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The Brother MFC-240C is an all-in-one color inkjet printer.

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Colour cartridges full but not printing

I've been using this Brother MFC for some time and I've been quite happy with it.

About a year ago I noticed that colour images would only print black and white.

My settings are to full colour. The cartridges are full and in good condition according to the ink refill place.

Not sure what else is going wrong.

Update (11/03/2015)

Actually, I updated the question to reflect the proper model is all.

I regularly hear the printer doing the automatic head cleaning.

I just wonder if it's possible to submerge those bits in rubbing alcohol or some other non-water source to remove clogs/build up.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Have you tried printing a colour copy of a page, by loading a page with colours on it into the printer, using the copy function on the printer itself and pressing Color Start? Does it come out B/W or Colour? If colour is printed then at least it proves that your printer can still print in colour, which is a start to finding out what's wrong.


Colour simply does not work. It's not a file transfer issue from the computer. Using the colour copy setting will not do anything either. I'm curious what I may need to clean to get the ink to flow out from the tanks.


Also, mine is 250c not 240c



Sorry about thinking it was 240c I can only surmise, like you, that the printhead has become clogged with dried ink due to not using colour that often. The cost of replacing the printhead exceeds the cost of a new printer. I can only relate to you my experience with my Brother mfc 440cn which had the same problem, not as bad, would not print magenta or yellow. I ended up doing a printhead clean operation 7 times, which I know is wasteful of ink, but I couldn't print red or yellow anyway and their cartridges were full (you can select colour as a clean option so you don't waste black). It worked, although I had to do it one more time as the yellow was still intermittent. I have since worked out how to prevent this problem, if you do not print in colour that often. Leave the machine in sleep mode. I found that it would "wake up" every so often and do a quick printhead clean then go back to sleep. I hardly print in colour but for over 3 years now have not had a problem. I am using generic brand ink refills



According to my experience with the MFC-240, I can fully support what jayeff just said.

If his recommendation does not work out there are still two more options. First, you may start a power purge (cleaning) procedure, using the printer's "service mode". I could send you the instructions how to activate this in case you need it. It is not complicated, just a strict procedure of steps you have to follow.

The next option is to open and disassemble the printer and to clean the print head with distilled water. I did it, and it helped. However, for doing so, you need a service manual for the MFC-240, and quite a bit of courage ;)


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2 Answers

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100% EASY FIX!!!

1. Take out all your print cartridges from the print head.

2. Take Canned Air (with the straw attached) and shoot air into the small hole in the printhead where the ink is sucked out of the cartridge. Your problem is a clogged line. The air will clear the line for you.

Caution--Small ink splatters may occur. Wear gloves and an apron.

3. Run through the cleaning cycle one time.

4. Print test page. Your problem should be solved.

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Thank you so much Manuel! It did this and then ran cleaning cycle 6-7 times and its all back to normal now! Thanks :)


Thank you. its working . i used straw and shot air few times and cleaning cycle few times.


Hi, thank you. I used an air blower from china to do this and I needed to adapt the nozzles to fit over the small holes where the ink feeds into the printer. Now I get a result from a test print but not sure what the result means. Thank you, I am sure the printing will come right.


Thanks so much, this was a lifesaver!


I found it was not necessary to place the straw of the air blower right on top of the air hole for this to work - just get it as close as possible and let her rip. Watch out for splatter


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Aloha a nui loa! From years of repairing and working with printers:

Leaving the printer in sleep mode to run cleaning cycles is not a good idea. Here's why:

You do not want the printer to do these cleaning cycles. The more it does this, the more chance the ink will clog the nozzles. TURN IT OFF at night or when not in use for long periods. Also, by running so many cleaning cycles you run the risk that the printheads will clog up even more than it would if it runs the sleep mode cleaning cycles. You should only do as many as the manual claims (usually 4 or 5) preferably only 3.

Make sure you print color every week or so. The less you print color the more the ink will dry out and clog those nozzles from lack of use.

When the printheads don't get better with cleaning cycles. You might try a Power [Exhaust] Purge in Maintenance mode. When that fails (this can also render printheads useless so only do this ONCE), you can try to manually clean the printheads (since they are permanently installed and only completely disassembling printer will let you fully access them). WARNING - If the pwr surge cleaning works, do not run a regular cleaning cycle because you may completely lose one or more colors. After that, other than a manufacturer repair (UGH too much $$), a manual cleaning is your only hope.

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I'm confused, in 2 ways...


You don't mention which printer you're talking about.


You say: "running sleep mode cleaning cycles is not a good idea", then "You do not want the printer to do these cleaning cycles. The more it does this, the more chance the ink will clog the nozzles.

So you're talking about sleep mode cleaning cycles, and then you say: "by running so many cleaning cycles you run the risk that the printheads will clog up even more than it would if it runs the sleep mode cleaning cycles.".

This is the confusion... It basically says: "Sleep mode cleaning cycles are worse than sleep mode cleaning cycles".

Okay, I get it, don't let it run sleep mode cleaning cycles.

But, how do you clean the printhead? Do you mean to say you should occasionally (or more often?) initiate printhead cleaning manually?

Thanks for your help.


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SM will be eternally grateful.
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