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How to clean and maintain your printer for better performance?
This article describes how to clean and maintain your printer properly so that it serves your purpose for a long time. Certain important processes like cleaning of the print heads, the deep cleaning process, manual alignment of the print heads, cleaning of the bottom plates and the print rollers, configuring the printing setting etc. are covered well in this article.
Like any of your other computer accessories printers too deserves a special attention of yours. Many people prefer ink-jet printers first because they come in a cheap price and secondly because they give out good prints on paper. But what counts most when it comes about maintaining your printer for a long time is to follow proper maintenance procedures. Well, you must be thinking now how you may look after your printer so that it serves your purpose of printing for a long time? Your printer maintenance steps should include cleaning your printer properly to overcome printout that are hazy or blurred. It should also include proper arrangement of print heads so that the colors reach the printer paper accordingly. However, it is always a good idea to have some generic knowledge on how the different parts of a printer works mechanically before you start any printing and cleaning process by yourself.
How to maintain your printer for better performance
It is important to be aware of the ways to clean your printer. Not only it would help your works go smoother and easier but it would also help to extend the life time of your printer. Given below are some of the important steps to clean and maintain your printer:
Print out a test page of the printer to check out
First open the properties box of your printer from the control panel. For this, click on the start button and then on the control panel. In the category view of the control pane, click on printers and other hardware and then on printers and faxes. Alternatively, you may click on the classic view simply double click on printers and faxes. Then you will see an icon symbolizing your printer. As soon as you right click on it you will get a pop-up menu, and you need to select properties from it. Before doing any changes, go to the general tab and click on print test page. The page you will get from the print out would reveal if the color and black inks are functioning properly.
The cleaning process of the print head of the printer
Suppose, if the print out is not up to the mark then it would only reveal two things. First, it could be because of the colors not properly lined up and secondly, because of the ink being smudged. The technique that I am going to describe here is same for all the printers except for some technical names which may differ. Click the maintenance tab in the printer properties and you will discover a button called cleaning. This will start the cleaning process of the print heads. Next click on OK followed by the nozzle check button as soon as the cleaning is done. Now to check the printer outputs make sure to print out a page with a grid pattern and color bars. For this the print check pattern button should be clicked followed by OK.
Repeat the print head cleaning process
Now if the print out is of poor quality or reveals any other problems you may have to repeat the print head cleaning process. For this, you will find in the nozzle check box the cleaning button and you need to click on that. Now click the print check pattern process one more time after repeat clean process is complete. Find out if things have improved then before and if not then that may signal clogged print heads of the printer.
The deep cleaning process of your printer
If the print outs have not improved after the repeat cleaning process (mentioned above) then in the pattern check box click exit. Now click on the deep cleaning button and you will get the warning that displays- deep cleaning consumes more ink. Ignore this and click on execute and then on OK. After the process gets complete print out another page and see if there is any improvement. The problem of blocked print heads could be solved with one deep clean but sometimes it needs to be done twice.
Find out if the print head is properly aligned
After being through with the basic cleaning and the print head maintenance process it is time now to find out if the print head is properly aligned. First click on the print head alignment button on the maintenance tab and when the print out is done with click on YES followed by OK to carry on. More cleaning is required if nothing gets printed out.
Manually align the print head
Take the print out and align it manually. You need to compare the print out with the image that displayed on the screen side by side. You need to select the numbers with the arrow keys between -3 and seven 7 for columns A to E and columns F to K. Some printers does this automatically for you. Then click on the OK button twice. You may also check the manual button of your printer.
Clean the bottom plate
The quality printing outputs of a printer does not depend solely on the cleaning of print heads. Things can go worse if the roller of the printer, and the bottom plates are not clean. For cleaning the bottom plate you need to first click on the bottom plate cleaning button and then follow the written instructions one after the other. What you need to do is to take a sheet of plane paper and then fold it into half. Then unfold it and feed it into the feeder of the printer. When you click the execute button the paper will move into the printer. In this process it will collect any extra ink which has accumulated inside. Then you need to click OK when the process is complete.
Clean the print rollers
This can be done in two steps and you need to first remove all the papers from the feeder of the printer. Click the roller cleaning button and then click OK. The print rollers will start moving and after sometime it will stop. Then again you need to click on the OK button. A message on the screen will display asking you to load three sheets of paper into the sheet feeder. After doing so click on OK.. When all the papers are loaded click on OK and then again OK. This will ensure that the roller cleaning is done.
Increase the page drying time through the custom settings
When printing more pages on the printer the printout may get worse if the ink on the print out does not dry out. The printer tray needs to be dry so that other pages could be feed or this could lead to getting smudgy pages of print. Many printers have the option to customize page drying time. You need to click the custom setting button and adjust the slider and then click on send to save the setting permanently.
Ensure that the ink does not finish in between your work
To ensure that the ink does not finish in between your work you need to notice the ink level. You can do so by clicking the view printer status which will display two icons to show the level of ink in it. When you put a new cartridge this message is automatically reset. But if it is not so then you can do it manually by clicking on the ink counter reset button and then checking the box to show which cartridge has been replaced and finally click the execute button.
Indicate the printer to be used in the control panel
If more than one printer is attached to a computer then it will be better to set the printer that is going to be used mostly. This would save you from the headache and time of doing it manually every time. For this, open the printer section in the control panel and right click on the printer used most often and set it as a default printer.
Configure the printing setting
You may configure the printing setting used mostly to save yourself from the headache of doing it every time manually. Right click the icon resembling your printer in the printers control panel and select the printing preference option. Go to the page set up type and select the paper size. You also have to select landscape or portrait. The go tot the main tab and click the media type drop down menu to select the type of paper to be used.
Configure the default print quality setting
You can also configure the default print quality settings and choose colors. You can adjust the color setting according to your requirement. If you want to print in black and white then you need to tick the gray scale box. First, you need to click the set button to configure manually the setting if there is the custom setting.
To wrap up
Now if you click the print option it will print accordingly to your preferred setting. However, you may go for other options or settings whenever you need to do so. If you need to print on different sized paper then from any program you need to click on the file menu and then select print. From here you can get printer preferences and can change the print settings for each prints. One of the good advantage of this method is that you can print several copies without pressing print every time.
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