Printer Maintenance - How Do You Know If a Printer Needs Routine Maintenance DIY?

Printer maintenance- How do you know if a printer needs routine maintenance? this is the first thing you need to consider when deciding to invest in a printer.

Having your own printer can be great for your activity or business. You’ll enjoy printing documents and images in the comfort of your own home.

But, if you want your printer to have a long life and pristine functioning, maintenance is a must. The best part is that printer maintenance is something you can do on your own.

You just need to respect a few steps and rules, which will be presented in the lines below.

So, whether you already have a printer or intend buying one, here is how to perform correct maintenance operations.

They will keep your printer running great and prevent unwanted malfunctions.

What does “printer maintenance” mean?

Just like any other item that has working mechanisms, a printer will require periodic maintenance. Performing such processes will keep failure from happening and will allow your printer to provide great results each time.

But, what does printer maintenance means? How often should it be performed? And how to tell if a printer needs maintenance?

A printer maintenance process makes reference to cleaning and other operations meant to keep the printer functioning right. When it comes to printers, cleaning should be done both on the outside and inside.

So, before starting anything, read the user’s manual of the printer you own. The manual will tell you how to properly remove any mobile parts, for proper cleaning.

Also, each manufacturer will have its own set of recommendations when it comes to cleaning and maintenance.

Other operations related to printer maintenance are connected to refilling or changing the printer’s toner or ink cartridges, replacing rollers if the case, or replacing the drum.

However, when it comes to changing parts, you should not do this part unless it is necessary. Errors on the printer’s screen or serious malfunctions will tell you if parts are defective.

Different ways of Printer Maintenance

Printer maintenance can be performed in a variety of ways. It depends on the kind of operations needed by your type of printer. At the same time, there are operations that should be done more often than others.

Inside and outside cleaning

Cleaning is the most common type of printer maintenance. Everyone should clean his or her printer periodically.

This simple operation can have a great impact on the life span and functioning of the printer.

No matter what kind of printer you have, dust will accumulate inside the printer. Dust comes from the environment, processed paper, and even from the used toner.

To keep the printer’s mechanisms running right, dust should be properly removed.

Lubrication of mobile parts

Lubrication is also part of a printer’s maintenance processes. From time to time, the mobile parts of the printers should be lubricated.

If the lubricant is insufficient, these parts can suffer premature wear and damages. Sometimes, replacing parts of a printer can cost as much as the printer itself.

Self-tests and nozzle checks

You should also allow your printer to perform self-tests. Modern printers have this feature available, a feature that will underline any potential problems.

During a self-test, you can see if there are any parts or issues endangering your printer’s functionality.

Usually, self-tests will also do a configuration check.

This will verify the software side of your printer and look for potential updates. Software updates are useful for keeping your printer running according to the latest standards.

Why is the printer maintenance important?

Just how important printer maintenance is? What if you forget to perform maintenance on your printer?

The user manual of a printer usually recommends the periodicity of maintenance processes.

Thus, reading the manual will let you know just how often certain maintenance types are needed. But, if you forget to perform maintenance on a given date, you can do it as soon as you remember.

Simple maintenance operations, like cleaning, may not seem that important. But, large dust accumulations inside the printer can lead to serious damages.

If you don’t want to take your printer to service, performing maintenance is definitely a must.

Not to mention just how frustrating it is for the printer to malfunction when you need it.

This is why keeping your printer in great shape will keep it functioning around the clock.

Whenever you need it, you know you’ll be able to rely on your printer.

Epson Printer Maintenance

If you have an Epson printer at home, you should know that these printers have a special maintenance feature.

It is called a nozzle check utility feature and it helps by allowing you to check the printer’s nozzle, for pristine functioning. Using this feature will allow accurate printing each time you will use the printer.

“How to” and tips

  • Load the printer with sheets of paper.
  • Select the “Printer” button from your Start menu.
  • With a right-click, select the printer model you have from the pop-up window. A small menu will show up.
  • Click on “Printing preferences” to proceed.
  • Select “System preferences” from the several symbols on the bottom of the screen, on the newly opened menu.
  • Go to the “Print&Scan” button and click on it.
  • Select your printer model and click on the “Open Print Queue” option.
  • Click on the “Settings” button from the menu that appears.
  • Click on the “Utility” button and then on the “Open Printer Utility”.
  • Finally, you will have a menu featuring a “Nozzle Check” option. Click on it and then select the “Print” button.

The printer will start printing. Once it’s done, check the printer paper that comes out. If you see black or faded spots on the paper, you’ll have to clean your printer’s nozzle.

Inkjet printer maintenance

Inkjet printers are probably the most common types of printers out there.

So, there are high chances you have one as well. Cleaning and maintaining your inkjet printer are not that difficult.

“How to” and tips

  • Checking the nozzle of the printer by performing a nozzle test.
  • Test each color of the printer.
  • Check if the lines are continuous and uniform. If so, your printer works fine. But if you notice interruptions, like blank areas, or faded ink, maintenance is needed.

The head of the printer is the part that requires cleaning most often. Dust and ink accumulations on the head may affect its printing quality.

You will find head cleaning instructions in the printer’s user manual. Usually, this process should be done every couple of months, to clear any obstructions that could affect the printing process.

Canon printer maintenance

Do you notice blurry areas or interrupted ink when your Canon printer is printing? Then you should perform a maintenance process on your printer to solve this part.

