Immediately after installing the cartridge, I get a bad print.

It can occasionally occur that a print with the newly installed cartridge comes out unclear or smudged. A common reason is a blockage of the ink channels. You can fix this issue with the cartridge by running  the cleaning program on your printer one or more times.

By clicking on the link Guide for HP printers, you are redirected to the site with HP printers. Here you can select your printer from the list and then download the manual. The manual describes how to clean the printheads, how to align the printheads and how you can check the ink levels.

If you do not get immediate results, the cleaning program should be repeated one or two times. If this still doesn’t help, you can do the following:

A. Solution for cartridges without printhead

B. Solution for cartridges with printhead

A. Cartridges without printhead (elongated cartridges)

These include: HP 364XL, 921XL HP, HP 931XL, 951XL HP

In case the cleaning program does not provide the desired result, remove the cartridge from the printer and follow these steps:

1. Make sure to use clean water (preferably distilled, tap water is also allowed) and have swabs.

2. The cartridge holder shows small strainers.

3. Use a wet cotton swab around the filter.

4. You will see that the swab absorbs the residual ink content and assumes the colour of the ink.

5. Repeat this process several times until the swab stops absorbing ink.


B. Cartridges with printhead (block cartridges)

These include: HP 20, HP 21, HP 56, HP 57, HP 300, HP 301

In case the cleaning program does not provide the desired result, remove the cartridge from the printer. Clean the copper-coloured area with a damp, lint-free cloth. Wipe the copper-coloured area.

Use your finger to lightly dab the tip of the cloth on the affected area, so the fabric absorbs a small amount of ink from the cartridge. This should unclog and free up the channels. Denatured alcohol is ideally suited, but can also use household water if necessary.

Then make the contact completely dry with a lint-free cloth. Then insert the cartridge back into the printer.