Cleaning and Maintaining your Edible Printer

It’s important to adopt regular cleaning and maintenance practices from the start to get the best results from your edible printer and prolong it’s life.

We’re often asked how often should I clean my printer? This depends how often it’s being used. If it’s used frequently then carrying out weekly maintenance is good practice.

If the printer is used infrequently we strongly suggest you remove the cartridges from the printer, insert them back into the orange cradles supplied with your refillable cartridges and undertake a full printhead clean (see point 3 below). So next time you come to use your printer, all you need to do is re-insert your cartridges and away you go. Failure to do this and leaving the printer unused can cause the printhead to block. Edible ink is made from sugar which tends to crystallise on the printhead if left unused for too long.

For your weekly maintenance routine please find below screenshots and instructions for :

  1. ROLLER CLEANING (PART 1)
  2. ROLLER / PLATE CLEANING (PART 2) ( eliminating teeth / ‘tram’ lines)
  3. (Removal of) AND CLEANING THE PRINT HEAD- incl. links to videos
  4. TEST PRINT PAGE AND PRINT HEAD ALIGNMENT

These instructions (incl screenshots) have been created using an (Apple) Mac computer.
Instructions will be similar for Windows PC / Laptops.

Settings (Control Panel on a Windows PC)

Find your printer:

Click on Utility / open printer utility:

1 – ROLLER CLEANING

The Cleaning (drop down menu) should be the default menu showing 4 options :

Click on Roller Plate Cleaning (4th option / last option)

We then advise to click on the 3rd option where you insert A4 standard paper to clean rollers (see next step):

2 – ROLLER / PLATE CLEANING ( eliminating teeth / ‘tram’ lines)

After option 4, choose option 3 to clean the bottom plate.

Follow the instructions and fold a piece of standard A4 paper (not wafer paper or icing sheet) into a concertina pattern.

TIP – smear a small amount of sanitising gel across the peaks of the folds on both sides.

This helps to attract / clean dirt from the roller teeth (especially good if you have been getting ‘tram lines’ on your prints after printing dark colours

WARNING ! – DO NOT put too much sanitising gel on the folds else the paper may tear and get stuck inside the printer ! Use a smallish quantity and repeat many times . It is amazing how much ink comes off the roller teeth !

3 – (removal of) AND CLEANING PRINT HEAD :

Please see the following link to Youtube videos showing how to remove the print head for cleaning for ip7250 / MG5750-51 / TS5050-51 Printers : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPciNQLUjHtyclZcOIa7Afg

AFTER REMOVING/ RE-INSERTING A PRINT HEAD OR IF YOU HAVE BLOCKAGES IN THE PRINT HEAD, CHOOSE OPTION 2 FROM THE CLEANING MENU TO DEEP CLEAN THE PRINT HEAD:

4 – TEST PRINT PAGE AND PRINT HEAD ALIGNMENT

To print a test page, scroll down the menu on the printer utility to Test Print and follow the instructions

Choose Nozzle Check.

Sometimes, if the printer is not playing ball, or if you have removed and replaced the print head after cleaning, you may need to re-align the print head.

If you have never gone through this process before, you may be wondering, “What is a printhead alignment?” In a nutshell, a printhead alignment synchronizes the paper feed with the movement of the printhead, ensuring you get the best print quality possible.

Remember adopting best practices from the beginning will save you time, money and stress in the long run!

Good luck.

