Shifty Steve

asked Feb 13, 2007 at 2:51am
Brother Brother MFC 5440CN

Brother MFC-5440CN 'Unable to Clean'

I have ordered and installed a new 'Ink absorber'.
I have reset the Purge counter.
I still get the same error message.
Any suggestions other than throw the whole lot out of the window?
This fix worked for great me. I had to do the purge and flush to get it sorted though. Where is the waste ink absorber box located and what's the best way to get to it ? I guess I could blot some of the ink up to prevent an overspill which seems on the cards if not attended to. Cheers guys
by unknown on Jun 29, 2009 at 7:44am Add comment
Great advice. I used the procedure above, and managed to print two pages - it worked with card and 130gsm paper, but not normal 80 gsm paper.
Then it started coming up with errors 'paper jam open tray' or 'unable to clean - 35' again.
I followed the instruction above again, to purge, i also reset 'flush' and one of the 'jam' codes (I think it was something like ADP JAM:0002 - was that bad???!!)
Any advice? I am desperate, have to hand in a presentation on Tuesday and it's bank holiday weekend!

The printer is MFC 6490CW.

by Anonymous on May 23, 2009 at 11:17am Add comment
i installed a new black cartridge and the printer still does not print black - the one i replaced was only half gone - thank you for your help.
by unknown on Oct 26, 2009 at 6:38pm Add comment
What is the actual machine error code number you get. Since you know how to reset the purge counter, I assume you know how to get the code.
by sangjmoon on Jul 25, 2007 at 6:17pm Add comment
What is the actual machine error code number you get. Since you know how to reset the purge counter, I assume you know how to get the code. - unknown
it says cant clean its self what can i do to fix it asap
by Anonymous on Jan 12, 2008 at 10:15am Add comment
More detail of the error message would be a big help.
by tigerwan on Jan 12, 2008 at 11:33am Add comment
I got the same message... "Unable to clean, refer to trouble shooting and maintainance in user manual"
They are no error code number.
by unknown on Jul 16, 2008 at 3:38pm Add comment mess. unable to clean, Ipulled out the power. held down the menu button and replugged. "machine error 46" came up. Still dont know what this is.
by vis on Sep 15, 2008 at 2:09am Add comment
Procedure how to reset the error 46 error (unable to clean). This can be done on every Brother inkjet machine with a numeric keypad.

- Machine off
- Switch on the machine while holding down the “menu”button until all the leds are flashing on/off. Now you are in “maintenance” mode.
- press 80
- press the “mono start” button several times until you see “purge: xxxx”
- press “2783” in order to reset the purge counter. You will see: “purge:0000”
- press “99” to exit the maintenance mode

Now you are able to print again, but actually your ink absorber box is now full with ink. Ink flooding can happen if you don’t replace this ink box!
by Anonymous on Sep 15, 2008 at 3:17am Add comment
I have a 790cw I am unable to push menu on screen, touchscreen initialization failed - [email protected]
Great site. Who ever you are tnx for the post. I was able to troubleshoot the 'unable to clean problem' of my brother printer mfc-240c. Just want to ask where is the exact location of the ink box or absorber? Is it the sponge-like material where the head conducts its cleaning? Thanks - Anonymous
Thank you very much. It works fine now. - Anonymous
Many many thanks,
you saved the life of one of my brother MFC-5440 CN printers.
What a wonderful website.
Thanks to the person who made it too.
Jill - gillianemery
Sorry. Forgot 1 step. See below:

- Machine off
- Switch on the machine while holding down the “menu”button until all the leds are flashing on/off. Now you are in “maintenance” mode.
- press 80
- press the “mono start” button several times until you see “purge: xxxx”
- press “2783” in order to reset the purge counter. You will see: “purge:0000”
- press the "stop" button.
- press “99” to exit the maintenance mode.
by Anonymous on Sep 15, 2008 at 3:22am Add comment
Good use of arcane codes ! Sorted the problem first time, brilliant. Thanks - Anonymous
I tried following the steps to clear the code for unable to clean.
-Machine off
-Hold down the menu button and switch the machine on until all leds are flashing on/off

The machine will not turn on while I am holding down the menu button.

What am I doing wrong?

