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How to Clean and Maintain Your Inkjet Printer

  • Andrew Miocevich
  • Oct 10, 2018
How to Clean and Maintain Your Inkjet Printer
To some people, an inkjet printer is a box filled with electronic components. In reality, an inkjet printer is a state of the art piece of technology. The ink that is produced is as small as a red blood cell, and the print head will zip back and forth, hitting the target thousands of times per second. An inkjet printer must be taken care of properly in order for it to enjoy a longer lifespan, and to ensure the paper feed and print quality remain intact. Below, we break down how to clean and maintain your inkjet printer.

Take Care of the Software

If the printer quality has decreased significantly then a proper nozzle check should be performed. In some cases, the colours may suddenly become lighter or shift unexpectedly. Sometimes, thin lines may develop with repeated use. In any event, the printer can be used to print a test of each colour as well as its numerous nozzles.

If the lines are solid it means that the nozzles are performing as they should. However, if there are blank areas or broken lines it means that there is a clog somewhere that needs to be removed.

How to Head Clean

In some cases, the black ink may appear bronze. Lines may also run in the same direction as the actual print head. Strange colour shifts in the printouts may also appear. If any of these issues are present then it may be time to properly clean the head. Perform a head cleaning cycle so that there are no obstructions to worry about and to ensure that all the ink nozzles are clear. Moreover, if the printer has been set for more than 30 days between each use then it should also have its head cleaned.

Taking Care of Head Alignment Issues

In some instances, a grid-like pattern may emerge, or there may be repeating lines of white that ensue. Such issues may indicate a problem with the heads being misaligned. To rectify this issue you will need either photo paper or regular paper. By properly aligning the nozzles the ink will be fired in the right place and the nozzles will be pointed in the correct direction. It is also worth noting that some of the more advanced models do not require a manual alignment of the head to be performed. Instead, some top of the line models will perform automatic alignment functions as well as automatic head cleaning functions.

Maintain the Feed Rollers

Those who use their printer often will need to ensure that their feed rollers are in optimal condition. Double-sided inkjet papers, in particular, require optimal feed roller maintenance in order to obtain superior results. This is because the paper will actually leave behind trails of dust as it is run through an inkjet printer. Moreover, the inkjet coating that is left behind can actually be quite slick. The end result is an inkjet printer that’s unable to feed at all, or you may notice feeding that is very inconsistent.

Furthermore, in some cases, ink overspray may accumulate below the print head on the rollers. As a result, the back of the paper may develop black streaks. To properly clean the feed roller you will require alcohol pads as well as rubbing alcohol. Ethyl alcohol pads, in particular, are superb for cleaning plastic and rubber components, so try and obtain some if you can.

Place your fingers on the feed path in order to access the coated rollers made of rubber. Next, take the alcohol swab, and, using your finger hold it on the roller. Next, tap the paper feed button in order to get the rollers moving. Now, your finger may be tugged a bit but this is not a reason for concern, as your finger will not get pulled into the system. The paper feed should be cycled several times, and you should inspect each roller to ensure that they are all clean.

How to Solve Ink Streaking

With repeated use, your inkjet printers may develop ink streak issues on paper. To solve this issue you will need to procure an 8.5 x 11 sheet of plain paper. You will then need to soak it in some rubbing alcohol, ensuring that the four corners of the sheet are kept dry. Run the sheet through your printer twice-on the back and the front. The end result is that any debris or ink on the internal roller will be removed.

As a final tip, you can use a can of air to remove any debris or remaining dust from the printer’s interior as well as the printer’s feed path. Ensure that you place the can at a safe distance so as to not damage any of the delicate parts.

If you would like to learn more about how to clean and maintain your inkjet printer then we can help. DOS Canada provides direct office solutions, including ink and toner, managed print services, software solutions, scanners, sharp Aquos boards, printers, and more. Call us at 1-877-467-4277 or contact us here for more information.
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