We know printers. Nothing is more frustrating than a printer that doesn't work properly. Lucky for you, we have compiled some pro tips and tricks to help keep those printer errors at bay! Here are some basic care and maintenance procedures you can do to help keep your printer running as smooth as possible.
Location is Key
One thing often overlooked is where you set up your printer. An inkjet printer uses liquid ink that can clog the tiny nozzles if it sits idle for too long, with lots of dust or debris in the air. A laser printers toner may be negatively affected by high humidity. Opt for a spot with better room temperatures and air quality, but stay away from direct sunlight and moisture. Give your printer plenty of space to print. If your printer has a cutter attachment, give it extra space for the tags to fall after printing.
Build up of dust, ink, toner, ribbon material and/or other gunk will pile onto your printhead over time. If you see white lines streaking across your printed document, it needs a cleaning. Consult your user manual for your specific model to perform the operation properly. Printheads on thermal printers tend to fail when printing with too much heat and/or pressure. The harder the printhead elements have to work, the faster they will burn out. Fine tune your print settings to get the best quality print without overworking the printer.
Update Your Drivers
The driver software that runs your printer is often overlooked. Many manufacturers update their drivers regularly, so it is always a good idea to keep yours up to date. In some cases, mechanical issues can be traced to old drivers. Check the printer manufacturers website for a list of all available drivers for your specific model. If you are unsure of what driver you have installed, navigate to the "Devices and Printers" section of your computer. Right click on the appropriate printer icon and select "Printer Properties" then click on the 'About' tab on the right.
Keep Spare Supplies On Hand
Ink, toner and thermal transfer ribbons are crucial components to their respective printer types. The last thing you want is to be out and not have any replacements. So it is always a good idea to keep spares on hand. Store them level in a cool, clean environment and keep them in their package until needed. When replacing supplies, always consult the directions they come with to properly complete the procedure. Running low on supplies? Contact us! We are happy to help you find exactly what you need for your printer!
Choose The Right Stock
The paper or stock you run through your printer can also have negative effects. Cheaper stock, or one that may be better suited for a different printer, can cause jams or other printing errors. A stock that works well with thermal printers, may not absorb the ink from an inkjet printer. Depending on your specific printer type and model, you may need a stock type that corresponds in order to function properly. To prevent your stock from yellowing, avoid storing blank material in direct sunlight or high humidity.
Turn it Off
Printers can handle being on for long periods of time, but doing so can shorten the life of the printer. If you are not going to use your printer for days at a time, it is a good idea to turn your printer off. When a printer sits in an idle state, it collects more dust and can generate excess heat, thus warping key components over time. In the long run, by simply turning it off for the weekend, you can eliminate repair cost and headaches down the road.
Know Your Printer
Printers are almost never without problems. One of the best ways to deal with these problems is to just understand your specific model and its quirks. If you know the ins and outs of your machine, you should be golden. To get to know your printer better, take some time to read the user manual and perform routine maintenance yourself as well as general use. Still having issues? Check out some of our other blog posts for various tutorials on how to operate specific printer types!
Use Your Machine
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s true. If you leave the printer sitting in its box for a long time. Not only will you loose time on the printer warranty, but you may also have to deal with longer printer setup times. The more you use your printer, work with, and understand how to care for it, the more confident you will be when something breaks or doesn't work. Don’t be afraid to refer to the user manual or look up a tutorial video if you are stuck. If you purchased a printer from us and have an issue, give us a call, we are happy to help!
By making small, simple changes, you can drastically extend the lifespan of your printer. Not only will your printer work at peak performance with regular maintenance, but it will also last much longer, saving you cost in the long run!