How can I fix an inkjet printer where one of the colors isn't printing well anymore?

My Canon PIXMA iP3000 has served me well for a few years, and I print color and B&W material on a regular basis. A few days ago, the cyan has developed a defect -- the printout is striped, so some lines aren't getting printed. This affects all colors that have a cyan component, so color printing (and greyscales!) are ugly, striped, and miscolored.

I'm guessing that the print head itself has become clogged. Is there any way I can fix this?

I've tried the clean and deep clean functions in the printer's software many times (not just twice but maybe 15 times), and replacing the cyan ink cartridge, and printing several all-cyan pages, but the cyan is still striped.

I am considering taking it apart, cleaning the nozzles, and putting it back together again. I'm handy with tools so there's a fair chance it would work, and if it doesn't work afterwards then not much is lost because it doesn't work well now either.


Print heads commonly need to be replaced in high-end inkjet printers (the low end ones tend to be discarded when the print head goes bad, due to their low price point). You can try pulling it out and cleaning it with some isopropyl alcohol (90+% concentration) and that may fix it...but it may not.


Just as an experience report:

I recently had a printer with a clogged cartridge (HP Deskjet). Wiping the cartridge, cleaning with alcohol, soaking overnight and running the head cleaning program helped a bit, but printouts where still terrible.

I gave up, and let it sit for a week. When I tried it again, it worked perfectly. So apparently the soaking and cleaning can take some time to dissolve the dried ink. Maybe this helps someone.


In my search for a solution, I just noticed that Amazon is selling a Canon Printhead ($50 on Amazon, or €51 in Europe).

Would this be a plausible solution?

  • I've removed the print head and cleaned it lightly, without success. I could take it apart and clean it thoroughly with alcohol, but I've decided to purchase a new print head instead. Who knows if my attempts would work, and for how long. New is better, and at a much lower cost than a new printer! – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Oct 16 '09 at 14:29

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