Epson 3880 - small dotted stains on prints?

Question on an Epson 3880 that I brought back to life using PiezoFlush a while back. Been printing okay. Only recently I started to experiment with refillable carts with OEM inks extracted from large carts.

Was printing some colour targets in order to make an ICC profile when I discovered what appears to be small dots in the middle of prints:

What could the issues be? Head cleaning didn’t appear to change anything. Nozzle check is perfect (see below). Yet I consistently get these dots that look vertically evenly spaced and always to the same distance relative to the edges of these auto targets.

this indicates shmutz on the head that is causing ink to build up and then drop off during the head-run.

You need to carefully clean the surface of the head:


Thank you - pretty plausible. I tried this actually, but not much luck. It doesn’t happen most of my real prints but very few of them including this particular print (to make an ICC profile). Would it help if I keep the paper towel soaked with PiezoFlush underneath the printer head overnight?

I noticed that the link to the photos didn’t seem to have made it last time so here it is:

it would help to do an overnight soak yes


Thank you. After doing an overnight soak the problem seems to have been resolved! Fingers crossed…

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