How to Extend the Life of your Office Printer

busy office with a printer

A printer is a necessity for any business, and usually a big investment. That’s why it’s so important to take care of your printer with regular, proper maintenance. Here are some simple steps you can take to extend the life of your printer and ensure it will continue to print happily for years to come.

1. Location, location, location:

Office space can be limited, and sometimes we need to make do. However, the location of your printer is something you should decide with careful consideration. Things like sunlight, dust, humidity, and grease should all be things that are avoided. It would be wise to park your printer in areas that are not high-traffic as well, to avoid any potential spills or collisions. So install those blinds, put up a “No Food or Drink” sign, and move the coffee pot to another part of the office. This goes for your paper supply too!

2. Give It Space:

As well as a clear, dust-free, humidity-free environment, printers also need space to breathe on either side. Crowding printers can result in overheating, causing damage. It’s also a good idea to leave space on either side to allow for easier maintenance by technical staff. 

3. Wipe It Away:

Dust is the enemy of printers. It sneaks it’s way inside and wreaks havoc. Prevent this by being proactive and wiping away dust before it has its chance to cause damage. Keep a clean, lint-free cloth nearby to encourage wiping. Keep the paper tray and other drawers closed when not in use so dust won’t settle there. While it seems like it would be a good idea, avoid the use of pressured air to clear away dust – this will result in dust being pushed further inside the machine. Better to use a small, handheld vacuum cleaner for this purpose. 

4. Streak-Free Shine:

A simple step with a big payoff is to keep the glass sections of your inner printer mechanism clean. This includes the thin strip called the platen glass (#1), and the main scanning area (#2). 

The platen glass and main scanning area of a printer

The best way to do this is to first wipe the areas with a soft dry cloth. If there are still marks remaining, use a squeezed out soft cloth lightly moistened with water.. Do not use liquids other than water such as alcohol, solvents, or detergents. Be sure to check your particular device’s user manual before starting. Speaking of….

5. Keep The Guide:

Manuals are not exactly page-turners, but they can be very helpful in a pinch. A new way to make your printer manual experience easier is to inquire if your printer company has an online version. This will help streamline your searching experience, as you can press “Command+F” to immediately find what you’re searching for inside the pdf. 

6. Take It Easy:

Life can be frustrating. When a jam happens, tensions can run high. Being rough with your machine can result in more issues down the road, however, as it’s easy for the delicate internal workings to get damaged. So remember to take a breath, consult your manual, and be gentle. Fortunately, many top-of-the-line machines will be able to guide you through this process, like the Toshiba e-Studio 8518a. It’s also good to remember to be gentle when changing cartridges and even when using the copier panel/interface.

7. Let It Sleep:

Help your printer out by turning off the power at night and over the weekends. Shutting it down will give the various mechanisms inside a break and ensure they are not needlessly worn out. Many quality printers come with a feature that enables the machine to shut off at night automatically, so be sure to take advantage of this.

8. Remove Hazards:

Avoid potential problems by removing all staples and paperclips before scanning, coping, and faxing documents. Keep a staple remover nearby (perhaps on a string) and a container for busy staff to leave wayward paperclips.

10. Fan It Out:

Make life easier for your printer by fanning paper before loading it into your paper draw. Unfanned paper sticks together, potentially causing jams. Fanned paper releases static buildup and allows each sheet of paper to glide off the previous one. To fan paper, loosely grip both ends of the ream and bend inwards, almost like you’re bending it in half. Then, grip the folded ends tightly and pull flat. 

A well maintained, clean, and optimized printer is your best way to extend the life of your office device. If you would prefer someone to keep your printer or copier maintained, ask Steelhead Business Products about our leasing programs that include regular, professional maintenance.

We take a proactive approach, which is why we take responsibility for the condition of the equipment we’ve sold or leased to you. Our goal is to provide you with fast service and minimal-to-no downtime. Feel free to get in touch – we would love the chance to discuss your printer needs today.