Epson’s Ecotank printers are fabulous. Ink is delivered to the head from 100ml tanks rather than cartridges, so the running costs are lower and there is no interruption to ink supply, and less chance of air entering the head and affecting print quality.

That said, they can still suffer from blockage: if this can’t be cleared by the printer’s own cleaning cycle you’ll need to flush the head and check it’s primed.

Sounds technical, but patience is more important that competence: the cartridges are a bit fiddly to remove but the rest is straightforward.

Tools required

  • Stubby PH1 screwdriver. A PH1 bit can be used with a pair of pliers or look in our 3D printing once it’s up and running.
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Printhead cleaning kit. Our Epson kit has everything you need, but DIY is fine.


Bring the head out from the parked position by pulling the power lead out during printing. (N.B. this can damage the printer but is the only method we know that works)

Lift the lid on the printer and undo the small screw holding the lid down on the printhead

Slide a strip of blotting paper under the head, or preferably slide the head over a piece of paper towel folded into a narrow strip.

Use the flat head screwdriver to free the cartridges and expose the inlet spikes
in the head.

Inject 1ml fluid into any blocked colours using the syringe and tubing. Warming the cleaning fluid beforehand helps, but is not essential.

Check that all the cartridges are free of air. If not (like the one above!), push the syringe tip into the outlet and, with the outlet pointing up, pull the plunger slowly until ink fills the cartridge and enters the barrel of the syringe. This is called ‘repriming’.

Your printer should be clean by now but you can repeat the injection of cleaning fluid after 5-30 mins for a more intense clean. We used to recommend waiting overnight but found that 30mins is just as effective.

Replace the cartridges, screw the lid back on and turn the printer on.

Run a nozzle test and a cleaning cycle, if necessary. Printing a sheet of solid colour is a good way of cleaning a single colour.

If your print isn’t restored after 3 of the printer’s cleaning cycles then repeat the manual clean.

Good luck!

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