Thanks! - Anonymous
The instructions worked fine. I did have to substitute "mono start" with "Black Start" because my copier has Color Start and Black start. The rest of the instructions worked fine. Thank you very much - Anonymous
THAT worked perfectly! Thank you! - Anonymous
Many thanks for this - did the job first time and probably saved me quite a lot of money too! - Anonymous
Thanx a million your help was greatly appreciated my printer is back on track. - Anonymous
Worked on the first try. Thank you for posting these steps. - unknown
Thank you so much - I have been trying to fix this for a week and reading and rereading manuals. Your solution was simple and worked! - unknown
Very happy with results using advice found here. This site was my first pick following a "How To Fix" search using To find exactly what you need at the first place you look is rare and very cool. I verified the error code and reset the counter all in one smooth operation. Reset the clock, cleaned the jets twice and printed a nice Quality Check page. I am so pleased to be able to use this printer since I just bought a whole set of ink tanks the day before the error appeared

Many of the post I read mention cleaning the purge box. I didn't find any details about it. I assume the spongy square set off to the side of the platen is the purge box. I am wondering if using an absorbent material, some of the excess ink can be removed as a temporary solution or is that a really bad idea?

I like to take apart and put together (anything) but it helps to know what something looks like and where to find it. Is there more than one area that collects waste ink???
by clubow on Mar 10, 2009 at 11:35pm Add comment
when I print, my yellow is coming out greenish-black~ even after installing a brand new brother cartridge and running the color cleaning mode about 7 times. Up until now, I've been using refill kits with no problems. However, recently, I've noticed a flood of what looks like black ink on the table beneath my printer. Is that the inkbox overflowing? Is there anyone out there that can help me resolve this problem, or should I just junk this printer?
by Anonymous on Apr 9, 2009 at 10:01pm Add comment
Use the AC cord to switch on your machine, not the on/off button.
by Anonymous on Apr 14, 2009 at 12:07am Add comment
That did the trick. Thanks!
by Anonymous on Apr 14, 2009 at 6:54pm Add comment
If it still doesn't fix the problem, follow the above steps and replace the word purge in the instructions with 'flush'. That did it for me.
by Anonymous on Apr 22, 2009 at 8:54am Add comment
'Flush' worked for me too! thanks guys
x - Anonymous
Great fix, got my machine back people! - Anonymous
Thank You Mr (or Ms.) Anonymous. It was the "Flush" reset that got this sucker going again.

I was ready to replace the printer.

Yea - unknown
Fantastic, thank you for that FLASH did it.... YOU HAVE JUST SAVED A PRINTER FROM BEING THROWN OUT OF THE WINDOW . THANK YOU . - Anonymous
We have a mfc-845cw, that was showing error 51 'unable to clean. Just a warning, this model does not turn off. I had to unplug it, and hold the menu button. Once that was over the instructions posted here were top notch. Thanks a lot guys!
by unknown on May 17, 2009 at 1:50pm Add comment
Hey, I was wondering if anyone can help me with my printer. It's also telling me that it's unable to clean and giving me the code 4F. Can anyone tell me how to fix this?
by unknown on May 18, 2009 at 5:00pm Add comment
omg you that advice was just what i needed! yay!
by Anonymous on Jun 8, 2009 at 8:48am Add comment
Great thread, helped me sort the cleaning/purge problem on my MFC-5840CN.
Do I need to service / replace the ink box / absorber.
by mikeupd on Jun 12, 2009 at 5:12am Add comment
Can this process be used to 'force' or purge ink through if the printer head is blocked? My machine won;t print cyan despite numerous cleaning cycles, and i want to try and force it? Any advice appreciated.
by unknown on Jun 25, 2009 at 5:25am Add comment
ok for the previous post with the steps, i have the brother MFC-5440CN and i tried the syeps but this thing does not have a "mono start" button, would that be the "black start" button or am i missing something?

