I have an Epson ET-7750 eco tank printer and I don't print very frequently. It works great most of the time, but if I haven't printed in a while I start getting horizontal banding in whatever I print. I usually need to run the cleaner about six times before I get normal printing. It was to the point I had to change to the extra maintenance box it comes with because it was full of ink (from cleaning). Then it will say it needs to run the Power cleaner, which Epson's website makes sound like your setting off the printer equivalent of a nuke and could damage your printer, which makes zero sense! I've owned probably five or six printers in the last 20 years and never had a problem, even with other Epson printers.
I don't owe that model, but doesn't sound like an alignment issue (title), sounds more like ink drying on the print head and clogging the nozzles, that's why it needs the cleaning cycles, and that's why it works after, as you say, running such cleaning 6 times (that's a lot).
Possible influencing factors: ink, temperature, humidity/dry air, failing print-head cap and thus letting air get in contact with the print head and ink when printer is off, and too much time without use. Could be one or more of those things at the same time.
I would try to print a full color picture at least once every month, printers need to be in use to keep the ink flowing. Additionally, I would switch to another type of ink, pure DYE. Epson technology is piezo, so it supports other types of ink.