The following is a guest post by Tom, a reviewer for Cartridge Save.
Companies and individuals have a lot of money invested in their printers, so it’s in their interest to get the most out of them as possible. However, some people just use a printer from the time it comes out of the box until it stops working. Here are 8 tips for prolonging your printer’s life that can help you make the most out of your investment.
1. Clean out the dust
Dust is a bad thing because it adds weight to internal components and then contributes to heat build up, making the mechanical and electronic parts wear out faster. A simple can of compressed air should periodically be used to blow out all the dust from inside the printer. Another good way to limit the collection of dust inside the printer is to close the feed tray when not in use (if your printer has a protruding tray). This helps minimize accidents and helps prevent foreign matter from getting inside.
2. Replace rollers
Over time, rollers get dirty, especially in laser printers where they can get caked with toner, leading to misfeeds and jams. Manufacturers and third party printer supply companies offer rollers and other replacement parts for most popular printer models, so be sure to keep some on hand as part of a routine maintenance schedule.
3. Check print heads on inkjets
Printers that use inkjet technology often experience clogged print heads, that cause streaky and blurry output. Periodically clean the print heads on your printer by following the instructions for doing so in your user manual. Cheap third party inks save a little money, but seem to contribute to print head problems, so consider sticking with the printer manufacturer’s ink supplies.
4. Use high quality paper
Cheap paper tends to create more dust that contributes to paper path, print head and paper roller problems. At first glance, cheap paper may look like it will save money, but the failures it introduces into printers causes enough downtime and lost productivity to make it cost prohibitive over the long term.
5. Clean mirrors and sensors
Printers often fail because sensors are blocked over time with stray ink, toner and dust. This makes it difficult for the printer to know where the paper is at all times and often leads to serious malfunctions. Add sensor cleaning to your maintenance routine to avoid any unanticipated downtime.
6. Stop fanning paper
Fanning paper before putting it into your printer may feel good, but it can be bad. Fanning paper tends to induce static charges into it which then discharges through the printer, attacking, weakening and sometimes destroying the electronics inside. Charged paper also can lead to more jams, so the best practice is to put paper as-is into the paper tray.
7. Use good toner
Cheap refills may seem economical, but toner cartridges wear out over time and not all toner is created equal. Get the best printed output and avoid premature wear on your printer’s system by using only the best toner and cartridges. Make sure you treat your printer properly by using only toner cartridges made by your printer’s manufacturer.
8. Get some cleaning tools
Printers can easily get damaged by the use of improper tools to clean them. Cotton swabs, gloves, a face mask, cleaning solvent, rubber cleaner, rubbing alcohol and a small vacuum cleaner can form the backbone of a printer maintenance kit.
Use these 8 tips for prolonging your printer’s life to get better and more output from your printer over its lifetime.