by jackmcwendys on Aug 28, 2009 at 2:07pm Add comment
I'm going to guess but I'd say the mono start is the same as the black start. - Anonymous
sir my printer gives error message- unable to print 4f , i have opened whole printer but there is no any small piece of paper trapped anywhere even i did reset purge count still printer gives me same message so please help..thanks
by unknown on Sep 7, 2009 at 7:46am Add comment
The reset process explained above works great, but I had to hold the menu button down when I plugged it in.
Cleaning the ink absorbers is a mess. Get disposable gloves. I didn't and had black hands. A 50/50 solution of bleach gets it right off, but don't scrub the bleach and wash after your hands are uninked.
by wally09 on Oct 5, 2009 at 8:55am Add comment
Wally09, how did you get to the ink absorber ? Can you advise the best process to begin to take the printer apart or is that not needed ?
by unknown on Oct 5, 2009 at 9:20am Add comment
I have checked my printer very carefully but there is nothing jammed like small paper particle but still i am getting same error even i had set purge counter too, pls help me thanks in advance
by unknown on Oct 5, 2009 at 9:34am Add comment
I forgot to mention that I also had to unplugged the machine because the On/Off button did not work. As soon as I plugged the machine back up I held down the menu button until all buttons were flashing(Fax Scan Copy). Hope this helps.
by Anonymous on Oct 15, 2009 at 9:54am Add comment
Thanks for the help. The fix worked.
by Anonymous on Oct 15, 2009 at 12:07pm Add comment
Followed instructions to reset purge works. Major Time saver this site.
by Anonymous on Oct 16, 2009 at 3:03pm Add comment
hero status to you, my friend!
by Anonymous on Oct 18, 2009 at 8:48am Add comment
Where does one purchase an "ink absorber box"? Can't seem to locate one. Thanks.
by unknown on Dec 2, 2009 at 7:17am Add comment
Worked Perfectly!!! Thank you so much. I did have to repeat the above step twice though, not sure why. I have no more error messages and machine works awesome. Good Job!!!
by unknown on Dec 7, 2009 at 8:51am Add comment
Thanks for this, I have a Brother MFC-440CN, held down "Menu" when plugging in power and everything worked except the "99" to exit maintenance mode. I unplugged it and all was fine on restart
by Anonymous on Dec 8, 2009 at 10:10pm Add comment

I have brother mfc-665cw - i tried the purge technique to cure error 51 but it didn't work. Is there a way to turn off all error codes? a technician was unable to fix it, and i bought a new one. But, I still want to use this printer for scanning, fax and phone - but error 51 keeps popping up.

How can i turn off error code 51?


by treestone27 on Dec 18, 2009 at 3:31pm Add comment
I agree with all the other happy customers. this solution rocks. i had to do the flush command as well as the purge command and now it is up and running. Thanks.
by Anonymous on Feb 10, 2010 at 2:12pm Add comment
I followed the instruction but it didn't work for me. I turn off the machine and held the menu button but but first it says please wait and then it went back to clean unable 48
by Anonymous on Mar 5, 2010 at 11:02am Add comment
Thank you so much Mr (or Ms.) Anonymous for the information. It worked perfectly,one thing I should say to anyone who have the same problem with me is, don't give up, make sure you have a lot of absorbing pads or paper towel to take off all of the ink. Your hands will get very dirty while doing this task but it will be worth it all. You will have your printer back and you won't have to get another one after all.
Thanks again for the information. You made my day :)
by Anonymous on Mar 11, 2010 at 3:01pm Add comment
Epic WIN, thanks. Had to do it twice, but it worked great and got me printing again!
by Anonymous on Mar 11, 2010 at 4:16pm Add comment
by Anonymous on Mar 22, 2010 at 10:16am Add comment
Spot on.

Purge and Flush got the bloody think going again!

by Anonymous on Mar 26, 2010 at 3:39am Add comment
Thanks for the person who mentioned "Flush"! That worked for me~!!!

