Printer Cleaning & Avoiding Accidents

Printer cleaning tips and tricks guide. One way of keeping a printer clean is to avoid introducing dirt into it.

Keeping The Printer Cleaning Tips

  • With a laser printers that has a transfer roller, do not touch the roller. The natural oils on your skin will permanently mark the roller.
  • If you have a paper jam, remove any torn paper carefully, as per the manufacturer's recommendations. You then need to clean the printer regularly as part of your maintenance program:
  • The fuser rollers can become dirty and leave residue on the paper. Clean these printer parts as necessary to maintain print quality.
  • Dot matrix printers can be vacuum cleaned, or any dust blown out with compressed air. For laser printers special vacuum cleaners are required; otherwise, the toner can ruin^ the vacuum cleaner.
  • A wire brush can be used to clean the paper transport of an InkJet or laser printer. Rubber conditioning products may also be used.
  • The laser printer produces ozone gas and may have an ozone filter to trap this gas and any paper dust. Replace this filter as per the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • The mirrors inside the laser printer can be cleaned with a lint-free cloth.
  • The printer may have a head-cleaning sequence. For example, an inkjet printer will have a head-cleaning utility so, if you don't use the printer for some time and the ink dries I out, you can refresh the nozzles.
  • Some printers provide a utility to check the quality of the print, e.g. for alignment of the colour guns. The software provided with the printer will guide you on how to use this.

Avoiding Accidents

As with other PC equipment there are a few safety rules to follow

  • For most printers, plug it into a surge protector or UPS. However, do not plug a laser printer into a conventional PC UPS, unless the UPS can handle the peak loading of the laser printer.
  • Remember that the fusing rollers of a laser can be hot.
  • If you spill toner on your skin, brush it off carefully. Do not use hot water this may cause the toner to fuse with your skin Instead, use cold water, if necessary, to wash the affected area.
  • Never look directly at the laser; it would burn your eye.

Common Problems

Printers have moving parts which finely co-ordinate movement of the paper with that of the printing mechanism, so there is much that can go wrong. You may have made the 'usual' mistakes during installation.

  • Have you securely connected the correct cabling to the correct port using the correct orientation? Have you installed a printer driver that is appropriate for your type of printer?
  • If you have several printers set up, are you sending the printout to the printer that is connected, and/or have you set the printer up as the default printer? Even the cheapest of printers at under $100 will have software to help you to troubleshoot printing problems.

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