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How to clear up one missing nozzle? Concerned it'll damage my printhead


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I have 1 broken line on my Magenta for the P400 that refuses to clear up. The prints still look fine and accurate but I got a feeling it will hurt the printer in the long run. What can I do to get this cleared up? I ran a bunch of head cleans since this began and even a few ink purges but nothing worked.

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10 minutes ago, Mdrake2016 said:

I have 1 broken line on my Magenta for the P400 that refuses to clear up. The prints still look fine and accurate but I got a feeling it will hurt the printer in the long run. What can I do to get this cleared up? I ran a bunch of head cleans since this began and even a few ink purges but nothing worked.

What cleaner are you using to clear the clog? Running dry nozzles will permanently damage them after some time since the ink cools them. I’ve run into this a couple times with DTG. At one point a lost my magenta entirely, so I swapped over a white to magenta and that head is still working today missing one channel. 
 

I haven’t had a serious clog yet, but with DTG/reviving an old dried out pigment ink parts machine I would soak the head( cleaner filled carts and wet capped) with some decent cleaner that I’ve used the last several years. After about 5 minutes, it’s always been fixed. The cleaner I use though is pretty serious and anything past 10-15 minutes starts to deteriorate the head.

Sticking to 5 minutes only each time, I’ve never had a problem, only success.

 

the same cleaner makes cleaning the wiper and cap of old dried ink a breeze. 2 swipes and it’s all gone, even if it’s gooey and a huge blob. 
 

Having a good cleaner is key. 

Edited by johnson4
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1 minute ago, johnson4 said:

What cleaner are you using to clear the clog? Running dry nozzles will permanently damage them after some time since the ink cools them. I haven’t had a serious clog yet, but with DTG/reviving an old dried out pigment ink parts machine I would soak the head( cleaner filled carts and wet capped) with some decent cleaner that I’ve used the last several years. After about 5 minutes, it’s always been fixed. The cleaner I use though is pretty serious and anything past 10-15 minutes starts to deteriorate the head. Sticking to 5 minutes only each time, I’ve never had a problem, only success.

I use the Firebird "GTX Optimized Cleaning Solution" but yesterday I ordered some Capping Station fluid and Printhead Cleaning solution from DTFSuperstore since they're finally back in stock. Looking at the label, it says "GTX is a registered trademark of Brother International Corporation", but I'm not sure if that makes a difference or not. This is what they sent when I ordered their regular solution.

This clog actually happened after 4 days of being away, with cleaning carts inside of them. I purged the inks before I left. Once I came back, this problem was there and I can't clear it. I wet cap every night. I feel like my issue may have been the capping station bubbling that I posted about in the other thread. Maybe ink dried up below the printhead.

I saw videos of people using Windex to clear clogs. I've read that this shouldn't be done but people seem to have success as long as they don't leave it there for too long. What do you think? Or is that cleaner you use the only solution?

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4 hours ago, johnson4 said:

What cleaner are you using to clear the clog? Running dry nozzles will permanently damage them after some time since the ink cools them. I’ve run into this a couple times with DTG. At one point a lost my magenta entirely, so I swapped over a white to magenta and that head is still working today missing one channel. 
 

I haven’t had a serious clog yet, but with DTG/reviving an old dried out pigment ink parts machine I would soak the head( cleaner filled carts and wet capped) with some decent cleaner that I’ve used the last several years. After about 5 minutes, it’s always been fixed. The cleaner I use though is pretty serious and anything past 10-15 minutes starts to deteriorate the head.

Sticking to 5 minutes only each time, I’ve never had a problem, only success.

 

the same cleaner makes cleaning the wiper and cap of old dried ink a breeze. 2 swipes and it’s all gone, even if it’s gooey and a huge blob. 
 

Having a good cleaner is key. 

What do you think about trying the windex? Or can you tell me which cleaner you use?

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12 minutes ago, Mdrake2016 said:

What do you think about trying the windex? Or can you tell me which cleaner you use?

Windex is a bad idea, Usually in my opinion. It doesn't clean well and it can damage the printhead. People used it back in the day because the ammonia helped break down stock inks. The problem with Windex, It's designed to DRY/EVAPORATE. So while it may work, In the very beginning when I though I would " cheap out" and get good results, All I got was clogs, a hard time cleaning, and eventual printhead failure. That's why it's equally a bad idea to use alcohol. Sometimes it seemed to help, but directly afterwards I'd get even worse clogs, blaming the ink, printhead, printer etc.. Not myself for using inferior cleaning solution on an expensive setup. 

