Printers

Laser Printer Cleaning and Maintenance Tips#2

The upkeep and maintenance of a laser printer is just as important as maintaining a computer but is often overlooked. A laser printer that is properly maintained will print better and provide many years of service. With a couple of short procedures and a minimal amount of time, a clean and well-maintained printer is never far away.

Maintenance procedures for a laser printer should be performed on a monthly basis. These procedures can also be used to correct printing problems such as streaking, gaps in printing, and toner smears on printouts.

NOTE: This article provides a general overview of how to clean a printer and recommendations for cleaning materials. For best results, please refer to your printer’s documentation for detailed printer maintenance instructions.

Printer Maintenance

1. Unplug printer. For safety reasons it is best to let the printer sit for about an hour to cool down before starting the cleaning procedure.

2. Remove paper trays.

3. Open printer and remove toner cartridge. Place cartridge on a piece of disposable paper or newspaper. Be careful not to tip or shake the toner cartridge as this may lead to toner leakage.

4. Clean the interior of the printer with a dry lint free cloth. Many models of laser printers provide a brush inside the printer that can be used to gently remove toner from hard to reach areas. If no brush is provided a clean and dry paintbrush can be used.

5. If the printer has corona wires gently wipe the wires with cottons swaps dipped in isopropyl alcohol – take care if a wire breaks can be expensive to fix!

6. Clean the rollers with a slightly damp cloth to remove dirt buildup.

General Cleaning
The outside of the printer should be kept clean with a damp cloth. Care should be taken with toner cartridges when inserting or removing from printer to help prevent toner leakage. Toner can stain clothing, fabric and carpeting so care should be taken when handling a toner cartridge.

Toner/Paper Quality
Though it can be tempting to purchase cheap toner and paper for a laser printer this is not always a good practice. Lower quality paper and toner can greatly reduce the printers functionality can cause printing and hardware problems – it is worth staying with the manufacturers recommendation for toner and paper. If using recycled toner cartridges make sure the cartridges are from a reliable source as cheap cartridges can leak toner and cause damage.

Laser Printer Cleaning Sheets
Use these sheets to quickly clean the inside of a laser printer. Removes excess toner and dirt.
Laser Printer Cleaning Sheets

Printer Maintenance is an often overlooked area. People tend to believe that printers will suffer from wear and tear and components will need replacement eventually. While this is true, it must also be noted that proper maintenance can substantially improve the life of most components, significantly reducing the cost of ownership.

Printers come in various forms and sizes. Naturally, printer maintenance varies according to the type of machine that you may have. While some, like the hardy dot matrix printers, require less printer maintenance, other types are preferably handled with a bit of care to ensure a long operating life.

Printer maintenance for the dot matrix machines is pretty simple. The guide plates which guide the printing pins in these printers can wear out due to the accumulation of ink and grit within the plate. Timely replacement of cartridges allows less dirt and grit to form on the ribbon and permeate into the guide plate, thus increasing its life.

In case of inkjet printers, maintenance mainly involves the printing heads. The heads contain numerous miniscule pores through which the ink is sprayed on to the paper. With time, dry ink may accumulate on top of these pores and close them. Inkjet printer maintenance should be performed by taking out the cartridges and wiping the print head with a moist cloth. Once the head is dry, the cartridges can be placed back. Inferior quality ink resulting from cartridge refills may cause hazards like leakage into the various components. Hence proper maintenance also involves the timely replacement of cartridges and avoidance of faulty refills.

Laser printers are very common today and have quite a few components that need care. Maintenance firstly involves cleaning the rollers periodically. They have a soft rubber coating on them which can be cleaned by using a damp cotton cloth. Vacuuming the insides may also be necessary to remove resident toner particles within the printer. Special HEPA filter based vacuum cleaners may be required for proper laser printer maintenance. Furthermore, after about 100000 prints, the fuser which melts the toner on to the paper may need replacement. Timely replacement and maintenance keeps it running and your prints clean and smooth.

In order to avoid the consequences of an unforeseen breakdown of your printer, a printer maintenance kit might be kept handy. Available from manufacturers like HP and Canon, these kits contain parts that have the tendency to wear out over time, especially in case of laser printer maintenance. Collectively, they also cost less and save you the headache of waiting for the technician if your printer suddenly decides to die on you.

Proper maintenance, coupled to a handy maintenance kit when you need it ensures less stress when you have important work to do. Not only is a well maintained printer very reliable but also produces high quality prints for a long, long time.

Categories: Printers

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