Blank pages are usually due to a clogged printhead or a defective cartridge but before you start troubleshooting, check that you have removed any protective tape from the cartridge. Most cartridges have an orange or yellow piece of tape that covers the vent hole during transit. This tape must be removed before you print. If you install the cartridge with the tape still attached, ink will not dispense from the cartridge, giving you a blank page. Some ink can escape from the cartridge when you remove the tape. We recommend removing it over a trashcan to prevent a potential mess. To remove, gently pull the tape away from the cartridge. If you remove the tape and still are not getting prints, try these troubleshooting steps:
The “paper towel” method
The “paper towel” method only works on integrated ink cartridges, or a cartridge that has the printhead built into the cartridge itself. This process primes the printhead and can usually get a cartridge to start printing right away. See an example of integrated ink cartridge in our troubleshooting video below:
To start, grab a warm, damp paper towel and a dry paper towel. Take the warm, damp paper towel and blot the cartridge with the printhead side down onto the towel. You should see ink appearing on the paper towel after blotting a couple of times. Be careful not to confuse the printhead with the gold and copper contacts or dots. After blotting onto the damp paper towel, hold the cartridge against the dry paper towel for 30 seconds to a minute. This process wicks out any dried ink that may be preventing you from a quality print. Once complete, insert the cartridge back in the machine and run a test print. Repeat the process a couple of times for best results. If the second time doesn’t improve the situation, try our next tip, printhead cleaning.
Run a printhead cleaning
Most printers have a built in cleaning function. This is the easiest way to solve a clogged printhead problem. Consult your printer’s manual to run the appropriate cleaning function, you can usually find the cleaning feature under the “maintenance” or “settings” section of your printer’s menu. The cleaning process generally takes a couple of minutes. Once it is completed, print a diagnostic page. If the test pattern is crisp, you are ready to print! If the quality is still poor, let the printer sit for about 10 minutes before running a second cleaning, this allows the ink to soak on the printhead. It might take a couple of cleanings to get a cartridge properly primed, especially if the printer has been sitting for a while.