You can purchase good cleaner for $20-$30 a liter, I go through 2-3 liters a year with at least 4-5 prints being cleaned and used daily. $60-$80 a year isn't bad at all to maintain my fleet of equipment and prevent costly repairs/downtime.

I've been doing this now for about 3 years with only fantastic results, I mean, ever since I started using this cleaner to clean the wiper, head, flush, etc I haven't had a single failure, or failure to unclog a clog, except when the printhead was damaged due to a lack of flow and the nozzles being permanently damaged, which happened once. This usually stemmed from a clogged cartridge, damper, or bad capping station and I didn't notice it in time, and has always been the white ( since there are 4 whites, sometimes it's hard to tell).

 

If you built a machine that could make you  several thousands of dollars a month, I genuinely think it's work the little extra cost to maintain that printer properly, even if it seems like your using $1 liquid that you paid $20 for, Your not. I learned the hard way. It's actually cheaper for the cleaning solution in the long run, I was buying windex by the gallon, and went through a ton of it because it took so much to get things going. If I had to choose between distilled water and glass cleaner at this point, I'd rather use the water. If water wasn't an option, I'd rather risk the printhead sitting as-is until I can obtain distilled water than using Windex, Especially on a printhead that is so expensive. 

 

I get short term these solutions seem like a great idea, but anyone with real experience, who has experienced the cost of downtime, maintenance and repairs, possibly costing thousands of dollars a day ( This has happened to me too) generally use proper materials. Making the machine work is easy, keeping the machine working long term without replacing components every month or two, well that comes from experience. After you lose a $1,000 printhead, and miss out on $2,000-$4,000 worth of orders, You learn it's not worth it. 

 

Even 500ML of stock EPSON cleaner is only $20, while that seems expensive, it lasts a very long time- and works fantastic- especially if you dilute it a bit with distilled water. 

 

Anyway, Again, My opinion based from my experience, results may vary. 

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1 hour ago, johnson4 said:

Anyway, Again, My opinion based from my experience, results may vary. 

I have read the same in other forums from experienced printers, but I can never figure out what is an actual good cleaner to get? Can you please recommend a few good ones that can get these clogs under control? I'm pretty sure I know what caused this but now I need to figure out how to get it cleared.

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On 7/28/2021 at 1:40 PM, Mdrake2016 said:

I have read the same in other forums from experienced printers, but I can never figure out what is an actual good cleaner to get? Can you please recommend a few good ones that can get these clogs under control? I'm pretty sure I know what caused this but now I need to figure out how to get it cleared.

Mdrake2016,

In my p600 all I ever use is 80% original window cleaner and 20% isopropyl alcohol mix together for cleaning and capping ( window cleaner with no ammonia and at least 70% isopropyl alcohol ). 

I have successfully unclogged every clogged printhead i've ever had. I use this mixture on all my sublimation printers for over 8 years now. I not to long ago bought a Muton RJ900X sublimation printer that the guy had ink spill all over the capping station and waste tank. The printer had clogged head. The ink cartridge had dried ink buildup. I let the print head soak and I poured the mixture in the cartridge for a week. It cleaned it all now the cartridge is flowing great and got all the head waterfall unclogged and flowing great.

I also use this mixture in the capping station after I'm done printing every night wit the dtg p600. Firebird ink was causing lots of ink build up. I switched to dupont ink best thing I ever did. Firebird ink clogged my Y connector on the capping station to waste bottle. Firebird ink was causing me too many problems.

Try that mixture yourself and see how it cleans the ink off. Im switching the dtg over to dtf and will still be using this mixture.

papa

 

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On 7/28/2021 at 4:40 PM, Mdrake2016 said:

I have read the same in other forums from experienced printers, but I can never figure out what is an actual good cleaner to get? Can you please recommend a few good ones that can get these clogs under control? I'm pretty sure I know what caused this but now I need to figure out how to get it cleared.

Are you in the USA?

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6 hours ago, anum11 said:

Good cleaner dissolves the ink dont wears the actual printhead. It is This balance.

