And other printers in that line. This is the most useful link that I’ve come across when you are getting smudges on your paper. It should be in the paper manual, but it isn’t.
When you follow these instructions, make sure to use a portable light, or a flashlight to look at all the stuff on the right side of the printer – i.e. it’s dark in there.
You’ll find a soaked inkpad, a small black rubber wiper, and other bits and pieces filled with hair, dust and ink. This is almost 100% guaranteed to be where the smudges are coming from, though you may need to run paper through the printer a few times for whatever was transferred over to the print head to disappear.
In case this link disappears as well, here it is in a nutshell:
You’ll need paper towels and/or cotton swabs. Odds are that you’ll end up with ink on your hands which will never come off.
Make sure the printer is turned off.
Open the front cover and press the cutter solenoid down to release the print head. (This is that blue thing that holds the cutting blade).
Move the print head to the left. (far to the left)
Locate the wiper blade and clean it with a damp paper towel. (Very tiny, black, and inky)
Caution: It is important to not remove or bend the wiper blade while cleaning it. We recommend that you hold the paper towel between your thumb and index finger, then pinch the blade and gently wipe both sides, being careful not to pull it from its holder.
Inspect the foam pad area of the pump cap assembly for any large pieces of debris and gently remove them with a moist cotton swab. Then use the cotton swab to gently wipe the topside frame of the plastic housing that holds the multi-colored foam pad.
There is a flushing box to the left of the multi-colored cap assembly. The flushing box does not typically come in contact with the print head, but you should gently clean any debris that may have accumulated there.
Close the front cover and turn on the printer.
*** Hello Dave, ***
I would caution anyone about using cotton swabs. I have been caring for our large printers since 2001. A couple years ago, I was given an epson 7000 because it was having several problems, including the draining away of full ink cartridges over a few days. I found cotton swab fibers – almost invisible on the head parking stations – that were wicking away the ink thru the heads into the waste ink pad container.
Instead I would make my own swabs using folded or rolled up paper towel around the end of a toothpick or bamboo skewer. Dampen with windex.
I now leave the right printer cover off, so that I can access the print heads and stations readily. I also have rerouted the ink drain lines into a small bottle that hangs from the side of the printer, so I can watch cleaning cycles working, monitoring the ink drain.