God...I love the internet.
by unknown on Apr 13, 2010 at 9:19am Add comment
I followed instructions of Re: Brother MFC-5440CN 'Unable to Clean' by Anonymous (9/15/08 3:22 AM

it works for my mfc 210c too

thank you
by Anonymous on Apr 21, 2010 at 8:31pm Add comment
Where is the "Ink absorber" located in the machine (I have a MFC-5440CN)? Where can you order a replacement from? Do you happen to have any good Part Numbers? Thanks.
by Anonymous on Apr 25, 2010 at 8:13am Add comment
porfavor ayudarme!! he notado que el scaner no funciona bien esta bloqueado!! y me pone inicio imposible en la pantalla LCD
by unknown on May 3, 2010 at 4:18am Add comment
The "Unable to Clean" prblem is not solved on my MFC-5440CN using the powering on while holding down Menu button. Reading the FAQs on Brother website I discover that the printhead is at the far right side of the carriage and can't be moved. Is there a known cause and solution for this? Note: there are no visible jams.
by IanCollis on May 6, 2010 at 6:44am Add comment
i tried every single options above and i'm still getting the unable to clean error.. i'm about to go postal on this machine help me safe it please...
by unknown on May 19, 2010 at 8:06am Add comment
UR M-eye Hero! zero'ing the "flush" finally bounced mine back to life. Gr8 wrk. I luv this printer and didn't want to have to trash it.
by unknown on May 28, 2010 at 11:43am Add comment
i have the message unable to ptint 4f can somone help me? brother mfc695cw
by stefano100 on Jun 9, 2010 at 7:12am Add comment
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!! The instructions on this page really helped. I'm really grateful!
by unknown on Jun 16, 2010 at 2:08pm Add comment
I have a MFC 665-CW and getting the message error 50. I tried purging and flushing, and neither one worked. Any tips?
by unknown on Jun 21, 2010 at 4:29pm Add comment
i Think to fix this issues one must know about the code which you are getting....please get the number of code so that it will be easier to get the problem fix...
by kevin_techno on Jul 8, 2010 at 2:31am Add comment
After following the directions posted here, the "Unable to Clean- 50" problem is not solved on my MFC-665CW.The printhead at the far right side of the carriage can't be moved. There are no visible jams. Is there a solution for this?
by unknown on Sep 13, 2010 at 9:58am Add comment
unable to init. see user guide & routine maint. Followed steps to reset purge counter to 0000 but still get this message
by unknown on Sep 27, 2010 at 10:52am Add comment
Brother 440cn - insructions worked perfectly to remove 'unable to print 46' error. THANK YOU, for very clear instructions!!
by unknown on Oct 1, 2010 at 11:31am Add comment
Also works for a Brother DCP-560CN if you follow the same intsructions. To get the numbers you have to use the up/down keys & ok after the first number.

eg Step 3 Press 80

scroll using up key to 8, then ok
scroll to 0, then ok

use this same method on the 2783 code

& thanks a million for saving my printer
by r1976 on Oct 9, 2010 at 11:18am Add comment
I have brother mfc5460cn. It displays "No Cartridge: Open ink cartridge cover, then reinstall ink cartridge." I replaced all of the cartridges but still the same message continues to appear. Do you have any suggestions as to how I could fix or reset this problem? Thank you ahead of time.
by unknown on Jan 11, 2011 at 9:28pm Add comment
I have a brother mfc-665cw that is not printing in black only in colour. I have replace the cartridge with a new one with no luck, can any assist with this issue??
by chrislem on Mar 3, 2011 at 8:40am Add comment
I have mfc5440. Tried the purge and flush procedure but i still get "unable to clean" The spongy rectangle piece near the platen is soaked with ink.
by unknown on Mar 21, 2011 at 7:25pm Add comment
Our 73 year old lady friend has an MFC440CN with the dreaded "Unable to Clean 51" problem. I have tried resetting the Purge Counter and the Flush Counter and "Machine Code51" (sic) and absorbed as much ink as possible from the (approximately) 1/2" square foam piece next to the left side of the printhead. No joy with all that.

This all started when she replaced the cyan and the magenta LC51 ink cartridges. She has always used genuine Brother cartridges. Ink volume shows yellow level a little low (maybe 1/4) and B, M, C 3/4 or more so dumping the printer now would be extra hard on her.

She can not afford a new printer - and really loved this printer while it worked.

Any additional suggestions, other than taking it in for repair, (which she can't afford either) would be very much appreciated.
by Denali89107 on Mar 24, 2011 at 1:43am Add comment
Great fix and many thanks to the person who posted it.

I found that just clearing the Purge code was not sufficient on the MFC-5440CN. Had to clear all the codes (I suspect especially the error 46 code) using the same "99" code, and then the machine began working again.

