My Canon IP3000 printer recently started having problems with the black ink. Anything printed in black comes out striped, alternating between dark and light. An example is below.

I've tried the following:

  • Running the printer utility's head cleaning and "deep cleaning" a few times
  • Running the utility's head alignment
  • Replacing the ink cartridge with a new one
  • Removing the print head and cleaning the bottom with denatured alcohol

Anything else I can try before throwing this thing away? I'm considering buying a replacement print head, but is this likely to be solved by replacing the head?

Test Pattern

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    Genuine canaon cartridges or 3rd party? – Dave M Mar 12 '10 at 3:41
  • They're Canons. – JW. Mar 12 '10 at 4:52

I had a very similar problem with my own iP3000, except it was the blue color, not black. I ended up buying a new print head for €55 through Amazon. It solved the issue... For a while!

Given the age of the iP3000, I would actually recommend buying a new printer instead. It's what I would do now myself, if I weren't so frugal.

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  • Just to put a little update on my answer: the new print head really didn't last long either. I should have bought a new printer right away. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Jun 1 '10 at 18:54

You may be running low on ink. Most of the time when you change out the cartridge it will change out the print heads. I would try this.

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  • Already tried that. – JW. Mar 12 '10 at 4:53
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    This printer has printheads that are separate from the ink cartidges. If you REALLY want to fix the printer, you can buy a new printhead, but they generally run ~$75-$100. Alternatively, you can pull out the print heads and soak them in simething (Distiled watter, Isopropyl alcohol, etc...) – Fake Name Mar 12 '10 at 6:47
  • Tried the soaking in alcohol too ... no luck. – JW. Mar 12 '10 at 16:51

As @Fake Name suggests replacing the head would probably work, but you might just try soaking the whole thing in Simple Green first.

The surfactants in the Simple Green do wonders for breaking up ink globs. Alcohol is really only so-so for cleaning print heads. Chances are the clog is either in/around the little piezo pumps or inside the head itself, so soaking is really your best options for cleaning.

If you're brave you can also attempt gently pushing Simple Green or windex through the head with a syringe.

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I used to work with Kodak. Similar problems. Either change the print head or clean the ink. Secret - buy a new printer. They have a new print head and free ink. Print heads run about $70.00.

It's like the shaver analogy. They practically give away the razors and charge astronomical prices for the blades.

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