This is my printer. I love my printer. It's beautiful, and makes wonderful prints when everything is working correctly. But sometimes, I push my printer to do things it doesn't want to do. Sometimes I neglect it longer than I should. Sometimes, it's worked too had for too long. In these situations, things go wrong.
Over the summer, I let the printer sit. I think that combined with my habit of putting things through the printer that it doesn't like (fabric!) caused a major blocked up printer. When I printed my first nozzle check after 6 weeks, it was completely blank.
There's a couple things to do about a horribly clogged printer. My go-to method is placing a folded paper towel dampened with glass cleaner under the printer head over night.
So I did this a bunch.
The next thing to do is run a thousand head cleanings. This takes time, it's a little loud, and because I don't like wasting ink except in the name of art, I don't put it on auto cleaning. Which means I have to babysit the printer. And catch up on my Netflix. And photo editing.
While you watch your link levels slowly lower, you might as well empty your bank account and buy extra cartridges of every color. And a couple new maintenance tanks (the giant white sponge in the print that absorbs all the ink being forced through the printer head during cleaning).
Another thing to check out is an itty bitty wiper blade in the printer. It wipes the printer head of yuck, and can sometimes get caked up itself.
I cleaning the wiper with more glass cleaner and cotton swabs.
Those are most of my tricks. I found this video that was helpful if you're actually cleaning a printer:
And this one is slightly nerve wracking and nightmare inducing, where a printer is taken apart:
So scary! But informative.