Caution - the syringe may contain a needle. Keep out of reach of children. Because the needle is not easy to see when assembled and we didn't want anyone to be caught by surprise, we are no longer assembling them. To assemble the syringe: If your printer requires the tube (as most do), remove the sheath from the needle. Fit the tubing over the needle and push it back as far as it will go (about 1/4 inch). About 2 inches of tubing will extend beyond the needle. If the needle detaches from the syringe, you can screw it back in with a half-turn.
Print a nozzle check and note which colors need cleaning. There is no reason to clean heads which are printing properly.
step 1 is if needed. Artisan printers do not have a cartridge change mode since the cartridges are always available to be removed.
1) Set the printer to the replace cartridge change mode.
2) Remove all the ink cartridges from the printer and turn off the printer.
*** I don't bother with step 3, particularly since I have an Artisan which works differently from other Epson printers. However I have never done this even on other printer models. -- izzy
3) Cut a sheet of paper towel into long strips and place them around the area where the cartridges were to absorb the cleaning solution.
*** Some places recommend heating up the solution in a microwave. I have never done this and don't recommend it. I'm not sure what chemicals are in it and whether they belong in a microwave. Here are the instructions for a similar product complete with photos of a clean print head. Notice they sell their virtually identical product for $42 with 30ml of solution. ***
For each color which is blocked:
4) Fill the tube with a few drops of cleaning solution by putting the tube into the solution and pulling up quickly on the plunger. The syringe should not fill completely. A few drops is all you need. The syringe is 3 ml filled and you only need perhaps 1/4 ml. If the syringe has more than a few drops, let them back into the bottle.
5) On Epson printers and printers where a pin punctures the cartridge, place the tube over the pin which punctures the cartridge and press down for as tight a seal as possible. For printers without a pin, press the end of the tube over the hole or "sponge" where the ink enters the printer.
6) Carefully inject the cleaning solution into the pin or hole using slight pressure. Avoid injecting air into the print head. Note that is normal for much of the solution to run out along the sides of the pin. Only a drop or two will get into the head. That is all you need.
Repeat from step 4 if other colors are blocked.
Again, next step is really not needed.
7) Sop up excess fluid and remove the paper towel(s).
8) Install the cartridges back into the printer.
9) Do not use the printer for at least 5-6 hours. Longer is better. This allows the print head to soak in the cleaning solution and the ink to drip in and start to replace the cleaning solution.
10) Turn the printer on (after waiting hours). Run the nozzle check. If it isn't good, run the built-in cleaning cycle and another nozzle check, looking for improvement. If there is no improvement after doing this twice, repeat steps 1-10 again. Some clogs may require multiple application of the cleaning fluid. You should not run it more than 3 times in succession. You may also want to give it more time to work. On a particularly stubborn printer, I gave it two days and it worked. A customer reported that the cleaning failed and he put the printer in his garage and bought another. Severals weeks later, he tried the one in the garage and it worked. (I'm sure it didn't take several weeks, probably just a few days.)
If all else fails, try this:
Push the plunger of the syringe all the way down, emptying it of air. Put the syringe over the pin of the color which is not working. Pull up on the plunger. This will suck air and the clog out of the printer. Do not push down again. That will only send it back into the printer. If there is gunk in the syringe, empty it into a toilet.
If there is no improvement after three or four cycles with the cleaning solution, your print head is not clogged - the head has burned out. Nothing short of replacement will correct it and replacement costs more than a new printer. You can visit http://ccs-digital.com/Best-printer-deals.asp for information on the latest printer deals. (We don't sell printers but we do keep up with the latest sales.)
Below is a video of using an identical product to unblock clogged Epson printer heads. There may be slight variations with your printer, but the basic idea is the same.