It is important to perform maintenance on a laser printer monthly to ensure it continues to run properly. Lack of maintenance can cause paper jams and result in poor print quality in the form or smudges, streaks and light print. For the most part, laser printers require very little maintenance, but there are several things you can check each month to make sure it continues to run as expected. This is especially important in a work environment, where employees less conscientious than you have access to the printer.
General Laser Printer Maintenance
A laser printer is susceptible to toner spillage, paper jams and roller damage. Toner spillage can be caused by normal usage or by people installing the cartridge incorrectly or by having to remove it continuously to free up paper jams. Toner has a powdery consistency and will coat virtually everything it comes in contact with. Take the following steps to clean spilled toner:
- Remove the toner and use a computer vacuum to carefully clean up large amounts of toner.
- Wipe away remaining toner with a slightly damp cloth.
- Wipe rubber rollers around toner cartridge housing with lint-free cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol.
- With the toner out, carefully inspect interior chassis of printer for torn paper bits.
- Examine pick-up roller and clean with damp cloth. Replace pickup roller if you are getting excessive paper tray jams.
- Clean exterior of toner cartridge with damp cloth and put it back into the printer.
The Fuser And Laser Printer Maintenance
A laser printer has two main parts responsible for the printing process. The toner cartridge (which houses various rollers and drums) and the fuser assembly (which also contains rollers and drums). You frequently replace the toner cartridge, so there is little chance this is ever going to cause problems with the printing process. The fuser, however, is a part of the laser printer which is destined to fail. The fuser gets extremely hot and is responsible for adhering the toner to the paper. The faster the printer, the hotter the fuser. The heat can cause the fuser’s drum to begin to wear out. You will see these marks on your print outs and it is impossible to fix without replacing the fuser.
The fuser is usually part of a laser printer maintenance kit for a printer and can be ordered directly from the manufacturer or a printer supply store. If you need to replace the fuser, be sure to replace all of the rollers that come in the kit. If you have questions about laser printer maintenance, join our free forums or read our other printer tutorials.