How long has it been since you cleaned the rollers on your printer? If its print quality is suffering, there's a very good chance that its rollers simply need a good cleaning. Don't be intimidated by the idea of cleaning your printer's rollers. It's actually quite simple, and that's true about virtually any type of printer, whether it is a HP, Brother, Samsung, Dell or any other brand. Even if your printer's print quality is fine, you should make a point of cleaning its rollers preemptively. By taking a proactive approach, you should be able to ward off print quality problems and enjoy crisp, smudge-free copies well into the future. Step-by-step instructions for cleaning your printer's rollers are highlighted below.
How to Clean Your Printer's Rollers
- Turn Off Your Printer - Use the power button to turn off your printer. After it has successfully powered off, unplug it. You don't want any power coming into the machine while you are cleaning it.
- Let it Cool Down - Even if you haven't printed anything recently, you should still let your printer cool down for a few minutes. While it's on standby, it can build up a decent amount of heat. The last thing you need is to burn yourself while trying to clean its rollers.
- Remove the Paper Tray - In most cases, you will need to remove the paper tray in order to gain access to the printer rollers. This is usually as simple as pulling it right out. You will have to remove any paper that is in it first. If you're unsure about how to remove the tray, refer to your owner's manual. Don't force the tray out of your machine. You could inadvertently damage it by doing so.
- Remove the Ink Cartridges - This step isn't always necessary. If the ink cartridges stand between you and the rollers though, you will have to remove them. Simply remove them as if you are going to exchange them for new ones.
- Have Your Supplies Ready - You probably already have what you need to clean the printer rollers. A lint-free cloth is a must, and water will generally suffice. If you'd prefer, you may also use isopropyl alcohol. However, you should wipe the components down with water after cleaning them with the alcohol. If you don't, an oily reside could be left behind, and it could have a very negative impact on print quality.
- Clean the Rollers - Now it's time to get down to business. Lightly dampen your lint-free cloth with water or alcohol. Squeeze it out to ensure that it's not too wet. Hold the cloth in one hand and press it lightly against the first roller. With your other hand, gently rotate the roller until you have cleaned it all the way around. Be extremely careful. Do not use too much pressure. You might have to run it through a few times to remove all of the residue.
- Repeat for Each Roller - Simply repeat the same process for each printer roller.
- Get Ready to Print - Once you're satisfied that the rollers are clean and dry, replace the ink cartridges. Replace the paper tray and load it with paper. Plug the machine back in and power it up again.