How to Keep Your Printer Happy

How to Keep Your Printer Happy

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Your humble old printer is a vital fixture in your office, but the sad truth is that printers often get left out of the office care routine. Laptops get updated, checked for viruses, PCs get a de-fragging every so often and even the window blinds are cleaned once a year. Why not, then, extend this same solicitude to your printer? Here’s how.

Safety first

When you go to open up the body of the printer, you should turn it off at the mains to make sure you don’t have any moving parts or electricity flowing about.

Place your printer wisely

You can’t bung your printer on any old flat surface! These machines need to be as level as you can get them, with plenty of fresh air circulating around them. Dusty or damp corners can cause debris or water to get inside, damaging the printerhead or rollers.

Buy the right cartridges

Too many people are taken in by offers of cheap ink or toner so they buy it up, realising too late that they’re the wrong variety or that they are past their use-by date. To avoid problems like this, buy your supplies from reputable companies like Cartridge People – buying online keeps your costs down.

Clean your printer regularly

Every machine needs a clean, especially printers. Printers need to be kept clear of dust, dried ink, lint, oils and water. Dirt and deposits can build up, causing problems and impaired performance.

You can clean the outside of the printer with a very slightly damp lint-free cloth, before using the same cloth on the insides. If you’re worried about water getting inside, then you can use a mini vacuum cleaner to remove dust and debris.

Keep your inkjet nozzles clear

All inkjet printers can have problems with their nozzles; it occurs when the ink dries and clogs them up. To prevent this happening, print out a test page once a week or so.

Buy the appropriate paper

The correct paper really makes a difference. Good quality paper makes important documents look great, although for rough drafts and internal documents you can choose the next-best quality. If you can, match the brand of paper to the inks or toners you use, as they bond better with own-brand paper.

Clean your printerheads regularly

If you start seeing white streaks and blotches on your printouts, then you probably need to clean your printerheads. The manual for your printer will have step-by-step instructions for you, so make sure you read it carefully before going ahead. You might find your printer has a self-clean function, so if you like, you can use this. Some people like to do it themselves, though.

Sort out minor problems as soon as possible

When minor problems crop up, sort them out as soon as you can, as this will help your printer to last. If there’s a paper jam, for example, don’t just try to yank the paper out; instead, follow the instructions in the manual and take your time. Tugging at jammed paper can cause a lot of damage.

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