Cleaning and Maintaining Flatbed Scanners

If you don't clean and maintain your flatbed scanner, you'll waste tons of time on scanner problems and scanner troubleshooting. When it comes to small business scanners, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

When was the last time someone cleaned your office scanner?

Chances are, it's been a while since anyone took the time to give your scanner a little TLC. It's a fact that in most workplaces, utility closets are cleaned more frequently than scanners -- even though you rely on your scanner to produce high quality images of critical business documents.

Dirty and neglected office scanners lose their ability to produce dependable output. Smudges, stray hairs and even dust particles can turn hundreds of pages of important business documents into digital scrap. Even more, scanners that aren't properly maintained have a reduced life expectancy and need to be replaced more quickly than ones that receive a minimal amount of care.

Cleaning and maintaining flatbed scanners is it difficult and it doesn't have to be time-consuming. Whether you do it yourself or assign the task to someone else in your workplace, here's what you need to know about maintaining peak performance levels from your scanner.

  • Frequency. How often should you clean your scanner? Well, that depends on how often you use it. Most office scanners benefit from a weekly cleaning, but if your scanner is rarely used a biweekly cleaning may suffice.
  • Disconnect cables. Before you start working on your scanner, it's important to disconnect cables and power cords. Although you probably could successfully clean the scanner without disconnecting them, why take an unnecessary risk of injury to yourself or damage to your scanner?
  • Cleaning the glass. Always use a soft, lint free cloth to clean the glass and other standard components. Spray a mild glass cleaner directly on the cloth rather than on the glass itself, and avoid abrasives, acetone, benzene and carbon tetrachloride since these chemicals can permanently damage the glass. If you don't have a mild glass cleaning solution, use a dry cloth -- never use water to clean your scanner.
  • Inspect other components. While you're cleaning the scanner, inspect the components for damage. If the damage is too severe or if it threatens the scanner's ability to produce clear images, it's time to pursue a scanner repair or replacement project.
  • