An ink jet head 10 has an ink chamber 14 which receives ink from an ink inlet passageway 38. Pressure pulses applied to the ink chamber cause the ejection of ink drops from an ink drop forming orifice 23 and toward printing medium. A purging outlet 41 communicates with the ink chamber through a purging passageway 40. During purging, ink flows in a vortical path through the ink chamber 14 from the ink inlet passageway 38 to the purging outlet passageway 40. This sweeps air bubbles and contaminants from the ink chamber walls and removes them from the ink chamber. Ink pressure within the ink chamber 14 may be elevated to increase the flow of ink during purging. Also, a negative pressure may be applied to the purging outlet during purging. Variable frequency pressure pulses may also be applied to the ink chamber to assist the purging process.