CheapGeek- How to Clean a Dirty Old Printer




Introduction: CheapGeek- How to Clean a Dirty Old Printer

About: Cheap... Geek

CheapGeek way to Clean a Printer. This Dirty Old Laser printer was the deal in 1996.
6 pages per minute of blazing fast monchrome printing. Document quality and the price was $350.00
I however, got the printer for $150.00 (in 1996 a deal for sure). This printer served us well and as time progressed, it sat neglected on the top the desk. A new color printer took over the job as print master.
Sad- to see this dirty old warrior silent, un-used. Every reboot, the printer would rachet to life, grinding, grunting and wheeze, then wait. Poor lonely printer waiting for a print job.
Print jobs that until recently, did not come.
It's time to resurrect you- Old Printer of the Monochrome, Grandpa Laser.
Some cleaning and maintenance should do it.
Here's how I cleaned the printer, to bring it back to life.....

Step 1: CheapGeek- Gather Materials

1. General purpose cleaner.
2. Isopropyl Alcohol at least 70% by volume. <70% by volume will allow the alcohol and cleaner mix to evaporate quickly with very little residue.>
3. Small spray bottle. For the mix.
4. Paper towels.
5. 1 1/2 inch paintbrush.
6. Cotton tipped swabs.
7. Vacuum cleaner or canned air.
8. Dust mask- couldn't hurt, for safety.

Step 2: CheapGeek-Time to Clean

Find your self a suitable work area.
1. Remove the catridge --When your ready, remove the toner catridge from the printer (mine is easy to remove) consult your printer documentation if you need to.
2. Use the paintbrush to remove dust and debris. Make sure the vents are clear.
3. For the inside use the brush to loosen dust and debris as well.
Watch for toner. Use a mask if you need to.
4. Use the vacuum to remove what you can. No vacuum, use canned air.

Step 3: CheapGeek- Time to Clean 2

1. Seal the inside-Place a protective barrier inside the printer where catridge once was. I used an old tshirt.
2. Spray- Spray the outside with your cleaning mixture. I mix one part cleaner to 2 parts alcohol and combine into a spray bottle. Shake- and Spray.
3. Wipe- Wipe the outside thoroughly. Get everything. Use Qtips to reach the corners or anywhere a puddle gathers.
4. Let it dry. Rinse, lather, repeat. Sort of.
5. I use the paper towels already dampened and wipe the inside. Watch for sensitve components.

Step 4: CheapGeek- Time to Clean 3.

After the cleaning is finished, let the unit dry.
1. Clean the catridge, use the brush to loosen dust.
2. Use a dampened paper towel to wipe the outside.
3. Let it dry.
4. Reinsert the cartridge.

Step 5: CheapGeek- Done

Everything's clean and dry.
Time to put the printer back into action.
Before the printer goes back into action, I'll check the Internet for new drivers and any other updated software.

If you don't know what it is- do not soak it down with cleaner.
If there are excessive amounts of toner powder present in the printer-
you may want to clean the unit outside. Wear a mask.
Toner can be dangerous- the average vacuum cannot filter toner dust effectively, exercise caution.
For large toner deposits, use Qtips to remove most of the toner.
A clean very lightly damp cloth can gather most of the toner.

The veteran printer is now part of loop and ready for action, cleaned and retooled with a new found driver and sense of purpose.
Grandpa still wheezes to life, and now proudly prints a relatively streak and blotch free print.
Here's to you. Old Printer of the Monochrome, Grandpa Laser.

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    9 Discussions


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I used to have a HL-760, got it for free from a local skip, it worked mostly fine and I never needed to change the toner, but towards the end it just started throwing up errors, wouldn't fuse the toner to the paper and in the end wouldn't even do it's warm up cycle... :( But hey, for something I only spent money on paper for, it wasn't bad, lasted a good 2 years... :D


    11 years ago on Step 5

    If your pick up rollers are dirty or misfeeding, clean them with a clean, lint-free cloth, with a bit of windex. Other cleaners can dry out the rubber like material of the rollers and cause even more problems.


    13 years ago

    I love the smell of IPA in the morning...


    13 years ago

    Do not use Windex on or near a laser printer! Ammonia based cleaners will destroy the photosensitive drum in the toner cartridge.


    Reply 13 years ago

    Duh- for some. Not everybody knows maintenance. The internals are covered by using the vacuum cleaner, and qtips. Granted I did'nt include a lot of cleaning steps for the inside. After all, what would be duh for you- may be a "How to Destroy your laser printer," instructable.


    13 years ago

    Am I the only person wo thinks this is a ...Duh... instructable? How hard can it be to use windex and paper towels? Also, retitle it "How to clean the OUTSIDE of a printer". How to clean the internals would actually be usefull.


    13 years ago

    Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is awesome. Great for removing stains- add alcohol instead of water and you can remove ink. Good Stuff.


    13 years ago

    Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and a little water, all you need...