Printer Cleaning Basics

Cleaning the Outside of Your Printer

  1. Turn your printer off before cleaning.
  2. Clean the outside of your printer with a moist, lint-free cloth. Flour sacking or 100% cotton white t-shirt material works well.
  3. Usually a solution of one part vinegar and one part water is safe to use, but when moistening a cloth, be sure to wring out all the excess. Distilled or RO (reverse osmosis) water minimizes mineral residues. If you do use a prepared cleaner, make sure it is safe for both electronics and plastics.
  4. Always moisten the cloth. Never spray an aerosol directly onto your printer.


Cleaning a Laser Printer

  1. Turn the printer off, unplug it, and allow it to cool down before you begin.
  2. Remove the internal paper trays.
  3. Remove the toner cartridge and place it on a piece of clean paper.
  4. Clean inside the toner cavity with a dry, lint-free cloth and printer brush.
  5. Clean the printer mirror gently with the brush. Don’t touch the mirror if a brush isn’t provided.
  6. Wipe away dust and spilled toner. Remove paper fragments.
  7. Clean the rollers, but don’t touch the transfer (sponge) roller.
  8. Replace the toner cartridge


Cleaning an Inkjet Printer

Most inkjets have a self-cleaning process you can access from your printer’s control panel. If that process doesn’t remedy the problem, try one of the following. Remember to check your manufacturer’s documentation and the product documentation to be sure it is right for your printer.

  1. Inkjet cleaning cartridges flush dirt and debris out of clogged printer nozzles, restoring the quality of your prints and prolonging the life of your print heads. However, take care that the cleaning fluid you use is approved for your brand and model of printer.
  2. Before cleaning inside your inkjet, turn it off and unplug it. Let it cool down if necessary.
  3. Dust, hair, and lint from inexpensive papers can gum up your printer’s rollers. A computer vacuum is usually a safe way to remove debris.
  4. Roller cleaning sheets can help in cleaning print rollers. Again, check documentation before use.