How to Clean the Print Head on an MFC-790CW

by Irene A. Blake

The MFC-790CW is a Brother color-inkjet multifunction office machine that prints, faxes, scans and copies. Cleaning the printhead is necessary when you notice horizontal lines or void marks on printouts. Low print quality often indicates that ink clogs have occurred. Brother had designed the MFC-790CW with a printhead cleaning process to fix this problem. To turn this process on, you simply need to issue the cleaning command via the unit's 4.2-inch color LCD touch screen.

Touch the ink menu icon -- the image with four ink level bars -- on the Brother MFC-790CW touch screen to open the Ink menu.

Select the "Cleaning" option and then select the ink cartridge that isn't printing correctly -- "Black," "Color" or "All" -- to start the cleaning process.

Wait for the unit to clean the printhead. When the original screen reappears, touch the ink menu icon again, select "Test Print" and then "Print Quality." Press the "Color Start" key to print a Print Quality Check sheet.

Check the patterns that print for lines or voids. If you don't see any print issues, select "Yes" and then press the "Stop/Exit" key to exit the menus. If print issues still exist, select "No" twice, press the "Color Start" key to restart the cleaning process and then press "Color Start" again when it ends to print and check another sheet.


  • check If necessary, repeat the printhead cleaning and print quality check up to five times.
  • check If the print issues continue after five cleanings, replace the ink cartridge that isn't printing correctly and print another Print Quality Check sheet to see if the issue persists.
  • check If replacement doesn't work, repeat the cleaning process up to five more times.
  • check Contact Brother at 877-276-8437 if cleaning the printhead doesn't fix the issue.

About the Author

Based in Southern Pennsylvania, Irene A. Blake has been writing on a wide range of topics for over a decade. Her work has appeared in projects by The National Network for Artist Placement, the-phone-book Limited and GateHouse Media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University.