Cleaning Your Scanner

Have you noticed lately that your scanned files are suffering in quality?  Are there black or faded lines running down the length of the document, making it difficult to read and even more difficult to pass off as professional?  Chances are, if you give the scanning surface a cleaning, the quality issue may disappear.

Clean ScannerParticles of dust get on the scanning surface and stick, sometimes even causing scratches if not cleaned.  The dust is what causes the lines on the page, as the lens cannot read through it.  This can happen with both flatbed and sheet-fed scanners.  To clean it, find a soft cloth that is lint-free and glass cleaner that does not streak.  Unplug the scanner first and then open the lid to access the scanning surface.  Do not spray the glass cleaner directly on the machine, rather spray it on the cloth and softly wipe the surface down.

On sheet-fed scanners, you will need to open the front panel and wipe the glass surface that houses the scanner.  Keep in mind that duplex scanners may have a surface on either side.  Flatbed scanners have a large glass surface that will need to be wiped down, but if an automatic document feeder is present, there may also be a surface that holds a stationery lens.  Be sure to clean all surfaces.

The culprit is not always dust, sometimes chunks of paper or pieces of tape can come off and get stuck on a roller.  This is only applicable for sheet-fed scanners, though, as flatbed scanners do not use rollers.  If wiping the surface doesn’t fix the issue, open the panel that houses the rollers and see if there is any obstruction.  If so, remove it.  If not, you may want to contact the manufacturer for more troubleshooting ideas.

Just remember, a regular wipe down of the scanning surface can often prevent quality issues.  This is true for any kind of scanner – whether it is a single-purpose or an all-in-one device like the HP PhotoSmart Premium C310A. If you wait until the issue arises, a piece of dust may become a permanent scratch.

Robyn Warner
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. Though creative writing is her preference, she is enjoying life in the technical blog world. Robyn’s goal in her 30s 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.

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