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How To Clean An Inkjet Printer For Home Users


Maintenance is one of those words as well as actions that most of us tried to avoid because it means more work. Printer manufacturers try to make printers as maintenance free as possible, but when ink, motors, heads, and cartridges are involved manual labor is not far behind.

Cleaning A Printer Means Manual Labor

Almost anyone who uses printer ink has been caught in a situation where a project or an important document had to be finished by a certain deadline. Everything goes as planned right through the final computer proofread before printing. With great expectations the print button is pushed to complete the process. The inkjet printer makes it typical reactions to the writer’s commands, and the printed page lands on the printer deck with blotches, streaks, and other impurities. The work is a fragmented page of meaningless images because the printer needs a good cleaning.

Know And Recognize The Parts Of An Inkjet Printer

All inkjet printers have a printer head and it gets the most wear and tear so it causes most of the problems in a printer. Some printers have the printer head built into the ink cartridge and that helps stop some printing issues, but it opens the door for other issues as well.

Inkjets have printer ink that varies in quality, and that variance can making the cleaning process more time consuming. Better quality ink means easier cleaning in most cases. The print stepper motor controls and parks the print head assembly. Some inkjet printers have a separate motor for each of those operations. There’s also a stabilizing bar that drives a belt to move the print head, and a paper feed assembly that picks up and feeds paper into the inkjet. There's also an interface ribbon that tells the printer which colors to use and where to drop the ink. All those components need cleaning.

In order to clean the inkjet properly you’ll need: Glass cleaner, isopropyl alcohol, 3 or 4 paper towels, WD-40 or printer oil, latex gloves, and a small pen or hook. Here’s how the cleaning should be done:

  • Put on the gloves and unplug the printer and remove the ink cartridge. Some printers must be plugged in to remove the ink cartridge so just lift the cover, remove the cartridge, and then unplug the printer.
  • Fold a paper towel into fourths for absorption and add glass cleaner or alcohol to the front side of the paper towel. Wipe the bottom of the cartridge on the paper towel to clean the print head.
  • Separate the print head from the cartridge and clean it with the paper towel and glass cleaner.
  • Use another paper towel and fold it in quarters and then spray a thin layer of glass cleaner on the face to clean the ribbon. The ribbon may have ink blotches all over it.
  • Clean the docks on the right or left side of the printer by using the long hook or pen to pick up the goo residue that accumulate in the docking areas.
  • Add a few drops of oil or spray WD-40 on the stabilizing bar. Make sure the bar gets a good coating.
  • Clean the outside of the printer with a paper towel and glass cleaner.
Previous article How to Troubleshoot Printer Ink Streaks in your Pages

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