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If you own an edible printer, the phrase "with great power, comes great responsibility," could easily be applied. While owning an edible printer is a dream come true to many cake decorators, it also comes with many responsibilities, including printer maintenance. Luckily, maintaining your printer is pretty simple if you are well acquainted with the maintenance menu. If you're not, do not fret, we will show you the ropes on how to keep your edible printer squeaky clean in order to have it serve you for a really long time!

The Maintenance Menu

The maintenance menu on your Canon edible printer can be found on your main menu, it is the small gear at the bottom, depending on your printer model, the placement of the menu may be different, but it should be somewhere on your main screen. Under this menu you will be able to find all the options related to maintaining your edible printer healthy and in good working condition.

Once you click on the gear, it will open up a sub menu, where you can explore many options, today we will be looking solely at the maintenance menu, circled in the image below.

Once you click on the maintenance menu, a variety of different options will appear, these are the ones that we will explore in depth. 

Print Nozzle Check Pattern

We all know the feeling, when we have a huge order to fulfill and suddenly your printer starts printing all yellow or pink, instead of printing all colors on the image. You check the inks to see if you've run out but they're all full. The next step would be to print your nozzle check pattern. What the nozzle check pattern does is show you which colors in your printer are not coming out, indicating that one or more colors in your printhead may be clogged. 


Once you print your nozzle check pattern, if it looks like the first image where colors are missing, or the colors aren't solid, then that means your printhead is clogged and needs to be cleaned. Your printhead getting clogged shouldn't be an everyday situation. Printheads only get clogged if you haven't printed for a while or if you are using bad inks. If your printhead gets clogged frequently, it means that the inks you are using are low quality. If that is the case, try switching to our Ink4Cakes brand ink, they are made with a high quality formula. If your nozzle head pattern looks like the second image, then all your colors are good and the printhead is not clogged. 


The cleaning option is for when your nozzle check pattern comes out bad, indicating that the printhead is clogged. What this does is that it pushes ink through your printhead to get whatever dried up ink is there. It does use ink to clean, so make sure that you have enough in your cartridges. Performing a cleaning SHOULD get your printhead unclogged, after you perform a cleaning, make sure to print your nozzle check pattern again to see if all your colors come out like they're supposed to. 

Deep Cleaning

If, after performing a cleaning on your printhead, the nozzle check pattern still comes out with missing colors, this means that the cleaning couldn't get the clog out and you would need to perform a deep cleaning. A deep cleaning takes a lot of ink to perform, so make sure that you have plenty of ink in your cartridges before performing it. This method of cleaning should only be left as a last resort as doing it too much can clog or damage your printhead. 

Auto Head Alignment and Printhead Alignment Value

Whenever you first set up your printer, you were asked to align the printhead. Aligning the printhead simply means setting it up to optimal position so that all things print where they are supposed to. You shouldn't have to perform an auto head alignment unless some of the following things occur: 

After Printer Installation

If you've just installed your edible printer in your business or home, don't start using it until you have done a print head alignment. Doing a printhead alignment is necessary because the process of manufacturing, assembling, transporting and handling the printer may have caused some of its components to go out of alignment. Conducting a print head alignment before the maiden use of the printer will correct any issues in the alignment of the print heads so that ink will be placed in the correct positions on the paper.

When Print Heads Touch Papers

Print heads are supposed to hover over the paper as they release ink in programmed patterns. While printers are well oiled machines designed to work correctly, there may be something that causes the printhead to touch the paper as the printer is working, such as a paper jam. Perform the print head alignment procedure when you hear a scraping sound indicating that your printhead touched paper, doing so will restore proper alignment before the print heads are irreparably damaged by this contact.

After Changing Paper Sizes

You should also perform a printhead alignment when you are changing from using thick paper to thinner paper. This is because the previous settings may no longer be applicable to the new size of paper. Thicker paper reduces the distance that has to be moved as ink is ejected from the print heads to the paper. The use of thinner paper, therefore, calls for adjusting the printhead so that the ink patterns will not be affected by the longer distance covered as ink leaves the printhead on its way to the paper.

After Shifting the Printer

Print head alignment should also be conducted after the printer has been moved from one position or location to another. Modern printers are so sensitive that any movement can throw the different components inside the machine out of alignment. Using the print head alignment function after moving the printer from its position will ensure that your prints retain the high quality that you have come to expect from your machine.

Roller Cleaning

A roller cleaning should be performed when you notice that there are vertical lines on your paper when you print. This can be due to excess buildup on your printer rollers. You can easily perform a roller cleaning and we do suggest you do it every so often to prevent ink buildup on your rollers. 

(Image indicating when a roller cleaning should be performed)

Bottom Plate Cleaning

Last on your maintenance menu is the bottom plate cleaning option. This option removes stains from the inside of the printer. If the inside of the printer becomes dirty, the printed paper may get dirty. When performing the bottom plate cleaning, we recommend spraying a bit of Windex on the card stock sheet before feeding it through your printer. This helps clean the printer further and picks up as much ink as possible. 

So, in order to keep your printer at its optimal condition, make sure to perform the maintenance protocols whenever necessary, this will insure that your printer works for you for a long time.  

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