We have covered how to clean a beyond-filthy printer here. The databazaar blog has a informative post on eliminating ink blots when using your Inkjet printer. Dont forget, reducing the DPI settings in the printer properties can increase the quailty of your print when using inkjet printers!
Ink in ballpoint pens and inkjet printer cartridges share a common trait — they’re designed to dry quickly. Fast-drying ink works well when the ink dries on paper, but not so well if the ink dries on the printhead that dispenses it. When ink dries on a ball point of a pen, the ball no longer rolls smoothly on paper to evenly distribute ink, which creates blots of ink on a page. The same is true for inkjet printers when ink dries on the printhead — blots of ink appear on a printed page.
To prevent your inkjet printer cartridges from this blockage, follow these tips.
Always Turn Off the Printer With the Power Button
When you turn off the printer using the power on-off switch, the shutdown process places the printhead in an off position and seals it. When the printer is turned off by simply unplugging it or from another power failure, the printhead may remain in the on position without a proper seal, resulting in ink drying on the printhead, which can create blots of ink that smudge and tarnish output.
Use the Printer Regularly
You should use the printer regularly to keep ink flowing so it does not dry and crust on the printhead. At the least, print a test page every week. If you do not use a printer regularly, then an inkjet printer may not be the right fit for you. Unlike an inkjet printer, a laser printer will not suffer from long periods of inactivity.
Print a Diagnostic Test
Print a diagnostic test using the printer software or from the printer’s console display. If you see any thin white lines across any of the printed blocks, clean the printheads.
A thin white line may indicate that the printhead has a blockage. Check the operator’s manual on how to clean the printheads with the printer software or from the printer console. You can also try turning the printer off and then on. It may initiate diagnostics and automatically clean the printhead when it boots up. After cleaning, if another diagnostic test still indicates a thin white line across the printed blocks, clean the printheads manually.
Manually Clean the Printheads
Get a soft, clean, dry, and lint-free cleaning material like the paper used for coffee filters or cleaning eyeglasses. Remove the cartridge and wipe the electrical contents — the small copper-covered squares — on the device. Do not touch the nozzle. That may cause permanent damage.
If your printer continues to blot ink onto the page, replace the ink cartridge. Although there are some heroic measures you could take, life is too short.