Epson Picturemate Head Cleaning

By Nick Davis

The Epson PictureMate is a small format photo printer that allows you to print photos with or without a computer. The printer has an on-screen display, a one-touch printing option and slots for your camera's memory cards. Like other printers, the Epson PictureMate's printer head needs cleaning when your photos become too light, have lines running across the image or colors are missing. The head is easily cleaned through an "Auto Cleaning" function found in the printer's control menu.

Cleaning the Print Head

Before cleaning the print head, load at least 10 sheets of paper into your Epson PictureMate and make sure the "Print Pack low" message on the photo viewer screen is not lit. You can't clean the print head if the Print Pack is low or empty. Then press "Menu" and navigate with the arrow keys to "Maintenance." Press "OK" and then scroll with the arrow keys to "Auto Cleaning." Press "OK." You will now see a confirmation screen stating "Auto cleaning may improve print quality. Do you want to start cleaning?" Press "OK" to start the head cleaning process. Cleaning will take about one minute. You will hear some noises and the message "Cleaning" will appear on the display.

Nozzle Print Out Report for the Epson PictureMate

Once the cleaning process is complete, your Epson PictureMate will print a "nozzle check pattern" report. Look over this print out and check the patterns for any gaps. If there are no gaps present in any of the rows, press "Yes" to complete the nozzle check process. If you see gaps, press "No" to clean the print head again. Repeat the head cleaning process until the nozzles are clean and no gaps appear on the printed page.


If after three tries at cleaning the print head gaps still appear on the nozzle print out, replace the Epson PictureMate's Print Pack with a new one. Sometimes if the Print Pack is old or you don't use the printer enough, the ink in the Print Pack will not move properly throughout the pack. This will lead to gaps, lines and other issues on printed pages.