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Reasons for Clogged DTF Printhead & How to Fix Them

A clogged DTF printhead means that the printhead is clogged with air, dry ink, or dust, blocking the flow of ink in the cartridge or on the printed material. The image below clearly shows the difference in printing between a clogged printhead and a good non-clogged printhead.

4 Reasons for Clogged DTF Printhead

1. Dry ink on the surface of the printhead
Dry ink on the surface of the printhead can cause clogs that prevent ink from flowing through the nozzles. This may occur if the printer has not been used for a long time or if the ink cartridges are exposed.

2. Ink Impurities: Inkjet printers require clean ink to flow through the printhead. Impurities or particles in the ink may clog the nozzles and cause clogging. This can happen if the ink cartridges were stored improperly or if the printer uses low-quality or expired ink.

3. Maintenance: Inkjet printers require routine maintenance to keep the printhead clean and remove clogs. If the printer is not cleaned regularly or maintenance cycles are not run according to instructions, ink can build up and cause clogs.

4. Printhead wear or misuse: Over time, an inkjet printer’s printhead can become damaged due to wear or misuse. This can cause ink clogs or uneven ink flow, resulting in poor print quality or even damage to the printer.

How to Prevent DTF Printhead Clogging

If your printer stops working due to a clogged printhead issue, then print quality and performance are affected, read below for solutions to the most common situations and how to properly prevent printhead clogs.

DTF printhead clogged

Helpful Tips to Prevent DTF Printhead Clogging

(1) Buy high-quality ink cartridges: Impurities or particles in low-quality ink cartridges may clog the print head. You can avoid clogging by using high-quality cartridges recommended by the manufacturer.
(2) Keep the printer clean: Regularly clean the outside and inside of the printer, including the print head, to prevent dust, dirt, and other debris from clogging the print head.
(3) Use the printer regularly: If the printer is not used for a long time, the ink may dry out and harden. Using your printer regularly will help keep the ink flowing and prevent clogging.
(4) Maintain your printer: Most inkjet printers include maintenance cycles that can help you avoid clogging and other problems. To keep your printer working smoothly, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance intervals.
(5) To prevent the ink from drying or evaporating, the ink cartridge should be stored in a cool, dry environment.
(6) Operate the printer with care: Rough operation or incorrect ink cartridge installation may damage the print head, causing clogging or other problems. Please follow the manufacturer’s operating and installation instructions.

Is White Ink the Hardest Part of DTF Printheads?

Due to its special qualities, DTF printing white ink can be more difficult to use than other colors. White ink is typically thicker and heavier than other colors, which can cause some problems. Here are some of the most typical problems that can arise when using white ink in DTF printing: Due to its thick consistency and high tendency to settle, white ink is more likely to clog the print head than other colors.
If the printer is not used for an extended time, white ink may accumulate in the ink tubes or cartridges, causing clogs or other problems.

Uneven printing: To achieve the necessary opacity, white ink may require additional passes or higher ink volumes, which may result in uneven or smudged printing.
White ink may not bond to the film or substrate as well as other colors, causing the print to peel or crack.
To prevent these problems, use high-quality white ink specifically designed for DTF printing.


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