It’s time for spring cleaning! You clean your house and you clean your shop, but I want to focus on technology housekeeping this spring. In this first tech blast, let’s look at how you can keep your printer running its best with a little deeper maintenance than your average weekly/daily cleaning.


Here are some maintenance tasks you need to perform:


First, turn off the printer and take a good flashlight and do a thorough examination of your printer:

  •  Remove maintenance covers and remove the media.
  •  Blow off any dust with canned air or wipe off with a damp (not wet) rag.
  •  If you experience any problems during your cleaning, the doctors in our Tech

Services department are always available to help.


Clean any stray ink overspray or splatters – use isopropyl alcohol or waterless hand cleaner on any plastic parts or painted metal parts that do not directly contact the printheads. You can use cleaning fluid on unpainted metal if necessary.

  • Clean the grift wheels with a toothbrush.
  • Clean any ink or adhesive buildup from the platen.
  • Make sure that your edge guards are clean and not bent or distorted.
  • Examine and clean the rubber pinch wheels – replace if worn or damaged.


The captops are probably the single most important part when it comes to keeping your printheads healthy. Depending on your printer, these should be replaced every 6 to 18 months.

  • Replace your captops. If you haven’t done it in a year, or more, do it now.

Ink buildup overtime damages the captops. The normally soft plastic will harden, reducing the ability to clean the head properly, keep it sealed and prevent them from drying out.

  • Replace your wipers – again, these aren’t designed to last forever – 6 to 12 months depending on your printer. They suffer from the same issues that affect captops.
  • Replace the wiper cleaner or wiper scraper – your wipers won’t be able to clean the heads if they are dirty themselves.
  • Clean around the printhead with recommended swabs and cleaning fluid for your printer.

If you have questions on how to do any of these, please email or check out the TechTips section at


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