Inkjet printers are built to be durable, regardless if you are using a small office printer or a base model personal photo printer. These machines can last for many years if they are maintained properly. There are simple steps a user can take to increase the lifespan of a printer and minimize the need for a technician.
Almost every inkjet printer has a software program for cleaning and testing. If you start to notice a slight decrease in print quality, run the nozzle check from the computer, which can be accessed through the Start Menu in the Properties section of the Printers and Faxes category. If the check indicates clogging of the inkjet nozzles, run the printer Head Cleaning option located on the same menu. This should loosen any ink particles that are blocking the nozzles.
If that doesn’t do the trick, additional cleaning kits are available online or in some local office supplies stores. These will typically come with standard instructions as well as lubrication for the metal rods and rollers, wipers and lens covers.
Externally, a single prevention step is covering the machine when it is not being used. This will protect it from the dust particles and moisture in the air. You should still wipe the outside of the unit occasionally and be sure to unplug it when you are finished using it for the day. Fold in all trays and wipe any glass surface, which is only applicable for multipurpose machines that have a flatbed scanner.
Make sure the paper you are using in the printer is clean and has been left packaged until needed. The paper touches the moving parts inside the machine and can transfer dirt and grime. The rollers that pull the paper through also need to be cleaned occasionally to avoid excessive paper jams.
For consumers that have purchased an inkjet printer on the high end of the spectrum, it is advised to seek the help of professionals to clean the inside of the unit. The expensive models are more complex and it is better to leave it up to a technician rather than taking the risk of damaging something.