Ensure Top Quality Prints With Regular Routine Maintenance of Printer/Copiers

Published: 23rd February 2011
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Copyright (c) 2011 Alison Withers

Whether a printer/copier is being used in a large and busy office or the user is in a home or small business there are some simple ways to keep it working at peak efficiency and prolong its life.

Firstly, for safety the electricity supply should be turned off before any routine cleaning is begun.

It is advisable to keep the machine as free from dust as possible. The outside should be cleaned at least once a week to remove dust and dirt. It is preferable to use a cloth moistened only with water and with a smooth fibre surface as some cleaning solutions could be too strong and damage the surfaces.

For the inside a vacuum suction cleaner is best to remove excess paper dust deposits without the risk of blowing air into the machine and redistributing dust onto sensitive machine parts such as ink feeds.

The glass on the scanner should also be kept free of smears and dust because they will affect the quality of the eventual print, showing up as marks and imperfections. It is better when cleaning the glass to use an anti-static cleaning solution.

Another useful top for cleaning the printer, but obviously with the power on, is to run a clean sheet of paper through it to pick up any stray lint or dust. This can be done either using the printer's form feed function or by using a word processer to send a "print" to the machine - although it may mean typing one character on the document if the printer will not print an entirely blank sheet.

Another way of minimising printer problems, especially paper jams, is to use good quality paper.

Creased, torn or otherwise damaged paper can cause paper jams and paper jams can lead to the possibility of damage to other parts of the machine. It can be a mixed blessing to economise on paper quality because, while it may be cheaper, especially if the user prints a high volume of documents, low-grade paper can also cause jams and may also leave a larger amount of paper dust inside than a higher-quality paper will. Usually the printer's manual will contain information on the best paper quality to use.

Another point to consider is where the paper is stored before being loaded into the paper tray. Storing paper in a cool, low-humidity environment will ensure that pages do not stick together when loaded into the machine or cause paper jams.

The parts on many printers are made of breakable materials like plastic and care should be taken when replacing ink cartridges, for example. Equally the covers on many printers use small plastic tabs, that could be easily damaged if any force is applied, to hold them in place. Generally they are made so that they fit properly so any force needed when closing lids and covers suggests that something may be wrong with the machine's assembly or the way the user is trying to install a replaceable part.

Although larger office users may have a maintenance programme as part of their contract with their equipment supplier simple regular housekeeping measures like those outlined above will help keep problems and call-outs to a minimum and ensure top quality prints.


Regular and routine maintenance can keep a printer/copier working at peak efficiency and prolong its life. By Ali Withers for Firstcopy, Cambridge, printer and copier suppliers throughout East Anglia.

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