out, lifted the grey lever, popped the print head out, and dunked it in isopropyl alcohol, then poured more on it to flush it out. the alcohol is about $1.00 a bottle so its not a huge investment. I then followed with bottled water that is distilled, dried it with a paper towel, then slapped it a few times against my hand with the towel to get the last bit of water out. When I was content it was dry, i put everything back in and it worked fine. If i knew it was this easy I would have bought another one of these.

many refill kits definitely use substandard ink. Reds tend to be rather washed out and everything tends to lean to yellowish green.

I do like the fact the ink tanks on the ip3000 don't have a chip on them, so they can be refilled.

One last thing, if you use Canon easy photo print, go into the preferences and check "high quality" otherwise your printouts will be rather bad.
by unknown on May 22, 2009 at 8:24pm Add comment
Denatured alcohol is ethanol, same alcohol people can drink, mixed with a little methanol (also known as wood alcohol because it can be made from wood, or "fuesil oil" to the old time bootleggers. It's why drinking rotgut or bathtub gin during prohibition was akin to playing Russian Roulette.

Methanol is mixed in to make it undrinkable. Methanol is poisonous, the human liver metabolizes it into formic acid then formaldehyde. As little as 10 ml can cause permanent blindness by destroying the optic nerve. 30 ml can be lethal though 100 ml is considered the typical lethal dose. (All this info and more easily found online.)

Sooo, don't breathe the fumes from denatured alcohol. Wear nitrile or latex gloves while using it to clean your printheads and for heaven's sake don't lick your fingers or pick your nose if you have denatured alcohol on your hands. ;) - unknown
But Isopropyl alcohol has wintergreen oil in it. Hot Distilled water in a great choice.
by Anonymous on May 23, 2009 at 7:58pm Add comment
Only the green tinged isopropyl alcohol has wintergreen scent. Go to the dollar store and get the cheap stuff thats just alcohol and water.

I found that refill ink that Wal-mart sells is terrible, don't use it in a canon printer.
by unknown on May 24, 2009 at 4:01pm Add comment
Thanks everyone for all this very useful information.
Am using cheap ink, because, hey, no way can I afford Canon genuine anymore. I have an IP 4000 and love it to bits, as the print quality is great and it does everything I want it to do. Or it did...
Just about to face attempting the process of cleaning the printheads myself, I’m happy to have found these instructions.

There are so many recommendations as to which cleaning agent to use, I now have reservations. My initial tendency was to use meths, because I use it to clean practically everything, especially before glueing; but printheads are likely more delicate.

A wiki I found says this:
The name isopropanol is sometimes used but this is, strictly speaking, incorrect as it uses elements from two scientific naming conventions.
Does that mean Isopropyl and Isopropanol are possibly the same thing?

I would like to try refilling in future. Can anyone recommend a make of refill ink available over the net?
by Eilidh on Nov 2, 2009 at 11:39am Add comment
I don't think that anyone has ever tried Canon Cleaning Cartridges that fit most of the Canon printers that are out there today. You can get them over the internet at either Amazon.com, Ebay, or at abacus24-7.com. Abacus assured me that the cartridges really work. You have to use them between 4-5 times you use regular ink. They also instructed that if you use cheap or refurbished ink, then it will get clogged BIGTIME, and you will have to switch back to the regular, more expensive ink. Canon has their inks running between $11-14 for each color, depending on which color you get. So be careful what you use in that regard. If you get the multi-packs of any color, then it will run you $25 and up, depending on what color or colors you get.

Also, if you get the Canon Cleaning Cartridge, be sure to put tape over the 2 holes that the ink will come out of for normal print use. And keep it in a Ziplock bag. Their shelf life should run you around 6 months if not in use. They are about $2.00 on ebay and close to $4.00 on abacus24-7.com and EBay depending on what cartridge you get. Also, make sure that the cartridge fits your make and model of the printer.

I would also advise to NOT use isopropol (rubbing) alcohol or any other type of alcohol that is mentioned for the suggestions on this website response. That will harm and damage your printer to no end and you will be spending a lot of money to get it fixed, service fees what-have-you on that.

