Error "unable to clean" on Brother MFC

Solution:
  • Machine off
  • Switch on the machine while holding down the “menu”button until all the leds are flashing on/off. Now you are in “maintenance” mode.
  • Press 80
  • Press the “mono start” button several times until you see “purge: xxxx”
  • Press “2783” in order to reset the purge counter. You will see: “purge:0000”
  • Press the "stop" button.
  • Press “99” to exit the maintenance mode.

See also: Error 46 on Brother printers

If you want to replace the absorber box:

52 comments:

extra said...

Yes! Many Thanks

Pierre-Yves said...

Wow ! It totally worked ! Thanks

Mircea Ţuglea said...

Works exactly how you said! Thanks!

elminz said...

My mfc-410cn came up with this message and made a sort of grinding noise while trying to clean. I followed the instructions above and it worked immediately after. Thanks for the help!

JP said...

Worked for me too! You're a lifesaver. Thanks soooo much. Any suggestions as to how to keep this monster from cleaning all the time?

meeep said...

is this for all MFC brother printers or just some? i have the MFC-425CN printer and it doesnt seem to be working, any suggestions?

LEH said...

Hi meeep,

Reset for MFC-425CN here:
http://fix-your-printer.blogspot.com/2011/12/brother-mfc-425cn-printer.html

Asad Ilyas said...

i tried many things for Brother MFC795CW but the error went from "unable to clean 46" to "unable to initialize 46"

help would be greatly appreciated on this one

roibar said...

amazing
was very helpfull!!!

roibar said...

amazing it was very helpfull

Vasu said...

Many Thanks! It works.

Barbara said...

Awesome!! worked perfectly!

Gary Davis said...

This fix was awsome, so simple, and so effective.. I thought I was going to have to buy another printer, this one (MFC620) has been so reliable, and the error "Unable to Clean" instruction in the manual does not mention the cause of the problem, it tells you to clean out clips or bits of paper in the machine... Many thanks it now works perfectly. Gary

淞×Water Pine said...

Thank you so much! It works perfectly! Thanks!! :D

Unknown said...

i tried this solution 2 times for Brother MFC5890CN but nothing happens..the "UNABLE TO CLEAN 5A" is still there..

any other suggestion please.....hope you can help me...thanks a lot

Gail said...

Thank you for posting this extremely helpful tip - it worked great for me! I thought I'd have to pay to have the printer serviced or get a new one, and I just replaced all the printer cartridges (around $60). It's funny how many people left comments during the wee hours of the morning...I was getting ready to call Brother support later today before I googled the error message and got this. I'm back in business, thanks to you! I really appreciate it!

jurassic said...

yeah worked perrrrfectly
thankyou from saving me buying a new printer

nera89 said...

Awsome! I feel like a magician. Thanks so much!

aadaca said...

portsec Worked a treat, thanks so much. (Otherwise my MFC640 would have been heading binward!)

Jamal Theodore said...

Worked for me for the MFC-420CN when getting the "Unable to clean" error message.

Khristine Turalde said...

IT WORKED! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!

james said...

Thank yo for the info! unlocked my printer so i could get it going again!

Anonymous said...

you certainly know your stuff worked a treat THANKS

SPARKY said...

Great job many THANKS

Anonymous said...

Worked! Much better than buying a new printer. Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Excellent, fixed my Brother 210

Anonymous said...

thanks - fixed my mfc-410cn exactly as stated

differentspin said...

Worked great on my Brother DCP-340CW. Since this model doesn't have a numeric keypad, I used the up and down arrows to compose the digits that were mentioned in the instructions.

Anonymous said...

It worked on my DCP-115C !

Anonymous said...

worked on our MFC-420CN. Glad I googled 'Unable to Clean' after Brother's troubleshooter said, "you need to take it to a shop for fixing"
and gave me a phone # of one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! That worked great!

Anonymous said...

Amazing. Worked perfectly. MFC420CN.

Anonymous said...

Thanks!!! Worked for me too!! Really appreciate it :)

Anonymous said...

great!

Anonymous said...

OMG!!!It actually worked!Thank you so much!!!!:D

Anonymous said...

Thank you! It worked!

Anonymous said...

Still working, much thanks!

Anonymous said...

Great solution worked for my MFC 640 CW. Thanks for sharing. It saved me $100

Anonymous said...

OK...that was really bizarre, and it really worked. I'm impressed & thank you.

Anonymous said...

you legend, everyone in the family is gonna be stoked that I (their teenage daughter) fixed the printer haha cheers! :D

Anonymous said...

You saved my printer! Many Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Worked perfectly...thank you so much!

Lovlee Libra said...

OMG! Perfection!...I tried a few other methods that I saw online to no avail. I sure am glad I found this site!!! Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

Did not work on my 390CW :(

Colin Ritchie said...

Owners manual was no help at all but this worked first go...thanks heaps.

Amit Patel said...

Yes! Bro Thank you . its work .i really thank full to get the tips from you .

GWhiskey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Thank you for the simplistic notes on how to exit the Error as stated.
You made it so easy.

JULIA said...

Brilliant, fixed THANK YOU!!!

Anonymous said...

YES it worked, we moved and had stored our printer for 4 months, it was giving the can't clean error. This worked 1st go, thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

hi this didnt fix the problem for me im still getting the clean76 error can you help me try something else

Jann Lassalle said...

Hi

What is your printer model for error 76 ?