Proper maintenance is vital for the optimal functioning of a printer. Unfortunately, printer maintenance is often neglected or improperly performed resulting in costly repairs or complete failure of the printer. Here are five tips to help you maintain your printer (inkjet or laser) in good working condition.
Keep Your Printer Updated
One of the most important aspects of printer maintenance that many people ignore is updating to the latest drivers. A printer driver is a software that converts data into a form that the printer can print.
Outdated or corrupt drivers can cause problems in setting up your printer. Therefore, keep your drivers up to date to avoid any problems. From time to time, the manufacturers update their printer driver software to provide for more functionality. Visit the manufacturer’s website for more information regarding your printer model.
Keep Your Printer Manual Safe
Your printer manual will come in handy when you experience a mechanical issue such as a paper jam. When a paper jam occurs, go through the instructions in your printer’s manual to find the best way to solve the problem. However, it is recommended that you use both hands to gently pull the paper out of the machine to avoid damaging its internal parts.
As they say, prevention is better than cure, so, do not feed torn, dog-eared or damp papers into the tray. Additionally, do not add paper above the tray’s fill line.
Frequent paper jams without a clear cause might be a sign of sensor problem. In such a case, get a qualified technician to look at your printer.
Clean Printer Heads
You’ve probably printed a document that is faint or has lines running across it. This is an indication that the printer heads are clogged and should be cleaned. Cleaning the printer heads will ensure that the nozzles deliver ink properly.
There are two ways of cleaning the printer heads; from your PC using the printer software or from the printer by using its control panel buttons. You can also clean the printer heads manually if you prefer. However, read through your printer user manual or visit the manufacturer’s website to find out the best way to clean your printer heads.
It is important to note that printer head cleaning consumes ink. To avoid wasting printer ink, clean the printer heads only when print quality deteriorates.
Keep Your Printer Dust Free
Dust and other debris can be harmful to your printer. When dust builds up inside your printer, it can cause paper jams and produce printouts that have streaks of ink. You can use a handheld vacuum to remove the dust. Keep in mind that you should not use a compressed air blower because it will push the dust back into the printer.
You can also consider using a clean, lint-free cloth and a cleaning solution to clean the outside of your printer regularly. A cotton swab and water can also be used to clean the printer’s ink cartridges. Most manufacturers will provide instructions on how to clean the printer in the printer user manual or online. So be sure to go through the instructions before starting the job.
Another way of keeping dust and debris away from your printer is to cover it when it is not in use.
Pick the Right Consumables
Your printer is sophisticated equipment that needs the right consumables to operate optimally. You may be tempted to buy cartridges and other consumables from a third-party vendor you’ve never heard of before. But purchasing substandard items can end up costing you more in part replacements and repairs. Therefore, purchase recommended brands and products at all time.
With these printer maintenance tips, it is possible to reduce the occurrence of common printer problems (e.g., jams, smudges, and errors) and streamline your printing experience.