How to Set Up an Edible Printer

If you’re new to edible printing, we’ve compiled a list of handy hints which you may find useful: 

  • When setting up your printer ensure your paper type is set to envelope – this is the highest paper setting and allows for the easy feeding of icing sheets and wafer paper through your printer.  
  • If your printer includes our refillable cartridges, filling your ink cartridges is easy.  Simply remove the coloured plug from the top of the cartridge and syringe in the relevant edible ink. It’s important you fill the cartridge whilst in its orange holder do not attempt to fill the cartridge whilst it’s in the printer otherwise the ink will leak.  
  • Please ensure you fill the cartridges so both sides are full of ink (the sponge side and the cavity). This will ensure there is enough pressure for the cartridges to register on your printer and make the ink flow effectively. Also remember to remove the label marked PULL. 
  • Keep the orange holders for filling the ink next time. You must insert the cartridges into the holders before starting to fill them or the ink will leak. 
  • We have templates available for the pre-cut icing sheets – if you’ve purchased any of these please contact us and we can email the templates to you.  
  • When using icing sheets we recommend you feed them with the plastic strip first.  
  • Ensure both wafer paper and icing sheets should be stored flat, sealed at temperatures between +15 degrees C and +25 degrees C 
  • Remember an edible ink printer must ONLY be used with edible ink. Using standard ink and then switching to edible ink can be harmful to health as residual ink may still be within the printer 
  • Full instructions on filling the cartridges and for additional hints and tips on printing please see our blog (located at the bottom of our home page www.edibleprintsupplies.co.uk) 

How to Prevent Icing Sheets Looking Wet When Added to a Cake

We’re often asked why icing sheets bubble or look wet when they’ve been applied to a cake. Here are a few tips from regular cake makers and users of the EPS Icing Sheets on how to avoid this happening:
The best way to avoid the wet look is to ensure the printed icing sheets / cake toppers are applied to a cake at room temperature NOT a cake straight out of the fridge. Another major cause is keeping your cake in an air tight container which can result in your cake sweating and moisture developing on top of the icing sheet / cake topper.
You should avoid putting icing sheets directly onto cakes that have come out of the fridge or the moisture comes up through the icing sheet and leaves like a “morning dew” on them!  This also applies to fresh cream – the moisture / cold comes up and has like a “grass in the morning” effect!
The icing sheets should be applied onto room temperature cakes, so no matter what the cake is covered in; buttercream, fondant, chocolate, ganache etc…  it needs to be room temperature or you will get the dew effect.
If you haven’t got any fresh cream or fresh ingredients in a cake it doesn’t need to be kept in a fridge anyway – and if you’re storing the cake in an airtight container, there must be no moisture in the container, and in a room temperature type environment. Do not leave your cake sat in the sun where it will sweat and again create moisture.
Another tip from a professional cake maker and regular user of our icing sheets is to use buttercream over the back of the icing sheets to attach them to your cake. “If you wet the fondant icing, I find if you don’t get it positioned right the first time its pretty hard to peel off, so buttercream across the back is perfect as you can slide it into place without damaging the cake topper, and also if too much water is on the cake and you get it on your hands etc,, the ink just comes off and you end up with marks on your nicely iced cake!!”
“I did a test one day on various different scenarios!  So I put the icing sheet onto a cupcake with fresh cream and put it in the fridge. As a comparison I took a cupcake out of the fridge with fresh cream on and put the icing sheet on, and the result was the same – the cold moisture just rose through the icing and formed the “dew” You can clearly see the harry potter icing ones have the dew over them and the animal rice paper toppers have just wilted!  

Here’s a photo of the printed wafer paper before it was applied and after it absorbed the moisture:

Here’s a few examples of cupcake toppers that have been applied correctly:

Which Edible Printer should I choose ?

As we approach the Christmas Gift Idea season, we receive a higher volume of calls from new customers asking which printer is best for their edible printing needs ?, or the best printer kit combination for either a partner, family member or friend..

With 20+ years combined experience of printing onto edible mediums such as icing sheets, wafer paper, chocoloate and meringue transfer sheets, the team at EPS have seen various makes and models of printers come to market.

Whilst it has been said before in this blog, I repeat that Canon printers are clearly the best due to reliability, price and the fact that only Canon printers come with the ability to easily remove and clean the print head for easy maintenance. This makes Canon the obvious choice and we helped customers here by summarising the different printers and their attributes in the table below :

A3 or A4 size ?– is a personal decision – most domestic users start with A4 and commercial bakery / confectioners tend to choose the A3 printer which prints both  A3 and A4.

