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Can dried up ink in my Brother printer be cleaned out?

Posted on 2012-12-31
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I left the U.S. a little over a year ago and left my Brother printer with an ex-boyfriend to sell for me. I returned to the U.S. for a visit a few months ago and found out that the printer was never sold. Well, he knows nothing about printers and I thought he would sell it quickly so I never bothered trying to teach him how to regularly run it through the cleaning cycle. Of course I found it unusable. I was already returning to Peru with an extra suitcase for U.S. purchases and had room for the printer, so I brought it back to Peru with me hoping I could find someone to get it working again so I can use it with a power converter.

It's a Brother MFC-490CW with 4 colors of ink total. Would a competent tech be able to clean out the dried ink and what would it involve? My Spanish is limited, so I want to know more about what I'm dealing with here before I try talking with technicians.
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Question by:Missus Miss_Sellaneus
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by:tailoreddigital
tailoreddigital earned 1000 total points
ID: 38733318
I usually clean the print heads manually with q-tips and alcohol.   Then i run some cleaning cycles with the printer software.    You might consider changing the ink cartridges (depending on how old and dried they might be).    

If it was just a matter of dried ink, i'd have it going withing 20-30 minutes.
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convergint earned 1000 total points
ID: 38733324
It really depends if the ink is dried up in the ink head or the cartridge.  If it is the cartridge then obviously it'll be best to replace the cartridges.

If the ink is dried up in the head and the tubes it can get really nasty to purge.  These are the instructions from Brother to do a super head cleaning:

Press 'menu' key
Press 'start black' copy key
Press 'arrow-up' key quickly 4 times
Machine should be in maintenance mode (all lights will flash). If not, repeat above steps.
Press 7-6-4 keys in succession for power clean and (or start-black-copy) (You can also, before pressing 4 key, use left arrow keys to select an individual color or black instead of all.)
When finished press 7-6-3 keys in succession for power purge then start black copy, (You can also, before pressing 3 key, use left arrow keys to select an individual color or black instead of all.)
Printer will do an ink purge
Leave maintenance mode by pressing 9-9 keys.
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by:web_tracker
ID: 38734047
If the ink cartridges dry out as well if they are not in use, you can use a qtip and iso propyl alchol to clean the heads and use new cartridges. Ink jet printers are usually very hard to sell, since they are so expensive to operate, the ink cartridges are just so expensive. If you are going to pay a tech to clean the print heads then you may end up spending almost as much as buying a new printer.
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by:hdhondt
ID: 38846428
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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