 

I can send you some of mine if you want, I buy the cleaner and then “modify” or “ dilute” it with water and vegetable glycerin. I have taken apart so many new Epson’s, it’s basically like the stock Epson fluid they use plus the cleaner. Both of the additives are inert so there isn’t anything “ bad” being mixed. 
 

it dissolves the dried ink on the wiper very easily, it glides easily ( lubricant for the rubber instead of drying it out) which makes cleaning even easier.  It’s not going to help permanently damaged nozzles/printheads. 

same for the cap, cleans it up very easily and you can wet cap for months without the fear of it evaporating, or damaging the printhead. Basically just deep cleans. 

 

the same solution will also remove clogs. You can use cleaner carts, and wet cap with it, for me, it removes “ removable” clogs within an hour of soaking, usually immediately. 
 

I have used it for two years or so now, I think, if not it’s been longer. Works great at pigment/dye/DTG/DTF inks. Sublimation inks and solvent inks it doesn’t work on. 

as long as I use this stuff to clean with, and put a tiny bit in the cap, I’ve let them sit for months even with ink carts in without an issue. Using this cleaner I was able to run the 15000 without issues related to the nozzles. 
 

i let a DTG printer sit for 5-6 months and it suffered 0 clogging, even with the ink still installed. Same for my 15000, P400/p800 DTF machines for various times. That’s without removing the ink in some of them. 
 

cleaners you buy, it’s a wild guess how well they work. Some work better on certain inks, but they are a bit expensive. I make a gallon of cleaner for about $40, and it works better than any cleaner I have tried. 
 

if not, like me in the beginning it’s ordering small bottles from various places until you find one you like, which was expensive, at least for me. I would personally start out with what Andy offers if not, it worked pretty good compared to others like it. 

I haven’t found any that work as good as what I use, but that’s me. I feel like it’s “ my secret” to success on not having a single printhead issue since I’ve used it. 
 

 

Edited by johnson4
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Just starting out in DTF, stocking up on initial supplies. I'm more than happy to buy from Andy at DTFSupertore, but confused on how many different cleaning supplies I need listed there. 

  • Printhead Cleaning Solution
  • Printer Flushing Fluid
  • Capping Station Solution
  • Clog Buster

I expect the clog buster to be stronger, more concentrated, but how about the other 3? I've read in a Facebook forum (yeah, I know, just saying) that I can use the first 3 interchangeably.  But are they just different strengths/dilutions of the same thing (e.g. can I dilute one to get another), or is it not that simple?  

Should I buy all 3? (and the clog buster "just in case")?

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10 minutes ago, TeedUp said:

Just starting out in DTF, stocking up on initial supplies. I'm more than happy to buy from Andy at DTFSupertore, but confused on how many different cleaning supplies I need listed there. 

  • Printhead Cleaning Solution
  • Printer Flushing Fluid
  • Capping Station Solution
  • Clog Buster

I expect the clog buster to be stronger, more concentrated, but how about the other 3? I've read in a Facebook forum (yeah, I know, just saying) that I can use the first 3 interchangeably.  But are they just different strengths/dilutions of the same thing (e.g. can I dilute one to get another), or is it not that simple?  

Should I buy all 3? (and the clog buster "just in case")?

They are all slightly different to accommodate each stage without damage. 
 

flushing is designed to be stronger to clean the ink lines. 
 

cleaning solution is mild and can be left in the printer. 
 

capping fluid is designed to not dry out and keep the nozzles wet

 

clog buster is designed to clear clogs, and shouldn’t ever be left to soak very long, usually clog clearing cleaners can damage the head after extended use. 
 

you could use the first 3 interchangeable, but it isn’t going to be the “best” way, but if you had to, the printer head cleaner would work for all three. People with experience know.

Edited by johnson4
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35 minutes ago, johnson4 said:

They are all slightly different to accommodate each stage without damage. 
 

flushing is designed to be stronger to clean the ink lines. 
 

cleaning solution is mild and can be left in the printer. 
 

capping fluid is designed to not dry out and keep the nozzles wet

 

clog buster is designed to clear clogs, and shouldn’t ever be left to soak very long, usually clog clearing cleaners can damage the head after extended use. 
 

you could use the first 3 interchangeable, but it isn’t going to be the “best” way, but if you had to, the printer head cleaner would work for all three. People with experience know.