Try the Canon Cleaning Cartridges before you go and use regular rubbing alcohol, which isopropol is. Also Denatured alcohol is for hardware tools and stuff, NOT for computer hardware or printers.

Also, if you have any further questions, you can call Canon's tech support, and it will charge you $10 per call. But it is worth it to get advice from them.

Good luck and remember...rubbing alcohol DOES NOT due the trick every time. That can cause more harm than good for your printer. Also, if you know someone who knows about printers and how to clean them properly, be sure to ask them before you try these HOME REMEDIES that are listed above in this website thread of responses. In the end, you might have to pay close to between $200 and $500 for a brand new printer, rather than using a Canon Cleaning Cartridge.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: When your car needs a fuel injection cleaning, per your car manual, it will charge you between $175 to $400 depending on if you take it to your mechanic or your dealership. Also, if you use STP Gas Treatment for your car, and fuel injection cleaner, that will do the trick for a while. Also, to keep it in top condition, you have to take it to get it cleaned by a professional every 2-3 years, to keep the car working properly. Otherwise your carborator will get clogged and the car will run sluggish.

The same way goes for the printer...use the cleaning cartridges FIRST before you try any HOME REMEDIES you heard about on here or elsewhere, and you will save a lot of money in service fees and other stuff too.

Good luck and ask your computer printer retailer or call Canon for help. You can also go to their website and ask for help too.

Also, Canon's cleaning cartridges have the alcohol and other cleaning solutions in its solution to clean out the print heads as well. So there is no need to soak the print heads and to reinstall them. If you do that, you will do more harm to your printer and it will never get to print again. And you will wonder why you did that in the first place.

Also, one more FOOD FOR THOUGHT: NEVER, and I repeat NEVER try to do the cleaning process yourself...of taking out the printer head and cleaning it...LEAVE THAT FOR THE PROFESSIONALS or for someone who knows your make and model of your printer to do it for you...it might cost you to have that done, but it will be worth it. Better to be safe than sorry about that.

by unknown on Jul 2, 2010 at 9:27pm Add comment
You sound like a Canon rep. Basically, your message is don't try home remedies, stick with conventional methods and buy from Canon.

I've been refilling my Canon ip4200 printer cartridges for years. I use hardware-bought denatured alcohol to soak the print head ports (rarely need to do this) and cartridge outlets (blow out excess alcohol with canned air) for years. The alcohol evaporates with no problem. At the very worst, one can replace a troublesome (from refilling) Canon ink cartridge with a new one to begin refilling over-and-over again. I purchased a chip re-setter on eBay and it works great. I use a glue gun to seal the refill hole each time, keep refills sealed with tape and outlet cap, respectively, top and bottom, don't let them dry out, and keep them stored in plastic bags until use.

If Canon and the other printer manufacturers had not gouged the public with such high prices for ink cartridges over the years, we would not even need fixyourownprinter.com, but we do.

I encourage those who need to save money on print cartridges to either use a retail cartridge re-filler (like www.cartridgeworlduse.com) or fill them like I do.

If you decide to fill them like I do, you'll need to ignore all the fear-mongering and make a committment to spend a little money to get started and give it a shot. TOOLS: (1) A very small flat head screw driver to scrape away the old glue from the refill hole. Don't use a knife.; (2) a cheap heat glue gun using small glue sticks for filling the refill hole; (3) a pointed ice-pick-like jewelry-making diamond bead hole reamer for making the cartridge refill holes and picking out old glue; (3) needle-nose pliers for picking at the old glue; (4) a flexible duct-like tape for sealing the vent holes on top of cartridges; (5) caps (that come with new factory ink cartridges) to cover the cartridge outlet holes; (6) rubber bands to hold the cartridge outlet caps in place for storage; (7) sandwich bags with twist ties to store refilled ink cartridges.; (8) que tips for swiping excess glue from the refill hole you made at the top of the cartridge; (9) old clothes, rubber gloves, paper towels and a work area that allows for being messy.

