Typically, cleaning your printer will save you from endless paper jams and smudged printouts. In addition, cleaning your printer will prolong its lifespan, thereby saving you money. Before you start the cleaning process, however, it is important to check the manufacturer’s documentation. You might end up doing more harm than good when you use the wrong cleaning supplies. Check the warnings and the recommended cleaning products before you start cleaning.
Firstly, it is important to note that ink and toner residues in your printer do not affect the printer performance. Therefore, you should clean the essential parts that require cleaning in order to limit the risks. You can clean the print cartridge, paper rollers, printer heads and the printer exterior. In case you want to wipe the interior part, you should use distilled water and a microfiber cloth. Before you start cleaning, unplug the printer from power.
The Cleaning Process
You can clean the printer exterior using a wet cloth. Ensure that you wring the cloth to get rid of the excess water. Cleaning the exterior wipes off the accumulated dust on the printer surface. Ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when cleaning to avoid breakages. Do not force compartments to open, because it can cause breakage. Ensure that these compartments open effortlessly while cleaning.
Normally, a printer accumulates waste toner and ink over time. In order to remove the waste ink, you should remove the printer cartridge from the printer. Thereafter, wipe the cavity clean using a soft cloth and alcohol. Alternatively, you can use a vinegar and water solution. Ensure that you wring out the excess liquid before wiping. If it is an inkjet printer, wipe the cartridges to unclog the nozzle and remove debris from the surface.
Accumulation of dirt on the printer rollers is what causes paper jams. Paper rollers feed the paper in and out of the printer. If you have a clean and well-maintained paper roller, you will have less paper jams and less misaligned print jobs. Before cleaning the rollers, remove the papers from the tray. Consequently, remove the tray. You might have to remove the print cartridge assembly first, depending on the type of printer. Thereafter, wipe the accumulated dust on the roller. Alternatively, you can use a blower to blow off the dust.
Ultimately, you should use the automatic cleaning utility occasionally to clean the print heads. Notably, inkjet and laser printers have this built-in software, and all you need is to run the printer software. Thereafter, select the ‘clean’ option and the printer will automatically clean the print head. The automatic cleaning process requires a blank sheet of paper and the printer will use some toner or ink during the cleaning process. After the process, print a test page and if it is not satisfactory, you can run the process once again.