Cleaning your printer, photocopier or fax machine

Cleaning your printer from time to time is an effective way to maintain print quality, get the best from your printer cartridges or toner and prolong the life of the printer.

Step 1: Refer to your printer, fax machine or photocopier's manual

The first step is always to consult the manufacturer's manual. This will highlight the “do's” and, more importantly, the “don'ts” of taking care of your printer. If you can't locate the manual, go to the manufacturer's website for information.

Step 2: Turn your printer, fax machine or photocopier off and unplug it

To cleaning the exterior, simply moisten a lint-free cloth with either distilled water or a mix of one-part vinegar and one-part water and wring out any excess. Carefully wipe over the exterior. If you prefer to use a spray cleaner make sure it is safe for plastics and electronics and spray onto the cloth NOT directly onto the printer, faxmachine or photocopier.
To the clean the interior, follow these steps for your device:

Laser printers
  • Remove paper trays.
  • Remove toner cartridge and place on paper towel. Cover with a dry, lint-free cloth to protect from the light.
  • If you have a printer brush, clean the mirror with it. If not, leave the mirror alone.
  • Wipe away dust, toner residue and paper fragments with your cloth or brush.
  • Wipe the rollers but do not touch the sponge roller.
Inkjet printers
  • Run through the self-cleaning process on the control panel. If this does not seem sufficient, continue with the following steps.
    • Use a cleaning cartridge to flush clogged printer nozzles
    • Use a computer vacuum to remove debris from printer rollers
  • Warning: DO NOT USE compressed air as the propellant may leave moisture on the inside of your printer.
Photocopiers
  • Remove paper trays.
  • Remove laser toner cartridge and place on paper towel. Cover the toner cartridge with a dry, lint-free cloth to protect it from light.
  • If you have a printer brush, clean the mirror with it. If not, leave the mirror alone.
  • Wipe away dust, toner residue and paper fragments with your cloth or brush.
  • Wipe the flat glass panel with a soft cloth
  • Wipe the rollers but do not touch the sponge roller.
Fax machine
  • Remove paper trays.
  • Remove printer cartridge / ink cartridge / toner cartridge and place on a paper towel. If you fax machine uses laser toner cartridge, cover the cartridge with a dry, lint-free cloth to protect from it from light.
  • Wipe away dust, toner residue and paper fragments with your cloth or brush.
  • Refer to your instruction manual and run the self clean program for your printer cartridge / ink cartridge / toner cartridge. The self clean of the printer cartridge will clean the cartridge heads of dried ink
  • Wipe the rollers but do not touch the sponge roller.
  • Obtain a scanner head cleaning sheet. This sheet can be run through the machine to clean the scanning head. This can be obtained from a specialty store.