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Tech tips

Printer maintenance: 3 easy tasks to do now to extend the life of your printer

Presented by Epson EcoTank

Presented by Epson EcoTank

See why Epson EcoTank printers are Kim's printer of choice at Epson.com/EcoTankKim.

https://epson.com/ecotank-ink-tank-printers?utm_source=&utm_medium=oth&utm_term=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=us-kimkomando+general+hyperlink

There’s no denying how handy it is to have your own printer at home. Not having to make a trip to an office supply store, ask a friend or print at the office is well worth the money.

But like any piece of equipment, printers don’t just last forever. They require regular maintenance to keep them running optimally. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to extend your printer’s lifespan.

We put together three easy steps you should do today if you never have or if it’s been a long time. Follow these steps and you should be able to keep your printer running as long as possible. (Own an Epson printer? We’ve got you covered, too.)

Check the nozzle

This might sound complicated, but it’s incredibly simple. You can run a nozzle check right from your computer. Head to your printer software utility and perform a nozzle check. (Tap or click here for more details if you have an Epson model.)

Your printer will produce a test page. If the test page has solid print lines, your nozzle is clean and you have nothing to worry about. If the print lines are broken, your print head needs cleaning.

Instructions for checking it on your computer vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so check your manufacturer’s website for specific instructions. To keep things running smoothly, print something off at least once a month.

Clean your print heads

If your nozzle check comes back poorly, you can clean your print heads to extend your printer’s life. This will also make your finished product look better, too.

Cleaning your print heads is ultimately up to the results of your nozzle check. That means the timeline for how often you should clean it varies. You can also use your printer software utility to run automated print head cleaning.

Instructions will vary from printer to printer, so check with your manufacturer for specific instructions.

Dust all the nooks and crannies

Just as dust will cover your countertops, it will also collect inside your printer. If you let it build up over months or even years, that dust can collect and cause your printer tons of issues.

Regular dusting of the inside of your printer will keep dust, dirt and miscellaneous schmutz from building up on the inside. This means it will run more smoothly — and it will last longer. You don’t want to be too rough with the inside, though, so clean with a soft brush or cloth. Use a Q-tip for those hard-to-reach spots.

Bonus tip: Make sure your software and drivers are up to date

Every single device we own requires regular updates, as much as it’s a pain to keep up with. These updates are important, as they keep our devices running smoothly and keep hackers and other unsavory things out of your life.

The same goes for your printer. Regularly check your manufacturer’s website for software updates for your printer. This will keep intruders from using vulnerabilities in your printer to steal your information.

Epson specific tips

If you own an Epson printer, like the EcoTank, these instructions are specific to your printer from the manufacturer. The EcoTank is Kim’s printer pick. Instead of wasting money on expensive ink cartridges, fill up the EcoTank and print thousands and thousands of pages. Check out Epson EcoTank printers at a Best Buy, OfficeMax or Office Depot near you, or shop online at Epson.com/EcoTankKim.

How to perform a print head nozzle check

You can check your nozzles two ways. You can either use the product control panel or use the computer utility method.

Product control panel

  • Load a few sheets of plain paper in the product.
  • Press the home button, if necessary.
  • Press the left or right arrow button to select Setup and press the OK button.
  • Press the OK button to select Maintenance. You see this screen:
  • Press the OK button to select Nozzle Check.
  • Press the start button. The nozzle check pattern is printed.
  • Check the printed pattern to see if there are gaps in the lines
  • If there are no gaps, select No and press the OK button. Press the stop button to exit.
  • If there are gaps or the pattern is faint, select Yes and press the OK button to continue. Follow the instructions on the screen to clean the print head, check the nozzles, and repeat the process as necessary.

Computer utility

  • Load a few sheets of plain paper in the product.
  • Do one of the following:Windows: Access the Windows Desktop and right-click the product icon in the Windows taskbar.
  • Mac: In the Apple menu or the Dock, select System Preferences. Select Print & FaxPrint & Scan, or Printers & Scanners, pick your product, and hit Options & Supplies. Then, select Utility and select Open Printer Utility.
  • Select Nozzle Check.
  • Click Print.
  • Check the printed pattern to see if there are gaps in the lines.
  • If there are no gaps, click Finish. If there are gaps or the pattern is faint, clean the print head.

How to perform print head cleaning

Like with a nozzle check, you can perform print head cleaning in two ways: the product control panel or the computer utility.

  • Make sure there are no errors on the LCD screen.
  • Load a few sheets of plain paper in the product.
  • Press the home button, if necessary.
  • Then, press the left or right arrow button to select Setup and press the OK button.
  • Hit the OK button to select Maintenance
  • Press the arrow buttons to select Head Cleaning and press the OK button.
  • Select the start button to start the cleaning cycle. The power light flashes throughout the cleaning cycle and stays on when the cleaning cycle is finished. (Caution: Never turn off the product or open the scanner unit during a cleaning cycle or you may not be able to print.)
  • Select Nozzle Check and press the OK button to run a nozzle check to confirm that the print head is clean.

If you don’t see any improvement after cleaning the print head up to three times, turn the product off and wait at least 12 hours.

Then, check the print head nozzles. If necessary, try cleaning the print head again, if necessary. If you still don’t see an improvement, contact Epson.

Product control panel

  • Load a few sheets of plain paper in the product.
  • Do one of the following:
  • Windows: Access the Windows Desktop and right-click the product icon in the Windows taskbar.
  • Mac: In the Apple menu or the Dock, select System Preferences. Select Print & FaxPrint & Scan, or Printers & Scanners, select your product, and select Options & Supplies. Select Utility and select Open Printer Utility.
  • Select Head Cleaning
  • Click Start to begin the cleaning cycle. The power light flashes throughout the cleaning cycle and stays on when the cleaning cycle is finished. (Caution:Never turn off the product or open the scanner unit during a cleaning cycle or you may not be able to print.)
  • When the cleaning cycle is finished, you can check to see if the nozzles are clean; click Print Nozzle Check Pattern and click Print.
  • Check the printed pattern to see if there are gaps in the lines
  • If there are no gaps, click Finish.
  • If there are gaps or the pattern is faint, click Clean to clean the print head again.

If you don’t see any improvement after cleaning the print head up to three times, turn off the product and wait at least 12 hours. Then check the print head nozzles and try cleaning the print head again, if necessary. If quality still does not improve, contact Epson.

There’s nothing worse than replacing a gadget before its time. Follow these steps and they’ll keep your documents looking sharp!

Having your own personal printer is so convenient

You can print online receipts, homework, documents and more all from your home office. The only downside is those costly ink cartridges. Luckily, you can kiss that problem goodbye with an Epson EcoTank printer.

These powerful printers come with a ridiculous amount of ink right in the box. Specifically, you’ll get enough ink to print a whopping 6,000 color pages. Check out Epson EcoTank printers at a Best Buy, OfficeMax or Office Depot near you, or shop online at Epson.com/EcoTankKim.

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