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How to Clean Your HP Printer/Scanner/Copier 300 Series to Prevent Ink Smears or Ink Streaks

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ISSUE:
How to clean the HP Printer/Scanner/Copier 300 Series to prevent black ink streaks or ink smears.
SOLUTION:
See the information that follows.
Overview
Small quantities of dust, hair, fibers, and other debris can build up inside an HP Printer/Scanner/Copier to produce streaks or smears on the output. To prevent this from happening, occasional cleaning of the printer is recommended. The following is a quick and simple process that will clean debris and fibers from the printer to ensure clear, sharp output every time. HP recommends performing this process at least every three months.
Make sure that the items in the following list are available:
Eight to ten cotton swabs, or any clean pieces of soft, lint-free material that will not come apart when wet, or leave fibers behind
Enough distilled, filtered, or bottled water to moisten the swabs; avoid tap water, since it could contain contaminants that may damage the print cartridges.
Sheets of paper or paper towels on which to rest the print cartridges while cleaning.
Two to four paper coffee filters to absorb any residual ink or lint/debris from the underside of the ink cartridge cradle.
WARNING: Keep the print cartridges out of reach of children.
Removing the print cartridges
  1. Turn the HP Printer/Scanner/Copier on, lift the top cover, and wait while the print cartridges move to the center of the printer.
  2. After the print cartridges have moved to the center of the printer, unplug the printer power cord from the electrical outlet.
  3. Remove both print cartridges and place them on their sides on a sheet of paper.
NOTE: Do not leave the print cartridges outside the printer for longer than 30 minutes. If a cartridge is left uncapped for too long, the ink will dry out, and the cartridge will become unusable. Be careful not to get any ink on your hands or clothes.
Cleaning the print cartridges
  1. Dip a clean cotton swab in water and squeeze out any excess.
  2. Hold the black print cartridge by the colored cap.
  3. Use the swab to wipe clean the face and edges of the print cartridge as shown by the arrows in Figure 1. Do not wipe the nozzle plate.
  4. Inspect the cartridge to see if any debris remains. To do this, hold the cartridge up to the light and tilt it at an angle. If you see any traces of dust, dirt, or fibers, repeat steps 2 and 3 to remove the debris. Discard used swab.
  5. Now, repeat steps 1-4 to clean the color print cartridge. Always use a fresh cotton swab for each cartridge to avoid transferring debris from one cartridge to another.
Figure 1: Nozzle plate
Clean the service station
  1. The Service Station is located behind and underneath the on/off switch on the top-right side of the HP Printer/Scanner/Copier. Reach back behind the casing to clean it.
  2. Using a lint-free clean cloth moistened with distilled water, clean Wiper 1 and the top surface of Cap 1, as shown in Figure 2. Always use a light touch when cleaning the print cartridge caps. Rubbing may unseat the caps, which could eventually damage the print cartridges.
  3. Using another lint-free clean cloth, moistened with distilled water, clean Wiper 2 and the top surface of Cap 2.
Figure 2: Locating the Service Station
Cleaning the ink cartridge cradle underside (to remove any lint or debris)
  1. Take a clean paper coffee filter and fold it in half, then fold it in half again.
  2. Insert the folded/closed edge of the coffee filter underneath the black plastic, ink-cartridge cradle.
  3. Push the coffee filter back underneath the cradle until the leading edge is just in front of the brass colored rollers located across the paper path, just behind the ink cartridge cradle.
  4. Hold the coffee filter firmly in place with one hand while grasping the top portion of the black plastic cradle with the other hand. Gently move the cradle back and forth across the coffee filter. Notice if the top surface of the coffee filter has any residual ink rubbed on it from the underside of the cradle.
  5. Carefully remove the coffee filter and fold it over to expose a clean side.
  6. Insert the folded/closed edge of the coffee filter underneath the black plastic, ink-cartridge cradle, as in step 2.
  7. Push the coffee filter back underneath the cradle until the leading edge is just in front of the brass colored rollers located across the paper path, just behind the ink cartridge cradle, as in step 3.
  8. Repeat steps 1-4 until there is no ink residue showing on the top surface of clean paper coffee filter.
Reinstalling the print cartridges
  1. Reinstall the print cartridges and close the HP Printer/Scanner/Copier’s top cover.
  2. Reinsert the power cord into the electrical outlet.
Checking the output
  1. Open the HP Printer/Scanner/Copier Manager icon.
  2. Select the Settings button in the Printer/Scanner/Copier Manager. Select the Settings and Maintenance tab; then, select the Maintenance tab.
  3. Within the Maintenance dialog window, click the Self-test button.
  4. Check the output for streaks.
NOTE: Careful cleaning will usually be enough to remove any streaks. However, it is possible that fiber or debris may have been missed, which might interfere with print quality. To remove them, simply repeat the cleaning procedure until the test printout is 100% clear and sharp.
Summary
For trouble-free printing with the HP Printer/Scanner/Copier Series 300 product, remember to clean the cartridge, cradle, and service station every three months.

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