Ensuring Longevity and Quality From Your Printer

Posted Friday, June 8th, 2012 by .

The design and durability of printers has advanced over time, with most machines capable of handling high-volume printing and lasting for many years.  Whether you use a laser printer or inkjet printer, there are a few simple maintenance tasks that can be performed to ensure the unit will give the best quality for the longest amount of time.

Use the printer on a regular basis, at least once a week

When printers are left untouched for extended periods of time, the print heads can become dry and clogged, so they will not work as well the next time a print job is sent. Printing at least once a week can help resist clogging.

Use high-quality paper (and the proper type)

It can be tempting to use the least expensive paper possible, but high-quality paper has a tendency to jam less often and roll more smoothly. Also, be sure you use paper designed for your type of printer, such as laser paper for a laser printer and inkjet paper for an inkjet printer.

Occasionally clean the print heads

Some units have an automatic cleaning cycle while others require users to open the panel and wipe of the print head with a slightly dampened cloth. Consult your printer’s user manual or the manufacturer’s website for specific instructions for cleaning print heads for your model.

Clean the printer’s interior and exterior

Open the printer’s lid and trays and use a can of compressed air to displace any dust that has settled. Don’t overuse the compressed air, however, as it could blow dirt and dust further into the printer. You can then gently wipe away any visible dust on the interior and exterior surfaces with a lint-free cloth. Dust buildup can eventually cause problems for moving parts. Consider cleaning the printer at least once a month. Here is a video demonstrating the cleaning process:

Cover the printer when not being used

If you use your printer infrequently, consider a dust cover. Covers can be purchased at standard office supplies store or online.  This will simply keep dirt and dust from accumulating on the printer. Just remember to use the printer at least once a week for best results!

Turn it off with the power button

Always shut down the unit via the power button.  Unplugging from the wall, turning off the power strip or flipping the switch that controls the outlet to off can be harmful to the printer’s power supply or other electrical components. Many printers also run a print head cleaning cycle or diagnostic while shutting down. Turning them off abruptly means these processes are skipped.

Use a maintenance kit

Laser printers often utilize printer maintenance kits, which include replacements for some of the moving parts that wear out over time. Consult your manual for the proper replacement interval and follow it to keep your printer running smoothly.

By following these few simple guidelines, you will likely extend the life of your machine and keep its print quality at the highest level. You may even consider adding steps like cleaning and using maintenance kits to your calendar so that you will remember them at the proper time.

Robyn Warner

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Robyn Warner has been writing since she learned how to hold a pen. She wrote her first book of poems before the age of 10 and is currently enrolled in college to learn how to properly structure her natural ability. Though creative writing is her preference, she is enjoying life in the technical blog world. Robyn’s goal entering her 30’s is to use her writing to inspire fellow cancer survivors and have a job that gives her the flexibility to live anywhere and never wear shoes. You can find her on .

2 Responses to “Ensuring Longevity and Quality From Your Printer”

  • […] Now that the software is installed, you can fully enjoy your Lexmark P915 printer. If you ever need to install the software again in the future, simply refer back to this page. To keep your P915 printer running smoothly, see our instructions for Ensuring Longevity and Quality From Your Printer. […]

  • […] Press the unlock button on the left side of the scanner to release the glass scanning surface and allow it to open upward. Inside the left side of the printer, you should be able to see a small bulb. Firmly pull the bulb out of its socket. Slide the replacement bulb into that vacant space, and make sure you press down until it snaps into place. While you have the glass surface open, you may wish to use the lint-free cloth to carefully wipe away any dust or dirt on the underside of the glass. This is also a good time to perform some of the steps for Ensuring Longevity and Quality From Your Printer. […]

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