How to Automatically Clean HP Printer Cartridge

Ensuring that your HP inkjet printer always delivers top-notch results is critical to producing high-quality prints. One effective way to achieve this is to use the automatic cleaning feature of your HP printer. In this blog, we’ll walk you through how to automatically clean HP printer cartridges.

I.When to Automatically Clean HP Printer Cartridge?

HP printers that require cleaning of ink cartridges are usually HP inkjet printers. When your prints appear streaked, smudged, or blurry, or when performing routine maintenance, you need to clean the printer cartridges.

Print Quality Issues: If you notice streaks, missing lines, or even blank pages in your prints, that’s a clear sign that your printer’s ink cartridges may be clogged.

Ink Smudging or Blurring: In addition, smudges, fading, or blurring on the printed page also indicate that there is a problem with the printer cartridge, prompting the need for cleaning.

Regular Maintenance: Sometimes, when you perform routine maintenance on your printer, you may clean the printer cartridges. Regular automatic cleaning not only helps prevent potential problems but also extends the life of your HP printer.

II.Preparation before Cleaning

1.Print a Quality Diagnostic Page

Before cleaning, it’s a good idea to print a quality test page to see what’s wrong with the printer ink cartridges.

First, load some paper and turn on the HP printer. Locate “Settings” or “Setup” on the printer panel; then select “Reports” or “Tools,” and finally, choose “Print Quality Report.”

How to Automatically Clean HP Printer Cartridge
How to Automatically Clean HP Printer Cartridge

2.Confirm There is Enough Ink

Additionally, you need to ensure that your printer has enough ink to support automatic cleaning. Open your computer or printer to check current ink levels. The blog How To Check Ink Levels On HP Printer details various ways to access it.

V.How to Automatically Clean HP Printer Cartridge

Now, let’s take a closer look at how to clean HP printer cartridges automatically step by step. For HP printers, automatic cartridge cleaning is essentially cleaning the print head. So, if you don’t find the “Clean Cartridge” option, select “Clean Printhead.” Here are a few cleaning methods.

1.Clean HP Ink Cartridges on the Software

First, download the HP Smart app and ensure your printer is added to the application. This software can be used on any mobile device, such as computers, mobile phones, etc. Here are the steps on how to operate the software using a computer:

Open the HP Smart app and click on the printer icon at the top.

Choose “Advanced Settings” and then click “Tools.” 

Open the “Utilities” column on the left, and select “Print Quality Toolbox.”

Finally, click “Clean” on the right to select “Clean Printhead.”

After cleaning is complete, the print quality diagnostic page prints. Check if there are no issues on the page, and then click “Done” to finish. If you are not satisfied, click “Level 2 Cleaning” to clean again.

2.Clean HP Cartridges from a Computer

In addition to software, you can also clean HP printer cartridges through your computer’s printer settings.

(1)How to Automatically Clean HP Printer Cartridge Windows 10

First, make sure your HP printer is on and connected to the computer.

Navigate to “Settings,” search and enter “Printers and Scanners.”

Select the printer, click “Manage” and select “Printing Preferences.”

Move to the “Maintenance” or “Service” tab. 

Finally, click “Clean Printhead” or “Head Cleaning.”

(2)How to Automatically Clean HP Printer Cartridge Mac

Make sure your HP printer is turned on and connected to the computer.

Access the Apple menu, go to “System Preferences,” and select “Printers & Scanners.”

Then select the printer and click on “Options & Supplies.”

Move to the “Utility” tab and finally click “Clean Print Heads.” If you don’t find this option, you can enter “Open Printer Utility” and choose “Head Cleaning.”

3.Clean HP Ink Cartridges on the Touchscreen Printer

For HP printers with touch screens, you can also run automatic cleaning cycles through the printer. Cleaning HP ink cartridges directly from your printer screen is user-friendly and easy to operate.

The entire cleaning will last about 1 or 2 minutes. These types of inkjet printers mainly include the HP OfficeJet Pro 6978, HP OfficeJet Pro 7740, HP OfficeJet Pro 8028, HP OfficeJet Pro 9010, and so on.

Take the HP OfficeJet 3830 printer as an example.

Press “Setup,” choose “Tools,” then “Clean Cartridges.” The printer will begin cleaning the cartridges.

When complete, it will generate a print quality report. Check carefully to see if the printed page has improved. According to the printing results, select “Yes” to clean again and select “No” to end the operation.

How to Automatically Clean HP Printer Cartridge

The specific arrival path may vary depending on your printer model. There are also some HP printers where the ink cartridge cleaning path may be like this.

Taking the HP OfficeJet Pro 6970 printer as an example,

Slide down the menu bar, click the “Setup” icon, and select “Printer Maintenance.”

Then, choose “Clean Printhead” and press “Continue” to clean the ink cartridges.

After cleaning is complete, the HP printer will print a quality test page. Observe whether the printing results meet your printing expectations. If it is OK, press “Done” to end. If you are not satisfied, press “Clean Again” to clean the print head again.

How to Automatically Clean HP Printer Cartridge

By the way, HP printers without touch screens often require multiple key combinations to perform cleaning, which is cumbersome. Therefore, it is recommended that users who own such printers complete cleaning through the HP Smart app or computer.

VI.Print a Test Page After Cleaning

If your printer does not automatically print a quality diagnostic page after completing the cleaning process, perform this step. Printing a test page will help you determine whether any printing issues have been resolved.

You can print a quality diagnostic report, as we mentioned earlier.

“Setup” - “Reports” or “Tools” - “Print Quality Report”

Still having problems with the test page? Repeat cleaning 3-4 times. This will restore the HP printer to normal printing status.

VII.Manually Clean HP Cartridges

If the automatic cleaning doesn’t resolve the printing problem, you might need to manually clean the HP cartridges.

Unplug your printer and remove the HP ink cartridges.

Dampen a lint-free cloth with some distilled water and gently wipe the print head.

Then, put the print head side of the ink cartridge into a container containing distilled water and soak it for about 10 minutes.

Remove the ink cartridge from its container and wait for it to dry.

Finally, reinstall it back into your printer and do a test print.

See our blog How to Clean HP Printer Heads for more information.

VIII.Consider Replacing Your Ink Cartridges

If all cleaning efforts fail, it’s time to replace the HP cartridge with a new one. Open your HP printer cover and remove the bad ink cartridge. Then, insert the new ink cartridge into the color slot correctly, and finally, close the printer cover. After replacing the cartridges, your printer will generally resume printing quickly.

Get superior prints with True Image compatible HP printer cartridges. We offer ink cartridge replacements like HP 63, HP 64, HP 65, HP 67, HP 902, HP 910XL, HP 952, and HP 962XL. Low Price & Two-Year Warranty.


In this blog, the steps to clean HP printer cartridges are suitable for any HP ink cartridge. We hope this article can help you solve the printing problem.

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