Usually, a new printer comes packaged with a user’s manual. Manufacturers try to make your life easy by providing set-up and troubleshooting instructions. What doesn’t come in the box is a detailed list of tips to help keep your printer in tip-top shape. Since we know your goal is to hit print and go, we’ve put together a post that will help you maximize the service you get from your printer. Hint: It’s all about printer maintenance.
Generally, a printer can last between 5-10 years. So, it pays to take care of yours. As you’ll see, essential maintenance isn’t difficult or too time-consuming. Explore three of the top maintenance tips designed to keep your printer running smoothly.
1. Check the Print Nozzles
If you’ve never done a nozzle check, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Are you already panicking because it sounds more involved than you expected? Don’t worry! Checking the print nozzles is so simple that you could probably ask one of the kids to take care of it. First, locate the printer’s software utility on your computer. Request the software to perform a nozzle check. You’ll need to make sure you have paper loaded before starting the nozzle check.
Why? Since ink sprays out of the nozzles onto your paper, without paper in the tray, you won’t be able to perform the check. If you discover clogged printer ink cartridges, you can try to clean them.
2. Keep Your Printer Dust-Free
Dust and debris are not your printer’s friends. Both lead to paper jams, clogged ink cartridges, and user frustration. It’s not uncommon for people to grab a can of compressed air and use it to clear the dust. Canned air is more likely to spread the dust around than eliminate it. We suggest using a small hand-held vacuum cleaner instead. Don’t forget the outside of the printer. Using a soft cloth dampened with water is best to trap the dust particles.
With a separate lint-free cloth, gently dust the glass on the printer bed. If you notice streaks, you can spray a tiny amount of glass cleaner on the cloth and wipe. Only on the cloth, though, as you could damage the printer if you spray liquids directly on the surface.
3. Laser Printers Need TLC Too
So far, the tips we’ve shared apply primarily to inkjet printers. However, if you use a laser printer, you’ll still need to clean it. Experts at PremiumToners recommend cleaning your laser printer monthly. Regular cleaning on the outside with a soft cloth helps prevent dust build-up on the inside. Inside cleaning, which requires opening the printer and removing the printer toner cartridge, helps address common laser printer issues, including streaking and smearing toner on paper and printing gaps.
Once you remove the toner cartridge, use a soft, dry lint-free cloth to clean the printer’s interior. A small paintbrush works well to remove toner from hard-to-reach areas. Use a slightly damp soft cloth for any dirt found on the rollers.
Ready to Tackle Printer Maintenance?
While we’ve only shared three maintenance tips, depending on the model printer you own, you may need to perform other routine checks. If you don’t see anything specific to your printer’s maintenance tips, check with the manufacturer for further instructions.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, please take a minute and browse the other articles we’ve collected in our archives. In addition to what you’ll find there, we also consistently add new content. We hope our tips help you get started on taking care of your routine printer maintenance.
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