Printer Maintenance Tips
- Use your printer regularly. Leaving your printer idle for long periods of time can cause the printheads to dry up. Try to use your printer at least once a week to preserve your inkjet cartridges.
- Clean your printheads regularly.
- Replace your cartridges at the first sign of poor print quality. This often indicates that the ink levels are getting low, and the cartridges should be replaced before they are completely empty.
- If your printer has replaceable printheads (ie. HP 88 series, 10 series, 11 series, etc), they typically may need to be replaced every 7-8 cartridges. If the printhead wears out, the cartridge may give a low ink reading or fail to print. Often this is mistaken for a cartridge error when it is actually a worn out printhead.
- Clean the outside of your printer at least once a week. Use a damp, lint-free cloth dampened with water or rubbing alcohol (nothing stronger) to wipe away dust, dirt, animal hair, and other contaminants.
- Cover your printer when it’s not in use. Printer covers (available from office supply stores) protect your printer while you’re not using it.
- Don’t use compressed air to clean out your printer. Doing so may force dust and debris into the printer. Instead, use a keyboard vacuum (available from office supply stores) to clean the inside of your printer.
- Always use the Power button to turn off your printer. If you use a power strip, don’t just turn it off – make sure to power down the printer properly.
- Keep an extra cartridge on hand. In the rare instance that your problem cannot be solved by the steps on this website, you’ll have a spare.