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Problem Getting Quality Prints

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  • Problem Getting Quality Prints

    Okay, I need some help here. I have an Epson Stylus Photo 1280 and have been happy with the prints. I mainly print 4x6 to 8x10 prints, but today I am trying to print a few 11x14 and 11x17 prints and I am having some trouble. I keep getting stray black hair-like blots on the image. Not the entire image, but just a speak or two, but it ruins the print. It’s a family portrait and I really want to be able to print a clean image withouth these black ink-hairs. I’ve checked the nozzles and they check out unclogged, and I run a few sheets through before every print to try and ensure no stray ink gets on the print, but so far I still can’t seem to print a completely clean 11x14 print. Any ideas out there?
    Last edited by T Paul; 11-14-2003, 12:22 PM.

  • #2
    Sorry your having trouble with your printer... are you able to show us a scan of those "hair-like" objects? If I see them I'll know what you are talking about



    • #3

      May have found an answer to my own questions....


      As we print many hundreds or even thousands of prints on the Epson printers, there will inevitably come a time when cleanliness inside the printer will adversely effect print quality.

      The Epson printers have no user serviceable parts. The print heads are not meant to be removed and rinsed out. Ink splatters on the inside of the case during cleaning cycles and can build up over time. The print heads are cleaned over the print head cap - and this same cap is used to seal the print head while the printer is off. (More professional Epson printers like the 7000, clean the print heads in a flushing cup separate from the print head caps.) Ink gunk can build up in the printhead cap and be transferred to the printhead.

      One common symptom is a blob of dark ink in the middle of a print. It is obvious from looking at the problem that this is not a printing problem, but a cleanliness problem. The splotch looks like a big drip that fell to the paper as the printhead moved across the sheet.

      Other symptoms can appear as a black scuff or smear on the right side of the print, that results from the bottom of the printhead contacting the edge of the paper as it begins to print. The rollers can become dirty and there are obvious streaks down the print that could only come from dirty rollers.
      For more click here

      (cleaning the underside of the printhead, printhead cap)
      In general, paper dust and lint accumulate on the bottom of the print head and in the print head cap.

      NOTE: Paper towels are made with many levels of quality. Some really fall apart when wet and this type is not recommended. There are many possible substitutions here, for example, you could use photo wipes, lint free cloths etc. We tend to have rolls of paper towels available next to the printer, and an ink sogged paper towel can be thrown away easily. Use common sense, and what ever material you think best. Some people have reported success using a foam paint stick to scrub under the print head, and these can be cleaned after use. Use your ingenuity.

      SMALLER DESKTOP PRINTERS (760, 800, 850, 860, 1160, 1200 ETC.)

      1 - Press paper button for 4 seconds, the print head should be to the left.
      Note: Some printers have a special button for this purpose.

      2 - Pull power cord

      3 - Tear paper towel in 1/2. (A full sheet is too thick when folded).

      4 - Fold paper towel and lay it in the black plastic channel below where the print head travels back and forth.

      5 - Work the print head up over the paper towel (We are doing this on a dry paper towel so we can get the print head over it about an inch or two.)

      6 - When the print head is up on the paper towel, squirt some Windex on the paper towel, and then move the printhead back and forth to scrub off the bottom.

      7 - Move the print head off the towel, pull the towel up and get everything cleaned up.

      8 - Push the print head over to the right parked position.

      9 - Plug in the printer and turn it on.

      10 - Print the nozzle check and do a couple cleaning cycles as required to get any paper towel fibers off the bottom of the print head. They clean right up - and are worth it because you have removed any large buildups from the bottom of the print head.
      Last edited by T Paul; 11-15-2003, 08:09 AM.


      • #4
        Eris thanks for the quick reply. I don't have time to do a scan, but just image a portrait and the guy in the portrait is wearing a green shirt except there is this small black streak of ink in the middle of it where it should be green. Not a large streak, but enough to annoy you and ruin the print.


        • #5
          Looks like that article above explained everything Good luck with your machine!


          • #6
            Success! Finally a clean print after four botched 11x14 prints!

            I followed the steps mentioned above basically with a few changes:

            1. Pushed the ink button to get the ink cartridge to go to the left
            2. Unplugged the printer
            3. Cut a paper towel twice the width of the black channel, sprayed the towel with windex (lightly) and folded it in half (now it fit in perfectly)
            4. Placed the towel in the black channel and moved the cartridge over ontil it was on top of the towel and followed the rest of the cleaning instructions mentioned above.

            I also sprayed q-tips with windex and ran them over the rollers for good measure.

            Note: I used a heavy duty paper towel and not a flimsy one
            Last edited by T Paul; 11-14-2003, 03:28 PM.


            • #7
              Great!! I'll do the same thing when my printer get's all dirty and messy


              • #8
                Great! I wish I had tried that. I had an Epson Photo 700 that got clogged and no matter what I did, it wouldn't unclogg. So I gave it to the Salvation Army and bought an i9100. I'm glad I did but at least if I followed this advise, I could have unclogged and sold for a few bucks.


                • #9
                  Thanks for the info T. I'll have to remember this thread. I also have an Epson 1280 and am usually pleased with the results, but find that cleaning it is a chore. The steps you posted will come in handy.



                  • #10
                    I got a problem too...


                    T Paul

                    I did what Gary told me to do and its still doing it, the epson r300 is only 4 weeks old so i didn't expect things to go wrong so fast, if it carries on i shall take it back to the supermarket where i bought it.

                    On the picture

                    Its like a faint bold pink colour ribbed with faint blue colour lines all down the page, and i have been printing black and white drawings and i get these stripes of colour, obviously i cannot sell anything while this is happening.

                    Shall i take it back to the store?


                    • #11
                      Ok i see the problem i have opened up the printer and in the right side of the machine i am assuming its the printer sponge or whatever you call it is a bright pink and blue ink blob so now what do i do, it won't let me put my hand in, lol! sorry that sounds funny but it won't stop moving.

                      Helpppp before i get caught in the machine...


                      • #12
                        I don't have your printer, but if you push the ink button or whatever button you push to change inks, it should stop the printer head from moving and set it to the left. As for the sponge, I believe it stays pretty saturated and is suppose to be that way. The problem arises when stray ink gets on the rollers and carries over to your photos... Of course if it is just pink and blue, perhaps you had a faulty ink cartridge that dumped most of its ink.

                        I'd email/call Epson support and possibly consider returning the printer if you are unable to resolve the problem. 4 weeks is a mighty short time to be experiencing these problems.


                        • #13
                          Thank you very much T Paul!!!

                          I have just got the inkish hands i have ever seen and cleaned the inside of the printer, and just printed out a picture and it looks gorgeous again, no lines, i should check my old printer i bet all i needed to do was clean it, its in the spare room gathering dust i could clean it get it to work and sell it on ebay, be able to afford a tablet and pen then.

                          But its working perfectly now.

                          Thank you you should change your id to St.T.Paul!!!


                          • #14
                            LOL....well I have had to fight with my Epson 1280 trying to figure out why I was getting stray colors and ruining prints. It took a long internet search just to find the above info...but it made all the difference!

                            I have also read that you really want to print something daily or at least weekly to keep the ink heads from clogging up. It doesn't have to be anything fancy...could just be the nozzle test.


                            • #15
                              Nozzle test? I don't know that one, but sure willing to learn, i have just read on the link you gave that we should switch off the printer at night, err guilty but shall from now on.


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