Printing problems HP C6350

I’m trying to print from my HP C6350–just a back and white document. The page comes back blank. I’ve cleaned the print heads using the utility, and it seems like some black ink is coming out, but still couldn’t print the document. I tried aligning the print head, but that failed–no explanation why. It seems from the FAQs that HP wants me to buy a new print head for $75.00.

The printer is about five years old and well out of warranty.

  1. Can I manually clean the print head somehow, say with ethyl alcohol and swabs? Or does the fact that alignment failed mean I really do need a new print head?

  2. HP wants $75.00 for the print head. Should I just get a new all-in-one printer/copier/scanner? I can get something comparable from HP for under $200. I think these all-in-ones are probably a bit crap, but they serve my needs well enough and I can keep using all the ink I have, and I’ll have a new crappy printer instead of an aging one.

  3. Is it possible I just have a bad black ink cartridge? I just changed it and the printer says it’s full, but maybe, right?

Any thoughts welcome.

1. Can I manually clean the print head somehow, say with ethyl alcohol and swabs?

Right idea, wrong tools. HP recommends distilled water and lint free paper/cloth. Personally, I use coffee filters because I have tons of them.

Scroll down a bit for HP’s advice on manually cleaning the print head.

The thing to remember about HP’s system is the “print head” really only provides alignment and power for the ink cartridges. It doesn’t handle the ink in any way; that’s all happening at the cartridge. So if cleaning the existing head doesn’t solve the problem, a new print head is unlikely to be much help (IMHO). Since you’ve already changed the cartridge, that’s not the problem.

In your price range… if you stick with inkjet, I’d go for something like the OfficeJet Pro 8100 - but my personal choice would be to step up to laser printing with something like the LaserJet Pro P1102W. We have four HP Laserjets at work and they are real workhorses.

If you decide to replace it, we got one of these recently:

And are thrilled with the speed, cost per page, and that it duplexes on both ends.

Thank you for the responses, very helpful.