How to Clean a Canon Printer

By Michael Garrett

Inkjet printer
i paper feed image by Glenn Jenkinson from

Canon printers must be cleaned and maintained, just like any other printer, to maintain optimum print quality. Inkjet printers utilize print heads, which occasionally get clogged with ink, causing a loss in quality. Fortunately, the process is very simple to perform, whether you are using a Windows-based PC or a Mac OS X-based computer. If you are experiencing a decrease in the printing quality of your Canon printer, follow these simple steps to get your prints back to looking spectacular.

Using Windows 7, Vista, or XP

Start by making sure that both your computer and your printer are turned on and working properly. Cleaning your print heads uses a small amount of your available ink, so also make sure that you have sufficient ink in all of your cartridges (Canon printers have an LED with an ink drop icon that will flash when your ink volume is low).

Click on the "Start" menu in the lower-left corner of your display.

Click on the "Printers" icon (may also say "Printers & Faxes"). If you do not see this icon, you can select "Control Panel" and then select the "Printers" icon in the window that opens up.

Right-click on your Canon printer and select "Printing Preferences" after a window opens, showing all of your installed printers.

Click on the "Maintenance" tab at the top of the window.

Select the "Head Cleaning" option, which will clean your print heads.

Click the "Start" button to begin the process of cleaning your printer.

Using Mac OS X

Turn on both your Mac computer and your Canon printer

Navigate to the Applications folder in Macintosh HD and double-click the Canon (BJ) Printer Utility icon.

Select your printer from the Printer List, then click OK.

Click on the "Head Cleaning" button in the Utility dialog box.

Follow the instructions to start the cleaning process. Click on the confirmation button when the cleaning process is complete. Your printer utility may print out a test sheet for you to check and see if your print heads are now clear.