Stain-free Printing

By Team Digit Published Date
01 - Apr - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Apr - 2005
Stain-free Printing
The printer has become an indispensable tool for the home and SoHo segment these days. Almost every inkjet printer is capable of printing at a quality that was available only in high-end printing solutions a few years ago.

More often than not, though, you're stuck in a situation where your inkjet printer starts acting up, smearing your printouts with ink or showing banding. And what happens if this occurs when you need an urgent print? You'd start running helter-skelter: call the technician, who, in turn, might take a long time to get your printer fixed. This situation can be avoided entirely; all your inkjet printer needs is periodic maintenance and cleaning. Here's how...

Step 1. Clean The Print Cartridge
To start with, always use the cleaning utility provided with the printer driver interface. To access this utility, click on 'Start', then on 'Printers and Faxes'. Right-click on the printer listed, and click on 'Printing Preferences'. Now click on the 'Services' tab, and click on 'Service this Device'.

Place a blank paper in the paper tray and click on 'Clean the Print Cartridge', and then on 'Clean'. A test page will be printed and you have to gauge whether the printout is clean or not. You might have to repeat this step several times; if this does not help, proceed to manually clean the print head.

Step 2. Clean All Surfaces
You must be very careful while doing this; handle the printer gently to avoid any damage. Disconnect the printer from the power supply, moisten a clean piece of cloth in mild soap solution, and wipe the surface of the printer. Open the front flap and gently wipe all plastic surfaces, particularly those stained by spilled ink, and the rollers. Avoid touching any lubricated surface such as the slide bar.

Step 3. Remove The Cartridges     
This step is only for thermal inkjet printers and should not be performed on printers based on piezoelectric technology, also known as 'On-Demand' inkjets. After the printer has dried, keeping the front flap open, connect the power cable and switch on the printer. The print cartridge cradle will now move towards the centre of the slide bar. Gently pull the ink cartridge towards you, and it will pop out of the cradle. Repeat the above steps for the other cartridge(s) as well.

Step 4. Clean The Stubs
You will now be able to see two small pieces or stubs attached to the bottom of the cradle on the left and right. This is where the gunk and ink accumulates, smearing your printouts.

Use the moist cloth to clean these stubs. Similarly, clean the ink cartridge print head using a lint-free cloth, soaked in denatured alcohol. A lint-free cloth (and not a cotton swab) must be used, so that the print head does not get clogged with cloth fibres.

Your printer should now be printing as good as new. But that's not the end of it-it requires periodic cleaning in order to be able to function at the peak of its efficiency.

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