The “Error: Cleaning” display can have various causes on Brother MFC printers. Mostly you have to empty the ink tank and reset the counter.
How to Fix Cleaning Error
The “Cleaning” message does not refer to the print head.
The message “Cleaning” does not refer to the print head.
Narrowing down the Brother MFC error message
The MFC printers show on the display when something is wrong. If you see the message “Error: Cleaning” or “Device Error 46,” first perform the following steps to rule out a serious error:
Unplug the power cord from the Brother printer or from the wall outlet. It is not enough to turn off the MFC using the power button.
Press the Menu button while reconnecting the power plug. Press and hold the button until the display shows “Maintenance”. Now release the key.
Type in the number “82” using the numeric keypad.
The display should now show “Machine Error 46” or “Machine Error 00”. Press the stop button. If the ink tank is full, you can correct the error yourself, at least for a short time. If another display appears, the Brother MFC is defective. You need a professional.
Important information about the “Cleaning” message
The Brother MFC reports with the mentioned error message that the ink tank is full. Before you reset the counter, please note the following:
The printer has an absorbent pad in the lower part of the housing, behind the cartridge cassettes. This collects the ink that is flushed through the nozzles during printhead cleaning.
The printer uses an internal counter to count how often you clean the printhead. Once a certain number of cleanings have occurred, the message appears.
There is no sensor to check the actual level of the tank. If you reset the counter without emptying the tank, the tank may overflow. However, users report that this does not happen even after resetting three times. Place the Brother MFC on a surface that won’t be damaged by leaking ink if you don’t dare to open the device.
MFC printers are not all built the same way. As a rule, you need to remove the cartridges, disconnect the device from the mains and unscrew the base. The tank is a felt that is near the cartridge carriage. Take it out. Wash out the ink and let the pad dry. It is helpful if you record each step as you disassemble it with photos.
Replace the cushion when it is dry. Screw everything together and reinsert the cartridges. The printer will continue to show “Error: Cleaning” after you turn it on, because you still need to reset the counter.
Resetting the counter at the printer
Repeat steps 1 and 2 of the first part of the instructions.
Now type in the number “80”.
You will now see a display that starts with 00:00 and also shows the time.
Press the “Start S/W” key several times. Pay attention to the indication in the display. The message “PURGE:XXXXX” must appear there.
Use the numeric keys to enter the number “2783”. PURGE:00000″ must now appear in the display.
Now press the “Start S/W” key again several times until “FLUSH:XXXXXXXX” appears in the display.
Enter “2783” again via the numeric keys, now the display shows “FLUSH:00000000”.
Unplug the power cord and plug it back in.
Note: If you cannot access the menu via the “Start S/W” key, try the “Menu” key. Use the arrow keys to navigate through the menu.