The new year is a great time to perform preventative maintenance, update firmware and
software, and generally prepare your equipment for the coming year. It’s the best time to review your
orders for both service and supplies to make sure you have the equipment and consumables you need
to last through the coming months.
In industries where the first quarter is generally the slowest, there is real potential to generate
competitive advantages in office workflows. Employees who aren’t yet overwhelmed handling their
usual mid-year workloads can work on long-term strategic initiatives – especially when it comes to IT
Offices that don’t have a clear printer maintenance procedure can make use of this time to teach
employees how to clean a printer and how to service a printer when it breaks down. Even a simple step
like this can result in significantly reduced downtime throughout the course of the year.
But there is more that office managers who want to keep their equipment in top-notch working
condition can do. Take time to prep your machines using the following laser and inkjet printer tips.
8 Useful Printer Tips That Will Save Time on Service and Supplies
Printers are mechanical devices with many moving parts. Every single piece of paper that passes through
the printer leaves microscopic paper residue on those moving parts. Ink and laser toner drops can do
the same thing, turning a perfectly good printer into a service call waiting to happen. The following steps
will keep your machines in good working order:
• Clean the Print Head. The print head is the most important part of an inkjet printer. Ink, dust, and
paper residue can get stuck in the head’s many tiny nozzles, so it should be cleaned once a month
with a lint-free cloth and warm water.
• Clean the Inside. The mechanical arms and actuators inside a printer can malfunction when exposed
to too much dust and paper residue. A slightly moist lint-free cloth is enough to wipe away the dust
and ensure every mechanical part encounters no resistance when moving.
• Invest in a Maintenance Kit. Most printers come with optional maintenance kits that include special
tools for cleaning the printer fan and other vulnerable components. Often, these kits include
replacements for the most commonly worn-out parts.
• Refill Cartridges Intelligently. Remanufactured cartridges are a great option for businesses that
want to save on printer consumables. Just be sure to order supplies from a reputable dealer and to
replace worn cartridges before they dry up and begin damaging the printer head.
• Replace Cartridges Carefully. Most modern printers provide software notifications about printer
cartridge levels and quality. Pay attention to these when replacing cartridges and make sure not to
touch the bottom of new cartridges when replacing them, as it may damage ink or toner delivery.
• Turn Off Unused Devices. Printers generate a great deal of heat when they are on. If employees
won’t use a particular device for a while, it should remain off during that time. However, the ink is
likely to clog during that time, so be sure to have extra cartridges on-hand when it’s time to deploy
the printer again.
• Download the Latest Drivers. Printer drivers are important. Manufacturers issue printer driver
updates that keep their devices in optimal working condition. Office managers that ignore printer
driver notifications can often trace hardware malfunctions down to the missed update.
• Keep Your Printer Manual Handy. If an imaging device breaks down or begins to behave erratically,
having the printer manual handy is enormously helpful. Paper manuals are easy to lose track of, but
most manufacturers also have PDF versions online. Locate the PDF before a problem occurs, and
keep the PDF bookmarked so you can refer to it whenever there are issues.
Consider Your Print Environment
If a certain printer seems to collect more dust than usual, or breaks down and generates errors more
often than the rest, the problem may have to do with its environment. Print equipment is sensitive to
humidity, static electricity, and many other environmental factors that human beings take for granted.
Moving print equipment away from moisture sources can address some humidity problems, but
excessively dry environments will generate static electricity. Static electricity can be more challenging to
manage, but there are ways to compensate. Commercial static eliminators can help, especially if sprayed
on static-friendly carpet.
Managing humidity effectively can often resolve static electricity problems. The goal is to have just
enough humidity for static discharges to resolve through the air, but not so much that it affects print
quality or paper cohesion.
Office managers who work in less-than-ideal print environments can rely on professional expertise for
finding and deploying solutions. QBSI-Xerox does more than sell printer service and supplies – we can solve
difficult environmental problems for our clients and keep print equipment in optimal working condition.
Your office could be using less print consumables while improving print quality and productivity.
QBSI-Xerox’s managed print solutions may be the solution you’re looking for.