In our last article we covered the question on What Are Printheads, where we outlined two different types of printheads and in which devices they can be found, and today we’re going to go through one of the most common questions asked lately, which is – how to clean HP Printheads.

Now, before we begin, keep in mind that your HP Printer is hosting a thermal inkjet print head, an assembly which is heating up and cooling down constantly. That does not only mean that it will not last as long as the Piezo inkjet printheads, but you also have to pamper it and clean it up regularly. To do that, you should perform a HP Printerhead cleaning once every six months, regardless if you got a HP Printer Pritnhead Error or not. In terms of cleaning, you have two options, and today we’re going to go through the first and most simple one:

How to clean the HP Inkjet Printhead on Windows

How to clean HP printheads on WindowsWindows has the easiest method of cleaning an HP Printhead. First, click on the Start button in the lower left corner of your Windows machine, then either type in “Printer And Faxes” or go to the control panel and then find the “Printer and Faxes” option. Click on it.

There you should find your printer icon, right click on it, properties and click on Printing Preferences. Once you’re there, you should see a “service” tab at the top end of the newly opened window, click on it and find the “Printer Services” in the next window.

There you should find the option to “Clean Printheads”, click on it and follow the next steps, soon after your HP printer will perform the process of printhead cleaning. Just be sure to have the device powered on and let it rest a bit after it finishes the process – and that’s it, you cleaned your printhead. In case you’re still seeing strikes and smears, you will need to manually clean the contacts, continue to the solution at the end of this article for more details.

How to clean the HP Inkjet Printhead on Mac

How to clean HP printheads on MacCleaning your HP Printhead on the Mac can be a bit challenging, but is still doable. It’s hidden under the name “Align Printer” and you can find it in any OS after OS X v10.11, El Capitan. First, load an unused U.S. Letter or A4 size plain paper into the printer tray, power on the device and then return to your computer.

At the computer click on the Apple logo and go in to System Preferences and in to Printers and Scanners, there you will find your device. Click on the Open Print Queue button, then on to Printer Setup/Settings button followed by a click on Utility and, then, on to the Open Printer Utility.

At that point you should see a button named Align, click on that, and the printer will start printing the alignment page. Once that page is out, lift the scanner of your printer and place the alignment page on to the scanner for the device to scan it.

After that print another Print Quality Diagnostic Page and try to examine the page and see if it fixed the issues. If the issues are fixed, there you go, printheads are aligned – if not, then you have to manually clean them, and to do that follow the steps below.

How to do a manual clean up of the print heads?

How to clean HP printheadsIf the above steps didn’t help, then there is one more solution in which you have to get your hands a bit dirty, and involves opening up your device and cleaning the printheads manually. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, and we created a full tutorial about it under this link: How To Manually Clean Your HP Printheads.