Ink Recycling from Planet Ink Club

How to clean a printer

Having a good quality printer and the finest ink doesn't mean that your printed documents will always come out 100% perfect every time. From black lines, faded areas and blurred text, a printer needs some basic maintenance to uproot these minor problems.

Don't be swayed by the variety of printers - there are only really two types (compact home printers and the larger ones used for advertising prints etc) but the cleaning process is essentially the same, just scaled.

Home printers

Cleaning an everyday office type printer usually just means giving it a thorough wipe down. The trick is not overdoing it.

Cleaning chemicals to avoid using include alcohol or more harsh cleaning agents. Stick with light cleaning supplies like baby wipes or a damp non-shedding towel. In either case, do not let water get in contact with the inside of the printer before you've got those warranty documents printed out.

Cleaning the printer

Step one is to unplug the printer. Open the front of the printer and with a damp non-shedding cloth give a light wipe down with dust build ups and paper shards as your main point of interest.

If your documents have been printing with black marks on the back, look inside the printer and wipe excess ink away. Make sure to wipe this area again with a dry cloth so that there is no remaining moisture.

Don't neglect the cartridge itself - remove it and gently wipe any excess ink away but be sure not to leave any pieces of cloth around exit ports as these will only get blocked.

Remove the paper tray (if possible) and check underneath for dust and paper shards. Also wipe the tray with a mild cleaning detergent.

Also consider investing in a cleaning cartridge, which helps to clean inaccessible points of printer by hand, much like a VHS, DVD or cassette head cleaner would help sort out your entertainment units.

To clean it electronically, go into your computer's control panel, go through to printers and see what cleaning options are on display there. Here the unit will be able to run diagnostic programs to look for errors.

For larger printers consider a small vacuum cleaner but try not to set off a static charge.

Also be aware of seasonal changes that may affect your printer's performance such as cold in winter and pollen in spring. Be sure to keep your printer in a sensible area at all times, preferably away from direct sunlight but also not somewhere that is overly damp or cold.


Useful Information

10 Ways to save money on your Printing costs

Five fun family activities with the home printer

An easy guide to changing printer ink cartridges

How to clean a printer

Why are re-manufactured ink cartridges so important?

What should you know about multifunction printers?

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