Canon MP980 Printer Head Cleaning

I’ve been having some problems with my Canon MP980.  First the black was sketchy and wouldn’t pass the grid tests.  After lots of head cleanings, it finally was working.  Then about a month later, the Cyan was faded (which came back) and the Black would print for a page and then get lighter and lighter, eventually not printing at all.  So after a little internet research I decided to give cleaning the printer heads a go.

The best article I found was an answer to My printer does not print light magenta. (Canon MP220 – CL-38).  It references another extended discussion on whirlpoll, Print Head Cleaning Canon MP980 which has even more information.

Step 1: Remove the Ink Cartridges

Open the printer and remove the ink cartridges.  Place them in a zip lock bag so they don’t dry out.

Step 2: Remove the Print Head.

Lift the Gray Lever up, grab the print head firmly and pull out under the gray lever.

The print head is now removed.

Step 3: Clean the print head with warm water

Run warm water gently  through the ink jet ports.  Ink will come pouring out the bottom.  Turn to spray the bottom and sides as well.  Do a final rinse with polarized water to get rid of any minerals.

Step 4: Wait for the Print Head to Dry Thoroughly

Set everything aside until the print head is thoroughly dry to prevent any damage to the electronics.  This will take a while to get everything dry.

Step 5: Reassembly

Put the print head back in to the printer, insert the cartridges and test the printer.


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