How To Clean A Laser Printer
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How To Clean a Laserjet / Color Laserjet Printer

As your printer starts getting older print quality and paper feed issues may start to arise 
I will cover some basic Do-It-Yourself printer maintenance that may save you
a possible service call.

 


Shut Printer OFF Unplug The Device Before Cleaning
Remove Toner Cartridge

Chemicals

 Below is a picture of some around the house chemicals Before you start
using any chemicals on or in your laser printer for cleaning or lubricating please read.

WARNING
Laserjet printers use extreme high voltage to create prints and the inside of your
laser printer IS NOT to be sprayed with any chemicals you can cause damage.

Petroleum , Alcohol and Ammonia based products ARE NOT to be used
unless for exterior cosmetic cleaning.

What You Should Use

On the inside of your printer you can use Lint free cloth or rag moistened with a little water this will help in absorbing toner and debris as you wipe hp recommends just a dry lint free cloth for this but I find a lightly moistened cloth does a better job for toner spills
you can use a soft brush or toner vacuum also. Canned Air read below ?

Ammonia and alcohol based products will dry out rubber rollers and damage transfer rollers and belts so try to stay away from using these unless your cleaning copier glass or  mirror frames.

Do not use petroleum based products inside your printer to fix a squeeks by spraying
chemicals in drive lines not knowing you put yourself at risk for a possible flash fire especially on the older tungsten lamp fuser printers that get very hot.



Canned Air ?
Using canned air I am a little mixed emotioned about this for a couple of reasons
1) When using Canned air on printers that have heavy toner build up I find that when apraying air inside the printer all you are doing is forcing the toner and debris to go into other NON visual areas, out of sight out of mind right ? Wrong.

On most Laserjet printers the high voltage or engine controller board is located at the bottom of the printer and paper feed mechanisms also I have seen way to many printers that customers used canned air to clean the printer to only find out the paper feed rollers no longer want to grab paper and the toner they thought they were cleaning just contaminated the lower part of the printer and print quality became less desirable after cleaning also.

2) Canned Air and cfc's I found that the newer canned air leaves a white film and convesation on components that rely on high voltage to work correctly this film we have seen create print quality problems on transfer rollers and "ITB" transfer belts which caused more problems. 



Below is picture of the printer after using canned air this picture is hard to see but a lot of toner and debris is in the paper tray and it is a perfect example of how the canned air pushed the toner through the printer and required the pickup rollers to be hand cleaned after using the canned air The printer required about 15 pages to be printed before the quality was back to normal because so much toner was displaced through out the printer.



This photo below is a common feed assembly on a hp laserjet printer
you can clean these rollers by using a little water and a drop of dish soap on a paper towel or rag if the rollers look extremely worn this would be a good time to replace them.
Check out our comparisons.



The photo below shows the printer with the lid assembly removed here you can see the scanner assembly. A dirty scanner will cause light prints cleaning the mirror frames is a great idea if done correctly this will help restore print quality and deliver darker crisper prints, the scanner is protected with a plastic cover and it can be removed for cleaning but this is something a technician should do if you are not familiar with printer repair.



The photo below identifying and cleaning the transfer roller.
Transfer rollers can be cleaned periodically using a lint free cloth or brush just simply
wipe the roller and turn it and continue to wipe Do Not use chemicals
on this roller because you will effect your print quality when finished even the oils on
your fingers can cause this roller to deliver poor print quality.
This is a good time to wipe down the paper path with a dry rag or paper towel
to remove any toner or debris.
Most transfer rollers are soft sponge like material and should be replaced
periodically typically on the standard laserjet every 200k-300k pages Transfer
rollers are included with Maintenance kits or can be purchased seperately.





Fuser Cleaning - Creating A Cleaning Page
Most hp laser printers have the ability to generate a cleaning page check your user manual if you are unsure, the cleaning page is a procedure that is recommended everytime you replace your toner cartridge, the goal is to clean the printers fuser. hp fusing assemblies are self cleaning and by running this generated print it helps the printer self clean the fuser rollers.

Unsure if your printer has a bad fuser ? 









Toner Vacuum
Picture Below Of course I understand that not everybody has access to a hepa toner vacuum but if you are supporting a large quantity of printers these vacuums do a wonderful job and leave little behind when finished, 3M makes these vacuums and the cost is approx $240.00 
These vacs have a hepa filter that can absorb small particle sizes beyond traditional vacuums they have to because toner particles are .03 micron particle size and can have a float time of up to 3 hours so understand using the right vacuum makes the difference.





Cleaning Color Laser Printers








BEWARE
The photo below shows a toner cartridge that has been
puncturered or drilled to re-fill it.

This Toner made a huge leaky mess and caused the printer
to be in need of a serious internal cleaning
it was brought to our service center for repair.
This is the type of garbage you should never put in your printer.

Warning: Photo's are the property of Michigan Printer Repair