Today's printers are built to last, but that doesn't mean that you don't have to worry about maintaining yours properly. While there's no need to devote several hours of time to maintaining your printer, a little extra care can go a really long way. Whether you have a high-end office machine or a more basic model, you can improve the odds of enjoying it for years to come by taking proper care of it. The following tips are sure to help.
Clean Your Printer Regularly
Most printers have automated cleaning functions that help to keep their interiors as clean as possible. You will definitely want to put this function to use on a regular basis. However, you should plan on taking things a little further too. Printer cleaning kits are available online and in local stores. The best ones include lens covers, cleaning wipes and lubricant for a printer's rods, rollers and other moving parts. It's well worth it to keep one of these kits handy and to put it to use regularly.
While cleaning your printer, make sure to zero in on its print head. Nothing can shorten the lifespan of a printer quite like a neglected print head. On inkjet printers, this is where the nozzles that dispense the ink are located. Over time, those nozzles can build up layers of old ink. By getting into the habit of cleaning them regularly, you'll never have to worry about clogged nozzles or low-quality copies.
Store Your Printer Properly
Although modern printers are designed to be durable, they should still be stored when they aren't in use. One thing that you should never go without is a proper printer cover. Before storing your printer in the cover, turn it off. After it has turned off, unplug it. You might want to unplug its cables as well, but you won't have to worry about that if it is a wireless unit. Before covering it, wipe it down to remove any dust or debris. Fold up its tray so that it is as compact as possible. This may seem like a lot of work, but the reward will be that your printer will last a lot longer.
Take Care when Moving Your Printer
You should try to avoid moving your printer unless it's absolutely necessary. When you do move it, always remove the plugs, cords and cables before doing so. Otherwise, they could get snagged on something, and your printer could get damaged. The cord or cable itself could be damaged too.
Use Clean Paper
The paper that you use in your printer should be absolutely pristine. After all, it's going to travel through your printer and come into contact with some of its most sensitive components. If the paper has grime or dust on it, they could be transferred to the interior of your printer. From there, they could wreak all kinds of havoc. Don't open a ream of paper until you're ready to use it, and store it in a place where it's unlikely to become coated in dust or debris.
The preceding tips should be used for all printers. If you own an especially expensive or high-tech model, however, it's generally worth it to let the professionals clean and maintain it from time to time. The small amount that you pay for this service will pay off when your printer lasts for years and years. As long as you maintain your printer properly, there is no reason that you can't expect it to stand the test of time. Instead of buying a new printer every few years, you will be able to keep using the same, reliable one.