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Clogged printhead on Maxify MB5120 that does not respond to deep cleaning


The black ink on my Maxify MB5120 is not printing well on documents and is almost unreadable. There is no "low ink" indication that the cartridge is low or out of ink.  I therefore tried cleaning the print heads multiple times to no avail.  So I followed the process for deep cleaning the print heads via the control panel on the front of the printer.  The problem still exists. I then followed the instructions on the Canon support page to power down, wait 24 hours, and perform deep cleaning again, yet the problem persists.

Any thoughts on my next steps to correct the problem? (Note: The printer is out of warranty.)

Thank you!


Product Expert
Product Expert


If the black is not printing properly, it could be caused by the ink tank or by the nozzles in the print head. With the Maxify series, the ink will not move to the changing position until the printer detect that the tank is empty. You can try continuing the cleaning until the level is low enough to replace the tank.

If you are using a third party tank, it could be what is causing the issue, some third party tanks can cause ink flow issues. If the ink is not flowing properly, it can cause ink level detection issues or streaking in the prints. You can check with the ink provider if that's the case to see if they have any options to remove the tank.

If those steps did not resolve the issue, it looks like the printer needs service. Outside of the 1 year warranty, you can contact our sales department at 1-800-385-2155 to use our Upgrade Program. The Upgrade program will give you a discount and free shipping on a replacement printer.



Thank you.  I removed the print head and cleaned it under water.  It cleared up the original problem, so the black is printing well now. 

However, the yellow is not printing at all now, despite having a brand new ink cartridge in place.  (I am using only Canon cartridges.) The yellow ink level on the display shows it is full, but no yellow ink comes out. So, color printing is not coming out as desired.

Does this mean the print head is irreparably damaged?

Product Expert
Product Expert

Hello Yankee,

If you have manually removed the print head and cleaned it and now yellow is not working, it will usually mean the print head is damaged or the ink flow for yellow is blocked. You can try reseating the ink and print head one more time and try 2-3 deep cleanings to see if it starts to print again. If it does not, it would mean the print head is damaged.