Why do they make these things so hard to get to in the manual or on the machine? Okay, stupid question. Anyway, thanks once more to the poster of the solution!
by Skywalker099 on Apr 14, 2011 at 5:11pm Add comment
Getting this message and trying to get into maintenance mode. Now I cannot power off the machine without unplugging. When I press and hold the on/off button, nothing happens. When I unplug and replug, the same "unable to clean" message comes up. HELP!
by melaniehady on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:27am Add comment
great information on clearing the error code 46. cannot clean
i have a brother mfc5440cn. the 99 does not work after you purge the 2 areas mentioned. you have to unplug and plug back in to reset

thanks a bunch
by unknown on Apr 28, 2011 at 7:38pm Add comment
i have mfc-5440cn and the yellow is not printing and i have tried cleaning...i tried reading through all of the above, but still dont see a tried and true method to getting this resolved...anyone??? thanks
by reitz1 on May 10, 2011 at 8:18am Add comment
Thanks folks for all the info. I did the Purge and Flush. But then got Error 41. Tried to get at the printhead, no joy. Now going to buy new printer. Appreciate the wonderful help though. Cheers, Ann.
by Annie810 on Jun 6, 2011 at 6:33pm Add comment
I do get a good print if I set the printer to FINE high gloss photo paper... but when I set back to normal/pain paper I get incomplete printing of the letters. Cleaning still does not help.
I am hoping that "Time will heal all wounds" . . .KI sure B"big" BROTHER will not stand behind their product like Epson does... when I had a plugged ink line, Epson sent me a new printer and a return box for the old...
by unknown on Jun 18, 2011 at 8:27pm Add comment
Thank You great help all working now
by unknown on Jun 21, 2011 at 2:56am Add comment
You guys are the best have a MFC-210C worked first time, THANKS. don't know how long it will last but I gently absorbed ink on foam pad (left) with tissue on Q-tip.
by james_1966 on Jul 29, 2011 at 4:18pm Add comment
Hi I get a 'clean unable 4F' on a Brother MFC-240C. Is there some one who can help me please
by Izak on Aug 3, 2011 at 5:00am Add comment
Hi I get a 'clean unable 4F' on a Brother MFC-240C. Is there some one who can help me please
by Izak on Aug 3, 2011 at 5:03am Add comment
Thanks, it took me all of two minutes to get the printer back in working condition!
by unknown on Aug 21, 2011 at 8:14am Add comment
Many many thanks. This fixed my MFC845.
by bpettit on Sep 16, 2011 at 9:54am Add comment

I am unable to clean the machine, All the times I get the message
trouble shooter routine check see the manual book. I followed
the routine check up bu still no results.

Would you be kind to advise accordingly.

by unknown on Sep 21, 2011 at 5:28pm Add comment
Machine off
- Switch on the machine while holding down the “menu”button then press *2864. Now you are in “maintenance” mode.
- press 80
- press the “mono start” button then press arrow down several times until you see “purge: xxxx”
- press “2783” in order to reset the purge counter. You will see: “purge:0000”
- press the "stop" button.
- press “99” to exit the maintenance mode.
by blythe on Oct 3, 2011 at 2:14am Add comment

