How to Fix Everything For Dummies
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Whether you have an inkjet or a laser printer, giving it a basic cleaning will keep it printing longer. You don’t have to wait until your printer starts spitting out distorted print or smeared pages to try cleaning it. Cleaning your printer should be part of your maintenance routine. To clean your printer, you need rubbing alcohol, a cotton swab, a vacuum cleaner or canned air, and a clean cloth.

If you see streaks or the paper is smeared, clean the platen or roller to remove built-up ink. Then use the vacuum cleaner or canned air to remove any remaining ink or dust particles from the printer.

Cleaning an inkjet printer

If an inkjet printer is giving you problems, here’s what to do:

  1. Take out the ink-head or cartridge.

  2. Gently clean the print head contacts with a little rubbing alcohol on a sponge swab.

    Or you can put a little alcohol on a stiff bristle brush and brush the contacts. After brushing, run a little of the alcohol over the print head to rinse off broken bristles. Don’t worry. It evaporates very quickly

  3. Wipe excess ink off the nozzles.

  4. Put the cartridge back in.

  5. Start a print test to make sure you’ve gotten rid of excess ink.

If this doesn’t work, put in a new ink cartridge. That should take care of the problem.

Cleaning a laser printer

Laser printers have a corona wire that distributes toner. Use the illustrations in your printer manual to find out where it is. Here’s how to clean the corona wire:

  1. Unplug the printer and turn it off.

  2. Let it cool down.

  3. Blow out dust from around the drum and corona wire.

    Use canned air, a vacuum cleaner nozzle, or a blow dryer.

  4. Dampen a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol.

  5. Gently rub the swab along corona wire to remove built-up toner and dust that is still on the wire.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Gary and Peg Hedstrom are self-taught repair masters with experience in carpentry, plumbing, appliance repair, and more. Judy Ondrla Tremore is a writer and editor for various newspapers and magazines.

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