Electronic devices are changing rapidly these days, unlike decades ago. What may seem current now, may not be in just a matter of months or years. With upgrades and updates here and there, the latest models come out usually more improved than the previous ones.
And yet the printer still has the same problems, regardless of whether it is a new product or not. As most users would testify, the troubles encountered may seem so universal.
Paper jams, printing errors, and other inconveniences have probably given you a headache in the past. Yet, you can avoid such mishaps if you only know how to take care of your printer.
Here are some top maintenance tips which you can do to keep your printer in good condition for many years.
1. Clean the printer head
Make it a point to remove dust and grime from the print head on a monthly basis. When doing so, remove the cartridge properly (which you will learn how shortly), and wash with warm water. Never use wet tissues or alcohol-based cleansers since this might do more harm than good. Afterwards, let it air dry before returning the print head back to its place.
2. Clean the interior
Never forget to clean the insides of a printer regularly. When dirt accumulates, the printer will not function efficiently. Always use lint-free cloths when cleaning, and make sure that it is just slightly moist and not soaking when wiping the dust off.
Also, do not add too much pressure when cleaning. To remove stubborn grime, use moistened Q-tips or a brush with soft bristles. You can also use compressed air to blow out any dirt that has accumulated deep within the machine. Do not use a vacuum cleaner, unless it has a pressure-controlled option for gentle suction.
3. Look under the hood
Do not only focus on the toner cartridge when checking the hood. Lift it up and see whether there are broken parts or pieces jammed in between parts. Most of the newer printers have an integrated diagnostics system that notifies you of any damage.
Pay close attention to what the indicator lights might say to get a hint on what could be the problem whenever faced with technical issues. This will not only prevent further damage but will also save you from additional repair costs.
It is also ideal to invest in a tool maintenance kit, which will help you clean the fan and other delicate parts that are prone to dust and residual ink accumulation. Meanwhile, buying spare parts might be fine, but just make sure that these are compatible with the model you possess.
4. Select the right ink refill
You might have chosen cheaper refills thinking that you get to save more money. However, generic cartridges will only damage the hardware in the long run. Buying one will result to substandard print quality and blotchy printouts. Opt for better-quality cartridges. It might cost you more, but you will not risk damaging your printing machine in the process.
5. Handle cartridges with care
When replacing cartridges, make sure that you exercise caution, especially if you are changing one frequently. It is important to take note of instructions on how to do it properly. Keep your fingers off the bottom portion of the cartridge and always select print consumables of good-quality. Failing to do this, in the right way, will result to low-quality printout.
6. Replace cartridges right away
Do not let the cartridges dry up before replacing it. You might think that waiting for the ink to dry out completely is cost-effective but, honestly, this will only lead to damaging your printer head. Whenever you are notified of low ink levels, immediately supplant a newer one.
7. Shut it off
If you will be away for a long time, maybe on a holiday perhaps, do not forget to turn off your printer. Since this device generates a lot of heat, you might unexpectedly come home with a severely dried up cartridge and a clogged header. Moreover, leaving this powered on for a long period may only lead to wear and tear. So better unplug the power cord whenever you are not going to use the equipment for longer periods.
8. Never forget to update
Apart from maintaining the hardware, never neglect to download the latest driver version. Keeping this up-to-date will help your printer stay in a good working condition. So whenever you receive notices from the manufacturer about the latest driver, do not ignore it. A lot of hardware issues regarding printers are traced back to outdated driver versions. So be always on the lookout for updates.
9. Refer to your printer manual
Reading the user’s manual might be daunting because of all the jargon and fine print, but for the sake of keeping your machine’s optimum functionality, read it. During moments when you encounter glitches and technical issues, this guide will surely save you time and money from commuting to a repair center. Moreover, this will also give you clues on what the indicator lights mean, and how you are going to replace cartridges properly.
If in case you have lost the manual, you can always check online for technical support. Most manufacturers have put up online versions of their manuals which you can check easily whenever you have problems with their product.
10. Use the printer always
Lastly, take care of your printer by using it regularly. Leaving it untouched for several days will cause the ink cartridges to dry up and the header to clog which, in effect, damages the machine. If you happen to leave it unused for long periods, run maintenance checks every 10 days. Simply print out a page just to make sure that it stays in good condition.
Printers, like every single one of your electronic devices, are not perfect. There will be moments when your machine will work fine, and there will be times when it simply gets on your nerves. Relax, and always keep in mind that with proper maintenance, technical issues and hardware damages will be reduced.