Rear feed or front / bottom feed ? – The A3 printer (Canon iX6850) affords the rear feed together with the newest printer available (Canon TS5050/51) – rear feed printers were favoured in previous generations of Canon Edible printer kits which were ‘rear feeders’ due to the nature of the product passing flat through the printer rather than up / round the mechanism from the front / rear. The edible sheet / transfer sheet clearly has less bending to do with this method of feed, but that said, the Canon printers with bottom / front feed (ip7250 / MG5750 / MG5751) have been used successfully for some years now.

Credit should probably be awarded to the quality of the EPS ‘Easy Peel’ Icing sheets, especially when it comes to using the pre-cut circle sheets with the rear/bottom feed printers because despite being pre-cut, the circles adhere extremely well to the sheets which are turned through 180 degrees with these printers.

Finally, Scanner/Copier or No Scanner/Copier ? – The ip7250 A4 printer and the iX6850 A3 printer DO NOT have scanner/copiers, but the Pixma models MG5750/MG5751, MG6851 and the latest more compact model the TS5050/TS5051 DO HAVE a scanner/copier. In our opinion, scanners are handy to have, especially if there;s not a printer/scanner/copier in the house – we all have to copy/scan passports, driving licenses, utility bills at some stage for identification purposes. Also, by using the colour copy mode, a printer copier can simply copy and print a photo onto icing / edible paper to be used on a cake without the need for connecting to a laptop/computer.

Print Quality – Whilst some models offer a higher print quality than others, in our opinion, the differences in print quality on all the Canon printers available from EPS is un-noticeable. In other words, print quality is excellent on all of our Canon printers and is a far cry from the quality achieved with dot matrix printers from the 1980’s ! – need we say more on the subject of print quality !

 

How to Wash a Clogged Print Head for Canon ip7250 ix6850 MG5750 MG5751 TS5050 Printers

How to wash or rinse the print head for a Canon 5750/5751/5752/5753 and ip7250 ix6850 Pixma and the latest edible food printer, the Canon TS5050 rear feed printer.

Following the previously posted video to remove the print head on Canon printers, this video shows how to safely wash or rinse the print head in the event of a clogged print head.

Edible Print Supplies advises that users of Edible Food Printers regularly remove and wash the print heads, even if they are not clogged. This preventative maintenance will save time, effort and cost in the long run – most importantly saving time when you need to urgently print but unfortunately suffer a clogged print head !

Please call EPS on 01254 825786 if you require any printer advice for printing on Edible Icing sheets, wafer paper including coloured and flavoured wafer paper and meringue and chocolate cocoa transfer sheets.

Or contact sales@edibleprintsupplies.co.uk

We take pride in supporting all customers with technical issues

Thank you and Enjoy Edible Printing !

How to Remove Print Head for Cleaning on Canon ip7250 & ix6850 Printers

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 11.29.36

How to remove the print head for cleaning on a Canon ip7250 / 7200 series / ix6850 Pixma series printers.
Video shows removal of Cartridges and then removal and replacement of print head.
Please call EPS on 01254 825786 if you require any printer advice for printing on Edible Icing sheets, wafer paper and meringue and chocolate cocoa transfer sheets.
Or contact sales@edibleprintsupplies.co.uk
We take pride in supporting all customers with technical issues
Thank you and Enjoy Edible Printing !

 

How to Remove Print Head for Cleaning on Canon MG5750 MG5751 Printer

print head removal for canon pixma MG5750 5751 Printer

How to remove the print head for cleaning on a Canon 5750/5751/5752/5753 and 6850 Pixma series printers.
Video shows removal of Cartridges and then removal and replacement of print head.
Please call EPS on 01254 825786 if you require any printer advice for printing on Edible Icing sheets, wafer paper and meringue and chocolate cocoa transfer sheets.
Or contact sales@edibleprintsupplies.co.uk
We take pride in supporting all customers with technical issues
Thank you and Enjoy Edible Printing !