Good luck my friends!

- I_Use_Canon
I have an IP4200 and had success simply removing head, swooshing around in shallow bowl of water + vinegar, running under faucet til all ink ran out and water clear, then drying with paper towels. Not overly gentle about it, but got it mostly dry, then reinstalled and it prints perfect now. Turns out it's not rocket science, Canon just wants us all to think it is!
by julialjohnson3 on Sep 5, 2010 at 8:34pm Add comment
Yeah, you are right, and I am glad it works for you. I too have had good success experimenting and cleaning the print head. I recently have been using denatured alcohol or the "solvent" that comes with the refill ink supply I purchase. I prefer these because they evaporate and leave nothing that can harm the printer (as far as I know). I recently had a surprise when I had the large black cartridge on my ip4200 clog up after multiple refills by me. I had a new print head, so I knew it was the cartridge. I went through all sorts of cleaning with the denatured alchol, and it still would not print well after the initial first sheet or two. Then, I did something that gave a surprising outcome. I took the little "solvent" bottle that came with my refill ink and dabbed a q-tip in it and rubbed the round ink cartridge exit hole (felt-like material)with the solvent, followed by the dry end of the q-tip. Well, the felt piece turned white (which surprised me because the cartridge was full of black ink). Anyway, I repeated the process to be thorough, and walla! I could print multiple sheets with no problem. I now have a new respect for the "solvent", whatever it is, as I never used it before. Anyway, thanks for sharing you experience.
by unknown on Sep 5, 2010 at 11:22pm Add comment
I am having problems with Canon PIXMA 258. The tri color cartridge prints blue color with streaking(bars in between), however it can print fine in best setting. I tried cleaning function and immersing the cartridge in boiling water etc with no success.
by unknown on Nov 25, 2010 at 11:07am Add comment
In follow-up to my post on 09/5/10 above, I have purchased an eye-dropper from the Pharmacy Dept. at Wal-Mart and have been using a few drops of the printer solvent on the exit hole (on felt-like material) of the cartridges on my ip4200. I only do this when the printer quality suffers a bit (usually black ink) That solvent really works great, as the printer clears up and prints great immediately. I even put a few drops in the refill ink to help it flow. I remain excited and surprised at how well this works and for how long the printer quality lasts after just a few drops. Note, I use a cartridge chip resetter I purchased on eBay and refill my ink cartridges over and over. Therefore, I expect the cartridge outlet to need some help with ink flow.
by unknown on Nov 26, 2010 at 12:27am Add comment

Amber light flashes 5 times then goes green.

I understand this is a print head fault is this the time to clean the print head with Mentholated sprit.

If it does not clear where is the best place to purchase (UK) a new print head for my Pixma ip3000 ?

kind regards db
by unknown on Jan 3, 2011 at 1:54pm Add comment
This is an amazing thread; still going year after year. I have an iP3000 and I have been using Compatible Cartridges for many years. Only now has it started to clog. I use it regularly, printing handouts for my Community College classes so it rarely sits idle for more than a week. There have been times when not used for a month but it has been trouble free till now. I am going to attempt some of the methods mentioned here, starting with the simplest.

Good luck to all,
by PeteTheSeeker on Mar 27, 2011 at 5:34pm Add comment
A word of warning .... be gentle

I used compressed air to dry out the print head and as a result I think I have stuffed the micro switches.

Fortunately I had another print head from another iP3000 printer that someone had abandoned. (Lucky me) This time I washed it in warm-hot water with Windex (we have it in Australia) of course any window cleaner will do. Once all the ink appeared to have been removed I put some warm to hot water with Windex again in a clean ice cream container and with a syringe (from Chemist/Drug Store/Pharmacy) and a tube that syringe fits into (used bit of sprinkler system tube), I then sucked up through the top micro gauze things. Wow more colour came out.

This time I just gave it a shake and dried it off with paper towel. After one simple head clean I got a perfect test print.

