"Unable to clean 46" error message on Brothers printers

MAJ 13/11/15
Solution 1:
  • Pull out the AC plug.
  • Put back the AC plug while holding down the "Menu" button and keep holding it (15 sec): you're entering the Maintenance mode and "error 46" pops up in the display.
  • Select 8 by using the arrow buttons, push "OK" and select "0" and push "OK"
  • Message 00:00 00:01 OK appears.
  • Push the "Mono" button 25 times until you see PURGE: xxxxx
  • Select 2, push ok, select 7,push ok,select 8,push ok, select 3,push ok
  • Purge counter indicates: purge: 00000
  • Switch off the printer, switch it on.

Solution 2: reset the ink counter
  • Press buttons OK, Menu, Mono Start one by one, followed by up arrow key four times. this should all be done as short a time as possible, around 3 seconds.
  • Enter maintenance mode 80,  by pressing the up/down arrow key and set key to select numbers 8 and 0
  • Press blue MONO start button to select PURGE which requires it to be pressed a number of times before PURGE appears on the LCD screen of the printer
  • Use the up'down key and OK button to enter the reset code 2, 7, 8 and 3 keys to reset the counter.
    Press Stop/Exit key to go to root of maintenance mode.
  • Enter 9,9 to exit maintenance mode


Mary Curtis said...

Absolutely fantastic. Many thanks to who ever posted this fix.
I love my brother printer and although I have and epson, the brother is much neater.

Thank you

Anil said...

thanks a lot its perfect , it works

Anil said...

perfect, it works. Thx

Anonymous said...

it doesn't work - there is no purge 00000 (only purge 06410) and the power button doesn't work whilst there

virtel2 said...

Thank you so much!

It works!

To the one who posted anonymous . . no need to see purge 00000 . .
if it does not power off . . . just unplug the ac power and put it back. . . presto it works.

Baz said...

Excellent - thank you to whoever posted this fix.

I have a Brother DCP-115C and got the message Unable to Clean as opposed to Unable to clean error 46 but thought I'd give the fix a go anyway and it worked a treat.

Thanks again.

Daniela Vatamanu said...

worked like a charm, thank you

Anonymous said...

Al Chavda

Absolutely brilliant whoever posted this on the web.you saved my life I had to print e tickets for a show tomorrow and the printer would not work.Followed your solution and it worked a treat.A very BIG thank:)

Anonymous said...

Amazing stuff, thanks. The first solution didnt work but the second one did.
Brother is great.
***If it says that you are out of ink, just put some black tape on the cartridge's ink indicator and you'll be able to print much more...***

Anonymous said...

i love you guysss...thanks a lot

Anonymous said...

i love you guysss...thanks a lot- valkaeril

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this great advice. It worked like a magic! This post was way more helpful than the printer's user's guide :).

Anonymous said...

Took your solution 1 for my Brother Printer and it worked a treat.
Thanks so much

nyaneinda said...

So GOOOD thank you so much your post
you save my money
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the help. Have a MFC440CN and had to tweak the steps. This printer allows you to enter the whole number before hitting OK. Enter '80' then hit OK. Enter 2738. No need to hit OK. Also. use the down arrow to scroll to the PURGE setting. And Bob's your uncle.

dec67 said...

OMG it works !! THANK YOU to who ever posted this, it's fantastic, you saved my life :)

Anonymous said...

neither of these worked for me.
Couldn't get PURGE to reset to all zeros.

Anonymous said...

This worked with some modification, I had to leave out pressing OK after the numbers - just entered the purge digits as one long number.

Anonymous said...

My printer never gets to the 3rd step were it's supposed to say 00:00 00:01 OK. Help please

Anil G said...

Thanks for posting. it works.

Vendingmassagechair said...

Really, it works!!! Who ever you are, tq tq tq. U did mankind a service. God bless

Nils Lande said...

Worked on my DCP-357C. Thank you :-)

Nathan said...

Worked on my MFC A3 printer with a bit of variation. But why does it happen at all if its only a fake error and not a real error?

minipotatochips said...

Thanks so much, it worked! I use MFC 440CN. Yes my case needed variation on this instruction, as Anonymous says, when pressing 2, 7, 8, 3, you don't need to press ok but just press 2783 then it will indicate Purge 00000. I turned off the printer and re-plugged. It turned on without this error message. Thank you so much!! I had contacted BROTHER earlier and they said I would need to bring a repair service centre and sure it would cost me an arm and leg. I am so happy to have found this instruction. Internet provides a lot of solution for your machine gone wrong. I fixed my SONY Handycum just following an instruction and
it started working again. Fabulous. Thank you to all who put up these info for free!!

Fadia S said...

Thanks a lot for this valuable help... the first solution works with BrotherLC37BK but needs a small variation by pressing 2,7,8,3, without Ok

Fadia S said...

Thanks for your comment..it helped me to modify the first solution and be useful to the printer

Anonymous said...

I have tried both options but purge shows 09602 and will not clear to 00000. Any suggestions please. Thanks

Jann Lassalle said...


What is your model printer ?

Anonymous said...


Webhostkeys - Web hosting said...

Thank you for this post. It works!!!

For Brother mcf490cw "unable to clean 46"
This steps will surely works:
1. Press Ok, press Menu, press Mono, press Up arrow(4 times) wait for the word maintenance will display.
2. Dial 80
3. Click Down arrow until you will see Purge XXXX
4. Dial 2783
5. Press Exit
6. Dial 99

Anonymous said...

we already tried your solution, at first it works for those first timer who encounter
ink box is full, but ours is 2nd time already and the purge counter is already 00000, still the machine error 46 is displayed

Jann Lassalle said...


Try this:
Power off the printer and unplug the power cable.
Wait 5 minutes
Plug back et switch on

Nahlat Al Madina Supermarket said...

sorry again same message.. please replay

Anonymous said...

Fab-u-lous!! Worked a treat - thank you so much for this guidance.

Mike Osborne said...

Wonderful instructions. Worked first time.
Thanks heaps

Pepe Ruiz said...

Thanks for your help.
In my case, Brother MFC-660CN, the sequent of commands is this:
• Pull out the AC plug.
• Put back the AC plug while holding down the "Menu" button and keep holding it (15 sec): you're entering the Maintenance mode and "error 46" pops up in the display.
• Select 8 (by using the arrow buttons=no), push "OK" and select "0" and push "OK" (Using keypad of printer...)
• Message 00:00 00:01 OK appears.
• Push the "Mono" button 25 times until you see PURGE: xxxxx
• Select 2783 and push ok (Using keypad of printer... ever).
• Purge counter indicates: purge: 00000
• Switch off the printer, switch it on.

Anonymous said...

plss help i just already done this method maintenance, 80 then purge, 2783, then maintenance 99 .. after turned on . may printer still blinking in red ,... ink box full .. any one can help me fixed this problem .. God Bless

Jann Lassalle said...


What is your printer model ?

Nassim said...

Thank you :)

Colin Shepherd said...

Unable to select 8 from arrows only key pad works

razi biswas said...

Thank you very much. God bless you. Thanks a lot.It's a great help for me.