How to achieve the best results with Sweet Artist Meringue Transfer Sheets

Sweet Artist Meringue Transfer Sheets

We’re really happy to introduce you to our Sweet Artist Meringue Transfer Sheets we’ve secretly been working behind the scenes for what feels like forever to develop our new exclusive Sweet Artist Transfer Sheet range. We think they’re fantastic and we’re sure you will too. Just follow the recipe below for best results.

The Perfect Meringue Recipe

We’ve experimented with lots of different meringue recipes for our NEW Sweet Artist Meringue Transfer Sheets and found sometimes the simplest recipes are the best……

This no hassle, easy recipe uses just 4 key ingredients and by following these simple steps results in perfectly manicured meringues.

meringue transfer sheets

Ingredients:

4 egg whites

110g (4oz) caster sugar

110g (4oz) icing sugar

1tsp vanilla extract

2 Sweet Artist Meringue Transfer Sheets

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 110C, Gas Mark 1/4, fan oven 100C

Line two baking trays with the Sweet Artist Transfer Sheets (instead of your usual baking parchment). Place the egg whites in an electric mixer (use the whisk attachment) and whisk at full speed for a few minutes until the egg whites hold airy, stiff peaks when the whisk is lifted.

Continue whisking adding the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time, with a few seconds between each addition. Once all the caster sugar is added, stop the whisk.

Sift in one-third of the icing sugar and fold gently using a spatula, then fold in the second third and finally the last third and the vanilla extract. The mixture should be fluffy and light at the stiff peaks stage.

Pipe your meringue mixture onto the Sweet Artist Transfer Sheets (coarse side up). Place both baking trays into the oven and cook for 1 and a half hours until the meringues are crisp on the outside and will easily lift off the transfer sheets.

Meringue transfer sheets

Tips – how to avoid meringue disasters:

Don’t rush when adding the caster sugar, or it can cause the egg whites to collapse. Add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time as instructed above.

Separate your egg whites carefully in a separate bowl as even a small amount of yolk can cause the meringues to collapse.

Ensure all of your equipment is free from moisture – again this can have fatal consequences!

Remember when piping the meringue mixture it must touch the Sweet Artist Transfer Sheets for the image to transfer.

It’s also important to ensure you cook the meringues at a low heat for at least 1 and a half hours to ensure the meringues have dried out completely. It’s a good idea to cook meringues in the evening. Turn off the oven after one and half hours cooking time and leave them in the oven overnight to dry out.

Printing onto the meringue sheets is always done as a mirror image (T-Shirt print). Print on the matt side.  Do not touch this part of the sheet as the lamination can easily be removed. Gloves are recommended.

Print on the Meringue Sheets by setting the print quality option of your printer to “High”. This will avoid excessive amounts of colour on the laminated part of the sheet.

The Meringues should separate easily from the Sweet Artist Meringue Transfer Sheets. The meringues can be lifted from the transfer sheets as soon as they’re removed from the oven or when cool.

We’d love to see your meringue creations, please email your photos to sales@edibleprintsupplies.co.uk and we’ll add them to our blog and Facebook page x

 

How to Refill Edible Ink Cartridges

cartridges with border 305 135

Using EPS refillable edible ink cartridges and filling them with EPS edible ink tends to be more economical than purchasing ready filled cartridges especially if you’re printing large volumes of cake toppers or cupcake toppers.