“How to” and tips

  • Check to see if there’s any ink left in the cartridge.
  • Avoid wiping or rinsing the cartridge. This can inflict damage on the cartridge.
  • You can check the ink’s status in the printer’s operation panel. This will let you know if ink levels in the cartridge are low.
  • If you need to replace the cartridge in the printer, make sure the protective tape on the cartridge is removed.
  • Installing the cartridge with the tape will not allow the ink to flow out during printing.

Blurred printing or interrupted lines on the printer paper may indicate obstructions in the printing head or low ink levels. In case you notice these aspects after performing a nozzle check, the first thing you can do is to clean the head.

Canon printers have a self-cleaning property for their printing heads. Here is how to do it:

  • Hold on the “Stop” button until you see the light of the “Alarm” button flashing twice.
  • Immediately release the button when the button finishes flashing twice.
  • The printer’s head cleaning process will be initiated.
  • The light of the “On” button will appear when the process is over.

Do not try to perform any other operations with the printer during its head cleaning. The entire cleaning process will take about 30 seconds, so it won’t belong.

Scanner & printer dual version maintenance

“how to” and tips

Printers and scanner dual version equipment have similar maintenance processes with regular printers.

The Epson ET-4750/L6190 series undergoes a cleaning and maintenance routine just like any other printer.

The nozzle and printing head are the first parts that must be checked. If problems arise at the end of the test, cleaning and aligning the head may be necessary.

Like many modern printer & scanner equipment, Epson also provides a power cleaning feature. This will enable the user to initiate the printer’s own cleaning program with the help of a computer.

The user manual of the device will provide all the information and steps required to properly test and clean your printer.

How do you know if a printer needs routine maintenance?

Ideally, printer maintenance should be done according to a schedule. This means that this procedure should be done periodically, every couple of months.

But there are also signs indicating your printer requires immediate maintenance.

Lines that shouldn’t be there, blurred or missing colors, smears, blank spots, they are all signs maintenance is required.

While these may occur when ink is below minimum levels, they may also happen due to dust accumulations.

Thus, the first thing you need to check is the functionality of the printer’s nozzle. This can be done with the help of your computer, from the Control Panel.

When you should go see a servicing center

When all your maintenance procedures don’t manage to resolve the issues your printer presents, it’s time to have it checked by a professional.

Sometimes, with all our care, printers will need part replacement.

While you could do some of these replacements, like cartridge replacement or toner refill, you should allow an expert to verify the printer.

When to do this? If the printer rumples the paper, fails to print right even after deep head cleaning, fails to respond to commands, or appears unable to pick up paper from the paper tray.

It is worth knowing that most printers these days display error codes on their screens. These error codes will indicate the existing problem.

You’ll just need to check the meaning of the error code in the user manual of the printer.

Try following the troubleshooting steps to fix the issue or, if you don’t succeed, take the printer to the appropriate service center.

DIY ways to clean your printer

Cleaning a printer is not such a difficult task. There are a few steps that need to be respected for the best results. Here is what you need to know to save money on printer cleaning services.

  1. Remove the cartridge and ink-head of your printer before starting the cleaning procedure. Do this with care to avoid damages to the components.
  2. Dip a sponge swab in a small amount of rubbing alcohol and gently clean the printer head’s contacts. The rubbing alcohol will dissolve any ink residues that may clog the head.
  3. Clean the printer’s nozzle of any excess ink. This will dry out and obstruct the nozzle, keeping it from printing right.
  4. Place the printer’s cartridge back into its place. Make sure you position and fix it correctly.
  5. Check the results of the cleaning process with the help of a printing test.

FAQs Maintenance of Printer

 How to run maintenance on a printer?

Printer maintenance is a process anyone can perform. There are several easy steps that must be respected to do this successfully.

  • Check and clean the printer’s head.
  • Remove the cartridge and head and clean the inside of the printer.
  • Perform a visual inspection under the printer’s hood.
  • Always use the right ink for refills.
  • Replace the cartridge when needed it and do this operation with care.
  • Don’t allow the cartridges to dry up, replacing them in a timely manner.
  • Turn the printer off when not in use.
  • Perform software updates, downloading, and installing the latest updates.

What type of activities will printer maintenance require?

Regular printer maintenance involves printer cleaning, lubrication of mobile parts, downloading driver software, if needed, and performing self-tests.

How often should a printer head be cleaned?

The printer’s head is usually the part that creates most problems. Covered with a thin layer of liquid, it can easily attract dust and get clogged.

So, head cleaning should be done once a week. Also, it’s not recommended not to use the printer for extended periods.

This will get the head to dry up. As a preventive measure, place the printer in a warm room.

What kind of preventive maintenance can be done on a printer?

There is some preventive maintenance you can do, to keep the printer running for as long as possible. For example, make sure the paper path is always clean.

Use only adequate cleaners for your printer, avoiding ammonia-based solvents.

If you don’t use the printer too often, try at least printing a few pages every one or two weeks, to keep the ink from drying.


A printer, regardless of its type, should enjoy proper maintenance periodically.

The maintenance process will prolong the life of the printer and will ensure perfect functioning each time.

Because dust can affect the fine nozzle and head of a printer, the maintenance process should be considered essential by every printer owner.

Luckily, this is the kind of process that can be done by anyone.

You just need to pay attention to the steps and perform the correct operations.

To avoid any misusage or damages, always read the printer’s user manual.

Every printer manufacturer will provide guidance and recommendations when it comes to maintenance and troubleshooting.