back to hpplotter

How to handle and clean HP Printheads

Back to Cartridge City

How to handle Printheads

Printheads are high-precision devices and must be handled carefully.  The advice from HP on their handling is as follows:

  • Do not touch, wipe or attempt to clean the printhead nozzles.  This can damage the printhead
  • Do not put the printhead down on the nozzles
  • Do not handle the printheads roughly - always place them down gently
  • Avoid dropping the printheads - proper handling will extend and ensure optimum printhead performance throughout its lifespan

How to clean Printheads

The printheads and/or printhead carriage contacts may gather foreign material that can cause continuity problems.  The process for cleaning printheads and printhead carriage contacts as set out by HP for Designjet 500, 510 and 800 printers are as follows (although the basic cleaning and principles apply to all HP Designjet large format printers):

  1. Switch the printer off, then on
  2. Allow printer to complete initialisation
  3. Using the Down Arrow Key, scroll to the Ink Menu (ink drop icon) and press enter
  4. Scroll to Replace Printheads and press enter
  5. Open the top cover
  6. Open the carriage cover and remove all printheads
  7. Unplug the power cable from the rear of the printer
  8. Clean the electrical contacts on the carriage and the printheads using a lint-free cloth (such as a coffee filter or eye-glass cleaning cloth), where required lightly dampen cloth with water (don't use tap water which may contain contaminants but distilled or bottled water) and set the printhead down onto a sheet of paper or paper towel with nozzles facing up
  9. CAUTION:  Do not clean the printhead nozzle plate (see image below) doing so may cause permanent damage to the printhead
  10. When the contacts are dry, reinstall the printheads and close the carriage cover - don't leave the printhead out of the printer for more than 30 minutes
  11. Close the top cover
  12. Plug in the power cable, turn the printer on and attempt to verify functionality


HP Printhead and Carriage Assembly Cleaning