To anyone who's interested, I got my printer working properly again!!!
(Go me GO ME!
Well I just wanted to share my experience:
(As a disclaimer, this process is probably not the "right" way to do it, and there's probably a easier/ faster way, but this is what worked for me, so don't hate if it doesn't work for you or if it screws you over!
All the materials you'll need are water (preferably distilled, but I used spring water), a microwave, a bag, a plate, and soft tissues (like bathroom tissues. cue tips will work too). Don't need to go to the store to buy any windex, alcohol or anything.
Just take the print head out of the printer, put the ink in a bag (zip-locked or make a knot to close the opening so the ink won't dry) and place the head aside somewhere dry. Heat up some distilled water in the microwave for a minute (I actually used deer park bottled water, hopefully it won't hurt in the long run) and pour some on a plate. Take the print head and submerge just enough of the bottom of the print head (or the base. It's where ink would come out of the print head and onto paper - should look like little slits probably with ink smudged around them) onto the plate with water. Be careful so that no water gets on any electronic chip (nothing's wrong if water touches the plastic film on the bottom of the head though) and you should see ink seeping into the water. Leave the print head there and get a cue tip, or soft tissue (like bathroom tissue) and dab a little hot water on it. Find the nubs on topside of the print head where the ink from the ink cartridge would normally touch the print head (should look like little colored dots) and lightly press the wet cue tip / tissue onto it, and you should see ink filtering up the tissue. So we're basically filtering out the ink from the bottom and the top, to get it done faster
. Now all you have to do is when the tissue/ cue tip on the top or the water on the bottom gets dark (filled with ink), throw out the dirty water / tissue and replace it with a clean one. This whole process took me an hour, because I haven't used the printer for over a year. Once you see that no (or very little) ink is coming out of either end, dry the print head all around with another soft tissue, place it back into the printer and put all the ink cartridges back in. Now leave them there for an hour so the head can dry a little more, especially internally. Then start up the computer, run a deep cleaning cycle with your printer's software, and print out a nozzle check pattern. Hopefully if everything worked out okay, you'll be as happy as I am now.
(Hmmm... I wonder if this can get on the hardware forum tutorials...)