by unknown on Oct 4, 2011 at 10:19am Add comment
I have a mfc-5440cn that i got from my son .i ahd to replace the
black ink cartridge when i installed it it safs no cartridge installed ,when i reinstall it it still says the same thing ,do i need to replace all of the color cartridges ,all i want to do is copy in black not color thanks stevo
by unknown on Oct 22, 2011 at 2:25am Add comment
Have a mfc-5640cn copier that wont print anymore. Maintenance & troubleshooting message "unable to print 4f" shows up???? No code or
instruction in manual. Anyone know how to fix problem????
by unknown on Nov 27, 2011 at 12:57pm Add comment
Need Help!
I cleared my printer of all paper jam's but I keep getting the message "PAPER JAM". Printer does not let me turn it off unless I unplug it. I opened up every area of the printer and no trace of paper jam.
by unknown on Dec 16, 2011 at 9:38am Add comment
unable to clean message MFC 420CN used purge steps worked great thanks
by unknown on Dec 27, 2011 at 9:24pm Add comment
I have a brother MFC-665cw. My printer keep on saying " NO cartridge-Black". last week it said that black was empty( i was still half-full) so I ordered some from a new company because of cheaper prices. Tried them out when they came in and got the no Cartridge message. I sent them back and bought ink from the same company that I have used for the past 3 years. Ink came in today and when I stuck it in the printer it said the same thing. I took out all of the ink and then reset the printer. It never registered that all the ink was missing. I tried to reset the printer multiple times. Unplugging it and then tried to go into the maintenance mode. after getting aggravated I decided that I needed to get away from the printer before it ended up flying into the field. I unplugged it and left it alone for 30 min. I held in the menu button and pushed in *2864 again and all id did was do this annoying beep and a message popped up that said " NO Cartridge-Black" and I walked away. How do I get the printer to accept the cartridge? I need to print 20 choir books for a wedding on next saturday morning!!!
by unknown on Dec 31, 2011 at 11:00am Add comment
brother mfc 6490cw pulizia impossibile 50....what i do for this problem error
by unknown on Jan 16, 2012 at 2:52am Add comment
re Brother MFC5440-CN,
Your messages with procedure to solve "unable to clean" sounds great, BUT like some of the other comments, mine has the printer head jammed far from home, and doesn't want to return. I see that some of the comments are the same as my problem, but no one seems to have a solution to the JAM problem - PLEASE help.
I will send kisses to the most helpful reply.
by Fussy on Mar 26, 2012 at 11:31pm Add comment
I have a Brother MFC 5440CN printer too, and although I have all four inks in working conditions, the black one (and only that) doesn't reach the paper at all. I have no error messages, it seems that the cleaning process completely goes till it's end, but then the printing lack of the black ink. I did the standard cleaning about a dozen times with no result. Also I've heard that there's a pump between the ink tanks and the head, and somewhere from the pump to the head the ink can be dried in to the system. While the ink can't flush out the closed dry part, possibly I need to know how to dismantle the machine for clean with alcohol or something...
Thanks in advance.
by unknown on Apr 1, 2012 at 2:19pm Add comment
Our Brother Customer Service Representatives will be happy to assist you with resolving your problem. Please contact Brother Customer Service at: 1-877-276-8437 between 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM (EST)
by unknown on Apr 3, 2012 at 9:33am Add comment
Great site and very easy to follow & cure my problem on MFC-410CN. Can anyone point out a link as to where to to get a new ink absorber and how to fit it please. Thanks
by unknown on Apr 16, 2012 at 10:24am Add comment
I recently had an issue printing with my 420CN and after checking closely I found a part under the print head that was causing issues with printing.

Here is a picture of the part

Can someone tell me what it is and where it goes. I want to try to put it back where is belongs or I will leave it out if it won't hurt much.

I appreciate the help.
by unknown on Jun 6, 2012 at 7:17am Add comment
I've had the Brother MFC5440CN for many years. I love it. I got the unable to clean message after changing one of my cartridges. I had a repair person come out who played with it for a little while & said I should just buy a new printer. I searched for a solution online & found this site.

I followed the instructions above & am printing again! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
by unknown on Jun 12, 2012 at 1:09pm Add comment
omg thank you soooo much this was the next place i looked after the dumb manual (which told me nothing useful) thanks so much for bs free, easy to follow info which saved my ass as I have an assignment due 2m and was freaking out that it wouldn't print! lifesaver,,,cheers! all the way from Ireland :)
by unknown on Jul 1, 2012 at 2:28pm Add comment
The maintenance mode precedure worked fine for me. Error 46 and the UNABLE TO CLEAN message went away. Thanks to all.
by unknown on Jul 11, 2012 at 3:18am Add comment
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! You saved me time and money (having to take printer to authorized Brother repair).
Followed your directions, and I'm up and running again. My machine is a Brother MFC-420CN, but your solution worked. Someone needs to let Brother know. Purchased this printer in 2005 and it seems to be a real "work horse".
by winniea on Aug 5, 2012 at 1:39pm Add comment
Hi, I have this printer and the pickup roller has stopped altogether. The printer will print fine if I physically push the paper until it is far enough to print but I was wondering if there is anythiung that I can do to repair/replace this. There dont appear tob be any replacement parts available online. Many thanks.
by unknown on Aug 6, 2012 at 1:57am Add comment
by dineshkj58 on Sep 4, 2012 at 10:13pm Add comment
by dineshkj58 on Sep 4, 2012 at 10:15pm Add comment
by dineshkj58 on Sep 4, 2012 at 10:22pm Add comment
To Anonymous;
I fixed my Brother MFC-5440CN with your instructions. Lots and lots of THANKS!
Inge, the Netherlands
by unknown on Sep 5, 2012 at 9:33am Add comment
MFC 5440CN
Got: "ERROR 4F"
Then pressed "80" and it said "OK"
but did not fix the problem.
I do NOT have a 'mono start' button.
It says 2 of my inks are low, could THAT be the ONLY problem???
by johntile on Sep 11, 2012 at 6:22pm Add comment
Clarify Helpful Hints on fix for "Unable to Clean" message:

