Much like a fine piece of machinery, an inkjet printer needs to be handled with care. Don’t think that your work is done once you acquire your fancy new inkjet printer, because if you want to make the most out of your machine, you need to follow some rules.
Now, inkjet printers aren’t exactly finicky machines, so don’t get scared by an intense amount of upkeep. Simply follow the outlined tips below and you’ll know exactly how to properly care for your inkjet printer.
Location Is Everything
As soon as you place your printer down, you could be effecting its performance in the long run. Always seek out a flat, level surface so that the printer ink doesn’t pool, and consider the level of dust, too. A well ventilated space is ideal, since an area with lots of dust can collect inside the printer itself over time.
Properly Turn Off Your Printer
Many may not be aware, but there is an improper way to turn off an inkjet printer. Don’t worry, you were probably turning off the machine correctly, if you consistently used your printer’s power button. When the built-in power switch is used, the print head is properly sealed. When a power bar or the like is used to turn off a printer, the print head may remain open and then be left to dry out in the air.
Keep Tabs On Your Cartridges
You might think it a good idea to buy a bunch of ink cartridges when they’re on sale, but similar to most food products, cartridges actually have an expiration date. The shelf life of a cartridge may go by a different name other than “expiration date,” as certain brands use different terms, but they all mean the same thing, namely that the cartridge won’t be in prime condition after the listed time.
Placing a cartridge into your inkjet printer will increase its rate of deterioration, too, since the seal will be broken. With that in mind, a cartridge that sits in a printer for long stretches of time may expire sooner than the date listed, which could lead to performance issues.
Always Use Your Printer
Inkjet printers need to be used regularly to stay in tip-top shape. Ideally, an inkjet should be used about every single day. Some folks may not need to print that regularly, so if that’s your case, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of performing a quick test-print every week. Print a page in black and in colour; this is kind of like a diagnostic test to make sure everything is still working smoothly.
What To Do When The Nozzles Clog
If you ever see large spaces on your print or white streaks, that probably means your ink nozzles are clogged. This can happen for a number of reasons, but usually due to inactivity.
The first thing you should do when you notice your nozzles are clogged is to perform a nozzle-check, a function pretty much every inkjet printer has. After that, run the cleaning function, then do a test print. If the issue remains, do a clean-then-print (always print between cleaning runs) a few more times, or until the nozzles are unclogged. Letting your printer rest for a few hours can help in unclogging nozzles if nothing improves after several cleaning runs.
Follow The Rules When It Comes To Paper Jams
Perhaps the most common problems across all printers is the paper jam. Now, many of us will simply open up the printer and try to find the paper that’s caused the issue, but you really should refer to your printer’s unique manual to see how to properly deal with a jam. Every printer is unique, so follow the prescribed guidelines to ensure longevity in your machine.
Featured image courtesy of: tookapic