How to Keep Your Laser Printer Happy

by Justin on May 12, 2016

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If you don’t have a decent care and cleaning schedule for your printer, chances are that sooner or later it’ll fail on you. The other likelihood is that this will happen right when you really don’t need it – when you’re printing out boarding passes, your thesis, or some important hand-outs for that presentation.

So, all printers need care and attention, but some need more – or different – types of care than others. When you buy a new laser printer, you should take a few minutes to find out what it needs and how to prevent (and solve) problems before you even use it for the first time.


Keep your printer updated


Most people ignore the alerts that their printer software sends out when an update is available, but this isn’t a great idea. While there’s always a slight worry about an update causing more problems than it solves, the risks of not updating are worse. Updated printers aren’t as efficient, or they may not be able to keep up with the new devices that link to them. Compatibility is key.


Use good paper and toner


It’s tempting to go for the cheaper packs of paper – mainly because they’re cheaper! However, low quality paper can cause more problems than it saves (in money terms). Cheaper paper crumples more, causing infuriating jams and potentially damaging the machine, or it can rip and get stuck, seemingly forever.


There may be a particular type of paper that works best with your printer and for your particular needs, so try a few out and opt for the one that gives the best performance for the most reasonable (not necessarilythe cheapest) price.


Good quality toner cartridges are vital too. Cheaper cartridges are more likely to leak or break, probably destroying your printer in the bargain. Online vendors like offer a wide range of inkjet and laser cartridges for great prices, so there’s no need to skimp on your ink, or to work a cartridge to death in the hope of squeezing out a few last (faint) pages.


Clean your machine


Cleaning your printer on a regular basis helps you to rid it of dust, dirt and debris, which in turn helps you to avoid lots of problems and complications. If you’re planning to clean your printer, turn it off and use a slightly damp, lint-free (this is important) cloth, with a specialist cleaning solution, to wipe down the external parts of the machine, including the paper trays.


If you need to clean the inside of the printer, use the same sort of cloth, dampen it with the cleaning solution and wipe inside very carefully and gently. You may prefer to use water, and you can even use a cotton bud for those awkward nooks and hard-to-reach places. Whatever you do, don’t apply pressure on internal parts, as they’re easy to break. It’s always worth your while to read the instruction manual or to call the manufacturer helpline to find out how best to clean your printer.

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