Printer Maintenance Tips: Mechanical Mayhem
By Simon Williams - 30th Oct 2023

There is nothing more frustrating than when your printer malfunctions. Not only does this disrupt your workflow, but a breaking printer may also leave you with a nasty shopping bill. It goes without saying that we take technology for granted. Because technology always works so seamlessly out of the box, it is very common to think that this will always be the case throughout time. However, just like your computer needs regular updates and cleanses, your printer will require the same type of maintenance and love too.

An expert guide to printer maintenance tips.

From the very obvious such as reading your printer manual to the more complex nature of cleaning your printer heads, our printer experts have curated a list of some of the best printer maintenance tips that will ensure your printer continues to run smoothly. Avoid mechanical mayhem and the frustrations of broken technology with our expert guide to some of the best printer maintenance tips below.

1. Read your printer manual.

Yes, reading manuals is boring. However, getting to know each piece of technology you own can save you hundreds of dollars in repairs or maintenance in the long term. Not only do printer manuals Don’t lose track of the manual that came with your printer! It’s very important to have your manual around when you encounter a problem. The solution to the most common problems will be found in your manual, as well as for instructions for basic tasks, such as understanding the maintenance notifications and replacing ink cartridges.

2. Do what your printer tells you to do.

Having to worry about how to keep your printer running smoothly is just not ideal. The good news is that most modern printers come with automatic notifications when something is amiss. Through diagnostic features, a notification will trigger ranging from a notification light or a written notice on the printing unit. When you see these notifications, you should always take immediate action and not just assume that you can continue as normal. Common notifications include low ink cartridges, paper jams, broken parts, or cleaning cycles. If left unattended, these minor issues can quickly turn into major issues, affecting the quality of your printing or causing further damage to the printer.

3. Clean your printer on time.

One of the best ways to maintain your printer and keep key components unobstructed is to ensure that you clean your printer on time. Mostly, printers will let you know when you need to clean your printer heads, however, you can also find this information within your printer manual. As a general rule of thumb, cleaning your printer heads once per month is always a safe benchmark. In addition to your printer heads, you should also regularly clean the insides of your printer using a gentle touch and slightly damp cloths or with compressed air devices to remove dust. Although printers are extremely well made, they do collect dust when running fairly hot and therefore this is an important step to ensuring that your printer does not overheat. This will also improve print quality too.

4. Buy quality cartridges and toner.

Like most things in life, choosing the premium option is always a good pathway to performance. For printers, the type of ink cartridges that you use within your printer will also affect the way that it performs. You should always make use of high-quality original ink cartridges straight from the manufacturer. Not only are these ink and toner cartridges guaranteed to work with your printer, but they are also guaranteed to produce better quality printouts. However, should you only have a budget enough for generic cartridges, make sure that you purchase 100% compatible ink cartridges instead of really cheap cartridges that could ultimately destroy your printer.

5. Use your printer more frequently.

Just like leaving a car in the cold will kill the battery, not using your printer frequently enough will fast-track your cartridges to becoming dry. Although modern printers are not as prone to dry ink problems, including continuous ink printers which literally never run into this issue, should you be using an older printer be sure to print often. While you may think that printing more often will wear down your parts faster, although this is true, printer components are made to be worked. So, be sure that you keep your printer busy, but stay well within your printer's monthly duty cycle in the process.

6. Do not exceed your monthly duty cycle.

While printing often is good for ensuring that your printer is running smoothly, exceeding your monthly duty cycle can damage your printer. A monthly duty cycle is the number of pages a printer can produce within any given month before needing a rest. The good news is that most printers come with very large monthly duty cycles and therefore the chances of you exceeding this limit will not be very high. However, for the bustling offices that use their printer every second of the day, it's always good to keep a record of how often you have printed. If you are exceeding your limits, you may need to purchase an additional printer to keep them both running smoothly.

7. Use the latest software and drivers.

Although a printer is classified as hardware, a printer will also use software and drivers to perform certain functions. By ensuring that your printer software and drivers are up to date, you are guaranteeing that your printer is not using outdated scripts. Often, when manufacturers release technology, they will immediately start updating software and drivers to improve the performance, enhance printer security and fix any errors with code that may not have been realized until release. It's free to do and only takes a few moments.

8. Do not smoke near your printer.

Smoking and technology simply do not mix. In fact, when frequently smoking near your printer, you could go as far as saying that this combination is just as bad as electricity and water. By smoking near your printer, both the tar from the cigarette and dust combine to make a sticky substance that clogs up your printer's cooling system. This "TAR dust" will literally coat everything inside your printer and will continue to build and grow. By not cleaning your printer frequently, you will plug any ventilation holes and insulating components which will make your printer operate hotter. Not to mention your printouts may look odd too.

Printer maintenance tips roundup.

So there you have it. Our printer experts guide to some of the best printer maintenance tips for you to follow today. Remember, despite the physical robustness of your printer, there are very small parts that make the magic happen. As such, looking after all aspects of your printer is important to ensuring the longevity of the service. From fuelling your printer with the right ink cartridges or toner cartridges to ensuring that you are cleaning frequently, be sure to follow our printer maintenance tips closely. Should you have any questions on printer maintenance or how to improve the quality of your printouts, contact us via live chat to discuss with our team of experts.

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