How to Clean Brother Printer Heads for Optimal Cleaning

brother laser printer on desk

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Brother printers are renowned for their quality and reliability, but like any type of inkjet printer, Brother printers are prone to clogging if not cleaned and maintained regularly. Printer issues can be stressful, especially when meeting deadlines and printing important documents and photos. If your Brother printer does not produce clear images or text, the printer head may need to be cleaned.

Why Printers Become Clogged

Over time, all inkjet printers are susceptible to becoming clogged. As the printer head dries up, ink micro-solids clog the spray nozzles. Blockages can occur if the printer is not used frequently or if air bubbles develop after changing cartridges. Trying to print with a clogged printer means forcing wet ink through the crust of dried-on ink particles, which creates excess pressure in the printer head and can damage the internal mechanisms.

Cleaning Brother printer heads is quick, easy and mess-free. A usability study of a Brother printer led designers to restructure Brother printers for better ergonomics and functionality. One recent Brother printer model’s newest features is a print head self-cleaning mode to ensure you always receive high-quality prints.

What Materials Do I Need?

Before beginning, verify that the printer cartridge has plenty of ink. Check both your printer’s color and black ink levels and that the printer is stocked with paper. Cleaning your printer head uses substantial amounts of ink and paper, so you may need to purchase refill Brother ink cartridges before proceeding. Use Brother printer ink for the best results because it is most compatible with the unit.

Before Cleaning the Print Head

Before cleaning your Brother printer, run a Print Quality Check Sheet to confirm if the nozzle is clogged. If the nozzles are clogged, you can observe gaps or partially shaded areas on the test pattern. Depending on the model of your Brother printer, there are several ways to run a quality check.

pressing button on printer panel

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How to Print a Quality Check Sheet with a Touchscreen

  1. On the touchscreen, select “ink.” Some models may have this represented with colored ink bars instead of an ink button. In this case, select the indicating image.
  2. Select “Test Print” on the touchscreen pad.
  3. Locate and select the “Print Quality” option.
  4. On the printer’s physical control panel, press the “Color Start” key and wait for the test to begin to print.

How to Print a Quality Check Sheet without Touchscreen

  1. Locate and select the “ink” key. If you do not see this on the controls, it can be found under a “menu” key. Use “OK” to select.
  2. Use the up or down arrow to find and select “Test Print” and then press “OK.”
  3. Using the up and down keys, locate and select “Print Quality” with the “OK” key.
  4. Press “Color Start” to print the quality check sheet. If there are gaps in the patterns, it is time to clean the printer head.

Cleaning Printer Head Nozzles with the Touchscreen Pad

  1. Select the “ink” button or indicating image.
  2. Select the “Cleaning” option.
  3. Select either “Black,” “Color” or “All” to clean the nozzles to suit your specific printer’s needs.
  4. Wait until the printer has finished cleaning the print head in its entirety. When it’s done printing the check sheet, return the printer to its standby state or ready mode.
  5. Reprint the Print Quality Check Sheet to determine whether the print head has been successfully cleaned. If not, repeat the cleaning program.

cmyk laser printer cartridges


Cleaning Printer Head Nozzles without the Touchscreen Pad

  1. Locate and select the “ink” key. If you do not see this on the controls, it will be found under a “menu” key. Use “OK” to select.
  2. Use the up or down arrow to find and select the “Cleaning” option and then press “OK.”
  3. Select either “Black,” “Color” or “All” by using the up and down arrow keys, and pressing “OK” when selecting to suit your specific printer’s needs.
  4. Allow the printer to clean the print head, in which afterwards it will return automatically to its Ready State.
  5. Reprint the Print Quality Check Sheet to verify the cleaning was sufficient. Brother recommends this process be repeated three more times, but continue to do so until the check sheet indicates no remaining ink debris.

The Takeaway

To ensure consistently high-quality printed documents and photos, your Brother printer must be cleaned regularly and used often to minimize ink build-up. Brother printers offer a mess-free way to keep your print head in top condition.

To prevent clogs, experts recommended you use Brother ink or high-quality remanufactured cartridges. At Inkjet Superstore, we carry the best range of Brother and aftermarket remanufactured cartridges available.