1) With the Printer in the "OFF" mode, holding down the Menu button then pressing the On/Off button on the Printer does not work. Plug the power cord into an Electrical Strip with an On/Off button and use this instead.

2) My MFC-5440CN does not have a "Mono Start" button. Use the "Black Start" button instead.

The posted fix worked like a CHARM to fix the "Unable to Clean" error message on my Printer. I am very thankful for it.

With Kind Regards.
by anonvic on Oct 3, 2012 at 11:15pm Add comment
Thank you! The info here is helpful, especially because it's not in the User's Guide.
by unknown on Oct 15, 2012 at 12:04pm Add comment
Can you please tell me where you bought your ink absorber? I have the same problem and need to replace mine, but cannot find the correct part number or where to get it from. Mine is a MFC 5440CN. Thanks.
by jaygee1969 on Oct 16, 2012 at 4:37am Add comment
I just tried the fix as a temporary measure and it worked - machine started printing again, hoorah.


1.I got a Device Driver message come up on the screen saying:

Device driver software was not successfully installed
USB Composite Device Ready to use
USB Printing Support Ready to use
Unidentified Device No driver found
Unidentified Device No driver found
BrotherBHL2-Maintenance No driver found

As the printer has printed the stuff that was in the queue can I assume that I am safe to ignore this?

2. Am I right in understanding that I will still need to replace the Ink Absorber at some point? Can anyone please point me in the right direction to find one?

Thanks again.
by jaygee1969 on Oct 16, 2012 at 5:55am Add comment
Just found this really useful advice on another website so thought I would copy it here as it answers some questions above.

To replace/inspect the ink absorber MFC5440: Unhook the blue scanner arm by pushing in at the bottom and move (and support) the scanner/ADF to an upright position so you can get to all the screws. Undo 8 x cross head screws plus 2 x small cross heads at the front of the cover. Remove the small cover plate and the long cover plate. (These can be carefully levered out with the aid of a flat head screw driver). Pull out the ribbon cable under the small cover and remove the 3 connectors under the long plate. Unscrew the cable clamp to the two black ground cables. Unhook all cables and you should be able to carefully lift the top cover. Once off you will see the ink absorber at the rear/left of the carriage. Disconnect the small and large tubes on the right hand side and the absorber can be lifted out.

Once out, I inspected mine and it was pretty dry and even the very left hand end of the absorbent material was still white. Touching the absorbent material proved that it was quite dry and not full of ink so I did not replace it. Personally I think the ink probably evaporates as fast as it fills the absorbent material so you are probably safe to just reset the counters 'purge & flush' and continue to use the printer.

However, if it needs replacing you would need to order LF7544001. I found one of these on Amazon - /Sparepart-Brother-ABSORBER-ASSY-LF7544001/dp/B0026S60MQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie =UTF8&qid=1350391966&sr=8-1

1) It doesn't look (to me) like you could clean/wash out the absorber. You would need to buy a new one.
2) It's best to wear some protective gloves if you don't want to get ink on your hands!
by jaygee1969 on Oct 16, 2012 at 7:08am Add comment

Perfect advice! We bought 3 of these printers all at the same time and all 3 of them came up with the same message within days of each other!!! (got to wonder haven't you).

