Dust, grime and build-up are prime culprits that can prevent a printer from performing at an optimum level, provoking a shorter life for the machine as well as affecting the quality of pieces produced as a result. While keeping a printer working successfully and caring for a printer can extend the life and produce high quality prints, it can also be an easy and efficient alternative to mere replacement with a new printer.
Source: The U.S. Army
Caring for a printer and keeping in clean and working efficiently includes some important tools and tricks that can provide positive results. In contrast, some practices that seem simple and effective should not be performed on various printers, making understanding the ins and outs of printer care a vital part of extending its life. Most importantly, there are ten especially imperative tips to maintain proper and flawless action.
Simple Dust Removal :
Dust and grime can be removed easily and simply removed with canned air, which can be easily found and purchased, kept within the home for a variety of household chores. Because canned air can be used for an array of reasons and jobs, it is easily accessible and a given tool that can prevent the build-up of dust. Regular maintenance preventing and removing excessive dust and dirt build-up is vital to the operation of a printer and can also be one factor that can keep the warranty on the printer intact. In fact, some types of printer companies will not honour a warranty in which dust is not regularly cleaned and is allowed to build-up and prevent correct machine function.
Sterilising the Delicate Cleaning Station :
Special care should be taken when gently washing the cleaning station, which is also known as the “garage” of the printer. Only a soft cotton cloth should be used to prevent scratching. Additionally, windex or alcohol can be used with the cloth for cleaning the cartridges rubber blades. Other cleaners could potentially result in smearing or damage.
Cleaning the Print-head :
As the part of the printer that applies ink to paper when completing the process of printing, the print-head is a vital portion of the machine to be maintained and cleaned thoroughly and often. In Windows, the print-head can be cleaned with a program on the computer, by selecting an option within the utilities or control panel of the computer. Instructions and help running through print head cleaning process can usually be found step by step by visiting the printing preferences on the computer, where users will be walked through the cycle. When the computer and printer work together to clean the print head, a piece of paper will be printer where users can compare the printed version with a version of the print which will be displayed on the computer monitor. If grids or stripes are missing on the paper version in comparison with the monitor’s version of the print-out, users can then clean the print head with a simple click of the mouse. Multiple cleanings are sometimes necessary when the print heads are extremely dirty.
Ink-jet Printer Maintenance Know-how :
Cleansing an ink jet printer can often be an option found within the computer itself, which, like the printhead cleaning, can be performed with certain steps that the computer will walk the user through. Traveling to the options section of the computer will yield step by step results of head cleaning, nozzle checks or printer cartridge cleaning options. Clicking on the correct option listed, or a similar choice will result in a cleaner printer. Though an inkjet printer can be cleaned by the method listed previously, some printer versions can be cleaned by merely replacing the printer cartridge, which can gain build-up and dust with time.
How to Clean a Laser Printer :
Cleaning a laser printer definitely requires that the machine be turned off while transfer wires, toner guards, paper feed rollers and fan vents are cleaned. Like other types of printers, using canned air can be a great way to clear dust and debris from tiny crevices and corners of a laser printer. When cleaning a laser printer, taking care when dealing with toner is a very important step to prevent damage that can result from toner access to skin.
Proper Tools and Equipment for Printer Cleaning
Manually Cleansing :
The key to cleaning the different portions of various printers manually is to take apart the more simple aspects of the machine. Removing cartridges and trays can be a great way to provide access to the different corners and portions of the printer. Finding access simply and easily by removing only simple parts of the printer can provide access without too much time required to put the pieces back together.
Using Technology Advancements to Easy Cleaning :
In addition to maintaining the performance of a printer by keeping it clean, there are also types of software on the market that use the computer to help clean and maintain the printer itself. While there are programs that come with the computer, there are also additional software programs that can be purchased and used with the printer as long as compatibility is assured.
Printer Cleaning Don’ts :
Using a vacuum to clear dust and debris is often a big no no for those seeking to clean a printer. Because of the static that can often result from vacuum use, a better option for clearing dust is either canned air or a vacuum that is specifically designed for cleaning a printer and computer area.
Maintenance and Prevention :
While regular dusting and de-gunking are important parts of keeping a printer functioning at its best, it is also important to consider where a printer is stored and how it is stored in order to prevent the build up of dust in the first place. Keeping a printer in an area that can avoid as much dust as possible can be a good way to prevent excessive build-up although dusting and maintenance will still be required. Purchasing a cover for the printer, especially one that is not used regularly can also be a helpful way to prevent excessive dirt and grime.
James Adams is a UK based product analyst and writer who reviews consumables for Canon printers at Cartridge Save.