I have recently been told by several people that Simple Green cleaner is being recommended by printer manufacturers to flush their DTG printer. While Simple Green is a great general cleaner for a variety of surfaces you definitely DO NOT want to use this in your DTG printer.
One person who reported this to Image Armor said they had used Simple Green to clean their printer fluid lines and print heads, however soon after had to replace the dampers due to ink clogging. It was even reported that several manufacturers are now commonly telling DTG users that Simple Green is the best cleaner to use and they don’t need to use specific DTG ink flushing or cleaning solutions. There are several reasons why this statement is not true and could lead to issues in your DTG printer if you do try to clean your system with these products.
After reviewing the components within Simple Green, there is a specific component that we found will NEGATIVELY react with the inks and can cause serious gelling or coagulation of the inks within the ink fluid system – including dampers and heads. Other “popularly” recommended cleaner are Windex. This is another one of the those solutions that we would not recommend for using within a DTG system. Many of these popular “home remedies” for flushing your printer can very likely lead to more serious issues. These home remedies can be exacerbated by using tap water (most often contains minerals and salts that can be bad) to using water the is “too pure” which can also cause issues with the inks. This is why ink manufacturers such as Image Armor have developed specific formulations to help clean, flush, and break down ink to make it safer for your DTG printer.
So, while using Simple Green might be recommended for general cleaning of surfaces and other areas it is definitely NOT recommended to clean your DTG printer, unless you really want to install new printer heads, dampers, and maybe complete ink lines.