The one in the office is now repaired, looking forward to getting home to try this there and have just forwarded your advice to my business partner.

by unknown on Nov 6, 2012 at 3:00pm Add comment
Error 46, what to do with error 46.
here's how we did it.
switch on while holding down menu button until all three led lights flash.
press 80
press mono-start
(now heres the tricky bit.)
what you are looking for here is not just until you reach purge. but look for all of the displays that show a counter;(check at each press of the mono-start) counters for number of prints; counters for number of copies either mono or colour, number of cleans, etc etc etc, on all of these press 2783 to clear them back to zero, there are 8 or 10 of them in total;
press stop
press 99 to exit maintenence mode
and hey presto, it worked for us, I hope it works for you.

by unknown on Dec 3, 2012 at 12:25pm Add comment
After trying the above on my MFC 6490CW i found more items to reset. Use "Menu" then "*2864" to enter maintenace mode, then "80", then go through each of the menu's using the up or down arrows. On each option click "ok" to enter further sub menus typing "2783" to reset them. I got fed up trying just the Purge and Flush reset and reset everything i could. It's working fine now at last.
by sem850 on Jan 6, 2013 at 12:21pm Add comment
This site is better than the book. Thanks Everyone!!!
by unknown on Jan 20, 2013 at 2:14pm Add comment

Bingo! This fix did the trick.
Thank you. Saved space in the landfill - at least for now!
by unknown on Jan 29, 2013 at 5:03pm Add comment
Help, I've cleaned the machine about 9 times, replaced all the ink and it won't print the cyan. I'm assuming it's clogged. I did the purge thing above. Does anyone know how to fix this? I love this machine and I'm sure it won't be worth getting it serviced. Thanks in advance!
by beachandclimb on Feb 4, 2013 at 6:25pm Add comment
I have brother mfc-5895cw and i have also 46 error. Your tips doesen't works. Sombody can help me ?
by unknown on Mar 11, 2013 at 8:52am Add comment
I have brother mfc-j220 and i have also 48 error, and see troubleshooting in user's guide
by unknown on Mar 20, 2013 at 9:33pm Add comment
My mfc5460cn is saying machine error 50 at the end of maintenance code and once out of there it says clean unable 50. Is there anything else I need to do to troubleshoot this issue?
by enoccontreras84 on May 5, 2013 at 4:28pm Add comment
The print head is on the far right side and will not move. Am getting unable to clean 50, and machine error 50. I suspect this is the reason, as I have tried every other suggestion here - no paper jam, clearing all counters. Have new cartridges.

Is there any way to get the print head moved to the center?
by wishdr on May 25, 2013 at 5:30pm Add comment
I actually have the Brother MFC-J825dw

I have changed all the ink cartridges, which were all full but the printing is horrible, sketchy and needs a cleaning. All the advice above says to turn off printer and hit menu button. THERE IS NO MENU BUTTON unless the machine is turned on!

I cannot find any info anywhere, and this machine is about 8 months old.

Thank you in advance, PLEASE answer!

by LynneB on Jul 23, 2013 at 4:39pm Add comment
Thanks for the advice! Printing once again.
by unknown on Jul 31, 2013 at 3:15pm Add comment
Great worked out how to find the error code and then cleared it, no problems. Now back working and so very happy.
by unknown on Apr 10, 2014 at 3:19pm Add comment
UPDATE: It took me awhile to find this but here is how I eventually cleaned the heads on my Brother and it WORKS: On MENU touch INK LEVELS which is on the far left and then just follow the directions! It took me awhile to figure this out, hope it helps you!
by LynneB on Apr 12, 2014 at 9:56am Add comment
by scorpio77 on Oct 11, 2014 at 7:50am Add comment
Brother MFC-J630W 'Unable to Clean 5A

Resetting the Purge and Flush in the maintenance menu helped me.
Thank you!
by unknown on Feb 14, 2015 at 3:23pm Add comment
Great, I had to reset also the "flush counte"r to 0000, now it is workink okay
by fridoglo on May 13, 2015 at 8:39am Add comment


by L8BLOOMR on Dec 28, 2015 at 4:05pm Add comment