When a printer's components are dirty, they can cause smudges and white lines to appear on prints. In addition, dirtiness can contribute to the development of paper jams. Cleaning a printer periodically can help prevent these problems and will also help prolong a printer's lifespan. For best results, follow a specific process when cleaning a printer.
Following Manufacturer Instructions
If you do not have an instruction manual or other form of documentation for your specific model of printer, you will likely be able to find one online if you visit the manufacturer's website. Alternatively, you may need to contact a customer service representative, or printer/computer expert, if you have a particularly old or rare printer. Applying cleaning agents and removing printer components during the cleaning process could potentially cause damage. However, there are some general guidelines that printer-owners can follow, which vary depending on printer type.
Laser Printer Cleaning
Laser printers utilize highly focused beams of light to electro statically charge rotating drums. These drums in turn cause the surfaces of paper to attract dried ink powder. Before cleaning the interior of a laser printer, unplug the printer, allow it to cool down and then remove its internal paper trays and its toner cartridge. Gently rub the inside of the printer's toner receptacle as well as the printer's drums using a line-free cloth. Just make sure to avoid the printer's primary sponge drum or transfer drum. You should only clean the laser printer's mirror with a specialized, highly-delicate printer brush.
Inkjet Printer Cleaning
Unlike a laser printer, an inkjet printer transfers liquid ink to paper; and does so using a series of tiny jets. Most inkjet models come with self-cleaning features, which you can initiate using the printer's control panel, or in some instances a computer's operating system. Alternatively, you can clean inkjet printers by installing cleaning cartridges, which flush debris out of jet nozzles using cleaning fluid. For best results, choose a cleaning fluid that is compatible with your specific inkjet printer model.
In addition to promoting a healthy appearance for a printer, cleaning the casing or exterior of a printer will help increase sanitation by eliminating microorganisms. For best results, power-down your printer before cleaning and then rub its exterior surfaces with a lint-free cloth. Moisten the cloth with a cleaning solution of one part vinegar to one part water.