Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Windex for cleaning printer heads?

For some time there has been a bit of controversy over whether Windex® Cleaner should be used to clean clogged Epson printer head nozzles as many recommend; the active ingredient is usually said to be Ammonia. Since Windex is not available in the UK it has always seemed a bit academic to me, but I thought I would try to see what is actually in Windex to see if I could find an equivalent.

Looking on the Windex web site I found the Materials Safety Data Sheet for Windex Original which is the Windex that I assume people are referring to. This is dated 19 Apr 2007 and only lists (as you can see in the extract below) Ethylene glycol n-hexyl ether, Isopropanol and Water as ingredients - no Ammonia, although the description of Windex says its key ingredient is Ammonia-D®.

Click on the images to see them full size

So is there ammonia in it or not? Surely not as I can not imagine that the data sheet would leave out such an important ingredient. What exactly is Ammonia-D®?

It does, however, describe Windex Original has having an "Ammonia-like" odour - see extract below.

The manufacturers may have had ammonia in it originally and had to remove it for health and safety reasons, but kept the smell for brand continuity...

It may well be the Isopropanol that is the active ingredient for cleaning nozzles as it is certainly a solvent and I think I have heard it mentioned in some nozzle cleaning posts somewhere...

If anyone can add anything or enlighten me with an equivalent UK product please leave a comment.

1 comment:

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