How to Clean the Waste Ink Absorber in Your Canon Printer

2. December 2012 05:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments

When the waste ink absorber in a Canon printer gets too full, the printer stops working. In many cases, an error message may appear. If you've never encountered this problem before, you're probably at a loss about how to fix it. Fortunately, remedying the situation is easy. The first step is understanding what a waste ink absorber is, and that's explained below.

What is a Waste Ink Absorber?

Like most modern printers, yours probably has an automatic cleaning function. It's important to use it on a regular basis to keep your printer functioning properly and to ensure that your printed copies are crisp, clear and legible. Every time you run the automatic cleaning function, dust and dried ink are ejected from the print head. They don't just magically disappear. Instead, they are collected by the waste ink absorber.

A waste ink absorber is typically made up of two foam pads that are held in place by a rubber frame. Its job is to keep dried ink and dust from floating freely around the interior of a printer. Without a waste ink absorber, your printer could accumulate so much dust and dried ink that it would stop working.

There's a limit to how much ink and dust a waste ink absorber can handle. When it surpasses that threshold, an error message is usually triggered. The printer generally won't function either. You don't have to buy a new waste ink absorber, and you don't have to call a technician. You just have to remove the waste ink absorber, clean it and replace it.

How to Clean a Waste Ink Absorber

If the waste ink absorber in your Canon printer needs to be cleaned, do so by following these steps:

  1. Open the lid on your printer. If you have an owner's manual, consult it to determine the precise location of the waste ink absorber.
  2. Let the ink or toner cartridge slide completely out of the way. You will now have free access to the waste ink absorber.
  3. Detach the waste ink absorber by pulling gently on its rubber frame. Pull it away from the printer to remove it completely.
  4. Unplug the printer to prevent mishaps.
  5. Remove the foam pads and place them in a bucket of hot, soapy water. Let them soak long enough for the ink to get loose. You should be able to scrub it away easily. If you can't, you need to let the pads soak longer.
    Spread out the pads on paper towels or newspaper. Allow them to dry completely. You might want to just let them dry overnight.
  6. Reattach the foam pads and install the waste ink absorber again.
  7. To get rid of the error code on your Canon printer, start by turning it off. While holding down the power button, unplug the printer. Release the button after you've unplugged it and wait a few seconds. Press the power button again. The error code should be gone.

You may be alerted to a full waste ink absorber in one of several ways. An error message might pop up on your computer screen. On some printers, a notification may appear on a display on the unit itself. Sometimes, indicator lights are used to alert people to full waste ink absorbers. Of course, a simple error code could appear as well. To know what to expect, consult your owner's manual.

There's no way to get around it: You have to clean the waste ink absorber in your Canon printer from time to time. By doing so as thoroughly as possible, you shouldn't have to do it again for a long time.   

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