How to Clean the Print Head Nozzle on HP Printer Cartridges

by Robin Neorr; Updated September 26, 2017

It is important to properly maintain your HP printer head cartridge. printer cartridges can get clogged with ink from time to time and a frequent cleanings can ensure that your print job comes out crystal clear.

Items you will need

  • Distilled water
  • Q-tips

Clean the Print Head Nozzle on HP Printer Cartridges

Step 1

Remove the printer cartridge from the printer and set it down on your work surface with the ink surface nozzle facing up.

Step 2

Moisten the q-tip with distilled water. Make sure to ring out any excess water from the q-tip.

Step 3

Wipe the surface of the nozzle tip with the q-tip in a sweeping motion.

Step 4

Continue this process until no more residue appears on the q-tip.

Step 5

Return the print cartridge to the printer. Align the print cartridge with your printers alignment function.


  • Clean your printer cartridge prior to using it after an extended period of time.


  • Do not use tap water.

About the Author

Robin Neorr has been working as a full-time freelance writer since 2007. She has written for various websites including The Frisky. Before she started her writing career, she spent 10 years in media marketing. She has a bachelor's degree in communications and a master's degree in communications management from John Carroll University.