  • Firstly ensure you purchase the correct EPS refillable edible cartridges for your printer.
  • The most popular refillable EPS edible cartridges are the PGI550/CLI551 which are suitable for the Canon IX6850 and Canon IP7520 printers or the 570 / 571 cartridges for Canon printers TS5050 and TS5051.
  • To fill your cartridges follow the instructions below carefully ensuring you wear protective/ sterile gloves before you start.
  1. IMPORTANT – before refilling make sure your cartridges are in the orange cradles (otherwise the ink will drip from the bottom of the cartridge) and DO NOT try to refill your cartridges whilst in your printer. Always return them to the orange cradle.
  2. Remove the yellow pull tape
  3. Remove the coloured plug and fill the edible ink through this refill port by using a clean syringe and needle. Ensure you use a quality edible ink to prevent damage to your printheads. EPS edible ink has been specially formulated to prolong the life of your printheads.
  4. Fill the cartridge – ensuring the sponge is completely soaked and the cavity is 3/4 full . Remember it is always better to under-fill rather than to over-fill edible ink cartridges to avoid leaking. EPS cartridges come with auto-resettable chips allowing unlimited edible refills. However, after many refills the cartridge outlet may wear out and the cartridges should be replaced.
  5. If the ink isn’t soaking into the sponge, remove the yellow pull strip / tape

How to install your EPS cartridges

1. Remove the pull-tab on the top of the cartridge that says “PULL”. This exposes a small breathing hole that the cartridge needs in order to function. Remember that edible cartridges need enough air so that the edible ink can be adequately dispersed through the edible printer by the printhead. If you press on the pad underneath the cartridge with a tissue, ink should come out of the cartridge. If it doesn’t, you may need to pierce the breathe hole with a sterile pin / needle.

2. Carefully remove the orange bar from the bottom of the cartridge to expose the outlet port for the ink.

3. The cartridge is now ready to be installed into your printer. Make sure the cartridge “clicks” into place by pushing it down into its corresponding slot.You may need to gently pull the lever at the front of the cartridge forward slightly to ensure it fits properly.

To maintain the best quality and prevent print head clogging, we recommend turning your printer OFF and then back ON every day it is not in use, or if it’s not going to be used for a length of time we recommend removing the ink cartridges and carrying out a printhead clean as per the instructions below:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPciNQLUjHtyclZcOIa7Afg

Edible inks are made with water-based food colouring, they include sugar and colour. If you leave the printer idle for too long the liquid from the cartridges may evaporate slightly, leaving behind deposits which can crystallise and clog up your printer print heads. By turning your printer on and then off once a day, your printer will do a cleaning cycle and keeps the inks flowing through the print-heads, preventing clogs.

 

How to Apply Printed Cake Toppers to Your Cake

Peter Rabbit book

Photo courtesy of Evie’s Cake Design

Cakes can be transformed in minutes with the simply addition of printed cake toppers. To achieve the best results follow our simple guide on the most effective way to store and apply your cake topper:

Storage

It’s essential printed icing sheets / cake toppers are stored in a sealed bag to prevent the icing drying out and the printed edible image deteriorating.

Ensure the cake topper is stored on a flat surface away from excessive heat and humidity.

We always recommend buying your printed cake topper as near to your event as possible. Our tests have shown once printed, cake toppers are at their best when used within 2 – 3 weeks.

How To Apply Cake Toppers 

Printed cake toppers will work on most cake coverings but the best results are achieved when used on smooth, fondant icing or shop bought, ready iced cakes.

When using EPS icing sheets the cake toppers have virtually no taste, but are completely edible.

Before applying your cake topper you’ll need to ensure your icing is slightly moist. The best way to achieve this without over dampening your cake is to spray a fine mist of water onto the surface of your cake before applying your cake topper.

Next, carefully remove the plastic backing from your icing sheet. EPS icing sheets are specifically designed for ‘easy peel’ and don’t require any freezing or heating unlike some other icing sheets. The backing should easily remove with a palette knife or cake slice.

At this stage it’s important you don’t touch the edible printing on your cake topper with wet hands or the ink will run!

Carefully place your cake topper in the desired position on your cake and press down gently.

It’s as simple as that! 

Please note, EPS icing sheets can be used on buttercream but it’s always best to apply your cake topper at the last minute to ensure it is at its best.