So cleaning solution can be made by diluting flushing fluid (which would be odd because the cleaning solution is priced higher @ $30/900ml vs $30/L of flushing) and the capping fluid can be made from diluting either of the other 2 (although the capping solution is most expensive $15/250ml)?

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1 hour ago, TeedUp said:

So cleaning solution can be made by diluting flushing fluid (which would be odd because the cleaning solution is priced higher @ $30/900ml vs $30/L of flushing) and the capping fluid can be made from diluting either of the other 2 (although the capping solution is most expensive $15/250ml)?

If that’s what you want to do, Been there-done that type of situation. Printheads cost me about $600 each back then.

each have different ingredients, to better serve its individual purpose. I’m sure the “cleaner” ingredients are just diluted/concentrated variations throughout them. That doesn’t exclude the other additives for each “use”. You could easily make your own with research. Too strong, it’ll destroy the head over time. Too light, it’s ineffective. For the capping fluid, you need something other than water so it doesn’t evaporate easily, like a water soluble lubricant.

 

any mistake with this, and it will damage the head immediately, or over time with use in either scenario. 
 

If you want to save money short term, just use distilled water for flushing and capping. long term, it’s a gamble, you need something that will break down the dried ink. 

It’s all a very small price to pay to have a reliable money making machine. 
 

the number one reason for these machines are failing outright, is lack of a good cleaning schedule, and lack of using the proper supplies to do so. Ever since I got that down exactly, I’ve had 0 failures/issues. 
 

Across multiple printers, unless I flush ink lines, a liter( 1000ml) lasts me easily 3-4 months- that’s with cleaning and wet capping daily. 


good luck!

Edited by johnson4
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/28/2021 at 2:11 PM, johnson4 said:

Windex is a bad idea, Usually in my opinion. It doesn't clean well and it can damage the printhead. People used it back in the day because the ammonia helped break down stock inks. The problem with Windex, It's designed to DRY/EVAPORATE. So while it may work, In the very beginning when I though I would " cheap out" and get good results, All I got was clogs, a hard time cleaning, and eventual printhead failure. That's why it's equally a bad idea to use alcohol. Sometimes it seemed to help, but directly afterwards I'd get even worse clogs, blaming the ink, printhead, printer etc.. Not myself for using inferior cleaning solution on an expensive setup. 

You can purchase good cleaner for $20-$30 a liter, I go through 2-3 liters a year with at least 4-5 prints being cleaned and used daily. $60-$80 a year isn't bad at all to maintain my fleet of equipment and prevent costly repairs/downtime.

I've been doing this now for about 3 years with only fantastic results, I mean, ever since I started using this cleaner to clean the wiper, head, flush, etc I haven't had a single failure, or failure to unclog a clog, except when the printhead was damaged due to a lack of flow and the nozzles being permanently damaged, which happened once. This usually stemmed from a clogged cartridge, damper, or bad capping station and I didn't notice it in time, and has always been the white ( since there are 4 whites, sometimes it's hard to tell).

 

If you built a machine that could make you  several thousands of dollars a month, I genuinely think it's work the little extra cost to maintain that printer properly, even if it seems like your using $1 liquid that you paid $20 for, Your not. I learned the hard way. It's actually cheaper for the cleaning solution in the long run, I was buying windex by the gallon, and went through a ton of it because it took so much to get things going. If I had to choose between distilled water and glass cleaner at this point, I'd rather use the water. If water wasn't an option, I'd rather risk the printhead sitting as-is until I can obtain distilled water than using Windex, Especially on a printhead that is so expensive. 

 

I get short term these solutions seem like a great idea, but anyone with real experience, who has experienced the cost of downtime, maintenance and repairs, possibly costing thousands of dollars a day ( This has happened to me too) generally use proper materials. Making the machine work is easy, keeping the machine working long term without replacing components every month or two, well that comes from experience. After you lose a $1,000 printhead, and miss out on $2,000-$4,000 worth of orders, You learn it's not worth it. 

 

Even 500ML of stock EPSON cleaner is only $20, while that seems expensive, it lasts a very long time- and works fantastic- especially if you dilute it a bit with distilled water. 

 

Anyway, Again, My opinion based from my experience, results may vary. 

May i ask what cleaner you have been using? 

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