Keeping Your Printer in Tip-Top Condition


It is not till you have to manage without something that you realise just how much you rely on it. From a toaster going pop to a phone that is on the blink, we can rapidly go into “first world crisis” mode when our gadgets let us down.

There is a common misconception that in the modern age, we are all paper-free. Sure, we certainly don’t get through as many packs of paper as we used to ten years ago, but it is only when your printer suddenly breaks down that you realise just how much you still need it. Here are four tips to avert disaster and keep your printer running reliably.

Choose your Cartridges Carefully

There are all sorts of arguments for and against the use of OEM cartridges in printers. The manufacturers will, of course, tell you that only theirs will do, and that cheap alternatives will damage the machine. Cynics argue that they are simply scaremongering to protect their sales. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. If perfect colour quality is important, you should go with the manufacturer’s brands to get the best results. However, this still doesn’t have to mean buying from them direct. For example, you can buy cartridges online at a discounted price, but they are still OEM products, so there is no compromise on quality.

Keep a Clean Head

Have you ever seen a document emerge from the printer with white lines across the text or with graphics that are missing ink?

If you’ve checked the cartridges and they have plenty of ink in them, the problem is probably that your printer heads have become clogged up and need cleaning.

This is usually a straightforward automated process that can be achieved at the click of the right combination of buttons – check the user manual or look your machine up online to find the specific instructions. Only clean the heads when you have to, as the process uses ink, which you don’t want to waste unnecessarily.

Remove Dust and Foreign Matter

If a head clean doesn’t resolve streaking issues, it could be that there is some debris inside the machine causing a problem. Left unresolved, this will only get worse over time, and can also lead to the dreaded paper jams. If you have a small vacuum cleaner, this is the best way to get rid of the problem.

Some CHOOSE TO use those cans of compressed air, but the problem with these is that they just blow the obstructions around instead of removing them, so any improvement is usually short lived.

Resolve Jams with Care

Ah yes, paper jams. Few things cause a red mist quite so readily and lead to violence against inanimate objects. The trouble is, if you lose your temper and just yank the paper out, you can cause internal damage, not to mention leaving a torn corner of paper in an inaccessible place. So take a deep breath, look in the manual and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dealing with the jam. After all, it’s not the machine’s fault!

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