Cleaning a Printer

Benefits: When your print job isnít up to par, you can get rid of smudges, white lines and reduce paper jams by simply cleaning your printer. Of course, the real benefit of cleaning is that it saves you money by prolonging the life of your printer!

Your first step in cleaning a printer is always to check your manufacturerís documentation. If you donít have a written manual, most manufacturers provide tips on what not to do and provide support for even older printer models on their web sites. Use only the cleaners that your manufacturer recommends and clean only recommended areas of your printer.

Tip: Search for terms like printer maintenance, printer cleaning, and troubleshooting.
Tip: Always check both your manufacturerís documentation and warnings and advisories on cleaning products to be sure they are compatible with your printer and the cleaning job that needs to be done.

Cleaning the Outside of Your Printer
1. Turn your printer off before cleaning.

2. Clean the outside of your printer with a moist, lint-free cloth. Flour sacking or 100% cotton white t-shirt material works well.

3. Usually a solution of one part vinegar and one part water is safe to use, but when moistening a cloth, be sure to wring out all the excess. Distilled or RO (reverse osmosis) water minimizes mineral residues. If you do use a prepared cleaner, make sure it is safe for both electronics and plastics.

4. Always moisten the cloth. Never spray an aerosol directly onto your printer.

Cleaning a Laser Printer
1. Turn the printer off, unplug it, and allow it to cool down before you begin.

2. Remove the internal paper trays.

3. Remove the toner cartridge and place it on a piece of clean paper.

4. Clean inside the toner cavity with a dry, lint-free cloth and printer brush.

5. Clean the printer mirror gently with the brush. Don't touch the mirror if a brush isn't provided.

6. Wipe away dust and spilled toner. Remove paper fragments.

7. Clean the rollers, but donít touch the transfer (sponge) roller.

8. Replace the toner cartridge.

Tip: Exposure to light can damage toner cartridges. Always cover your toner cartridge with an extra lint-free cloth or piece of paper after removing it.

Cleaning an Inkjet Printer
Most inkjets have a self-cleaning process you can access from your printerís control panel. If that process doesnít remedy the problem, try one of the following. Remember to check your manufacturerís documentation and the product documentation to be sure it is right for your printer.

1. Inkjet cleaning cartridges flush dirt and debris out of clogged printer nozzles, restoring the quality of your prints and prolonging the life of your print heads. However, take care that the cleaning fluid you use is approved for your brand and model of printer.

2. Before cleaning inside your inkjet, turn it off and unplug it. Let it cool down if necessary.

3. Dust, hair, and lint from inexpensive papers can gum up your printerís rollers. A computer vacuum is usually a safe way to remove debris.

4. Roller cleaning sheets can help in cleaning print rollers. Again, check documentation before use.

Tip: Most manufacturers recommend against using compressed air since the propellant may add moisture to the inside of your printer.

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