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Cleaning Epson 1280 inkjets

Daniel Smith , May 08, 2005; 10:26 p.m.

After running into a clogging problem & wasting way too much ink in trying 'cleaning cycles' five times I finally went into the darkroom & got an eyedropper I use for pt/pd real prints & a bottle of alcohol. I took out the ink cartridges & put the alcohol loaded eye dropper over each hole, covering the spouts that go into the ink cartridge,and then squeezed a few drops of alcohol into each color hole. Put the cartridges back in and hit print on 2 pages of color print & writing & all was clean & sharp. I ran another 25 images after with no problems at all. No banding & no trouble.

Any idea if good old rubbing alcohol or Everclear is better for cleaning the printing jets? Or if there is any damage to the plastics in the printer from this? Certainly a lot cheaper than wasting half an ink cartridge on endless cleaning cycles.


Brad W , May 08, 2005; 11:07 p.m.

There's not too much difference chemically between rubbing alcohol (2-propanol) and everclear (ethanol). The inkjet gods at MIS suggests alcohol-based cleaners (see link below), so I'd guess you're fine, especially if everything seems to be working OK.

http://inksupply.info/index.php?_a=knowledgebase thn follow the "unclogging print heads" link on the lower left)


Jim Roberts , May 09, 2005; 09:58 a.m.

I always wondered how much ink is actually used in a cleaning cycle. I often have to cycle my 1280 1-3 times to unclog it if it hasn't been used for awhile (rarely if ever 5 times though). I suspect it is more of a time and inconvenience problem than a significant ink consumption problem (where does the ink actually go if a lot of it is being used).

Jim Rosario , May 09, 2005; 11:07 a.m.

<<(where does the ink actually go if a lot of it is being used).>>

On mine (2000p) it goes into a tray that drains into the bottom of the printer. Holds quite a lot of ink. I've heard that the printer remembers the total # of cleaning cycles and will shut down for servicing before too much ink collects in the holding area. So yes, it uses a lot of ink.

Steven Clark , May 09, 2005; 11:34 a.m.

And to think there are people who drink that stuff.

J Robinson , May 10, 2005; 12:01 a.m.

Mentione this to a nearby Epson pro dealer & he said it would probably save a fortune over time doing it. He then pulled out 3 trays filled with wasted ink from Epson 4000 printers. Ink is expensive & the cleaning cycles waste a lot since one can't choose just the ink color that is having problems. A poor design.

Robert K , May 10, 2005; 07:47 a.m.

It is definitely NOT a poor design if the manufacturer makes more money form their ink than from their printers.

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