Happy printing,
by PeteTheSeeker on Apr 4, 2011 at 7:38pm Add comment
my ip 3000 has the folowwing problem

when i turn it on the led blinks 5 times orange and green again.

i found that the print head;s eeprom has a problem, how can i solve this?

is there a procedure to reset it?

by unknown on Aug 26, 2011 at 2:26am Add comment
Canon technical support is usually quite helpful, and they don't charge a fee on many general questions. I'd try them on this first.

Good luck!
by unknown on Aug 26, 2011 at 7:02am Add comment
Had issue with the black one also. cleaned with Methylated spirit, on the nozzle. Use cotton bud/tip, use different one each time for at least three times.

Works like a charm after wasting ink in deep cleaning for a few times. I could not even see the writing at all. Now, it is all good again.

PS: I use the cheaper ink variety also.
by unknown on Dec 29, 2011 at 2:48pm Add comment
how do you get the print head out?? I am up to my elbows in ink and cant see any release mechanism on the Pixma 6220D. anyone know how???
by unknown on Jan 17, 2013 at 11:03am Add comment
Hi dianehpeters, I don't recall how I did it, it was fairly simple, however I found this link that might help you out:
by PeteTheSeeker on Jan 17, 2013 at 7:47pm Add comment
Here is how I fixed my problem with a clogged black print nozzel. With cartridge out of printer, use several Qtips soaked in de-natured (rubbing) alcohol until the ink is off. Leave alone 3-5 minutes and some of the alcohol may soak into the nozzels, which is apparently OK. Clean nozzel with dry clean Qtips. Insert new Cannon cartridge. Close door and receive error message. Press and hold Stop/Reset button more than 5 seconds - until some type of activity starts. Press OK button. Print.
by unknown on Apr 6, 2013 at 3:57pm Add comment
In case the above posting I just made is not clear enough, you are using the Qtips soaked in denatured (rubbing) alcohol to get the ink off the nozzel that is in the printer. You should probably be discarding the bad ink cartridge that caused the problem as that cannot be "cleaned". After the nozzels are clean of the bad ink, then use a new Cannon cartridge and proceed with the other steps regarding the Stop/Reset button and the OK button.
by unknown on Apr 6, 2013 at 4:02pm Add comment
This thread is great - I have a Ip3000 and recently it has started printing the yellow in bands about 4mm wide - lighter and darker. I have cleaned, and soaked as per above.

Is it a print head issue or is it something else?

When I run the print test the yellow stripe is half light, half regular.

When I print on high quality setting it looks ok, but it takes forever.

Any ideas?
by revjmark on Jun 4, 2014 at 2:27am Add comment
I agree, this is a really amazing thread, it’s been going since November 2006.
I put my first post on this thread back in July 2007 when I was having problems with my iP3000 clogged print head.
I eventually replaced my print head in July 2008 and from then on decided to stick with one type of 3rd party ink that was getting good reviews over here in the UK.
Since then I have had terrific service from my printer without a single fault until recently.
Last week my print head burnt out after 6 years and 4 months of service. I have a problem now of either replacing the print head for about £55 or choosing a new replacement printer.
Whatever option I eventually decide upon I intend to continue refilling my cartridges
to reduce the cost of running the printer.
According to current reviews of the latest Canon printers, most are heavy ink users and have modern chips on the cartridges that make refilling difficult.
Any suggestions for a good printer that prints direct to CD/DVDs and has cartridges that can be refilled would be appreciated.
rim rim
by rim rim on Nov 26, 2014 at 4:14pm Add comment

I have had similar problem with an IP3600, but only since upgrading OS from WindowsXP to Windows7 a few weeks back, and only with the PG fat Black ink.

Printing a page goes from full good black to fading out to no print at all, in the course of printing about two pages. No grid on nozzle test, but after a deep clean all is well again, lovely black printing for a page or two. Then it all happens again!

Never had anything like this before in several years. Could this be a software problem? maybe it is failing to do routine cleaning? Anyone has an idea how to solve it?

by Alexyxx on Apr 22, 2016 at 4:10am Add comment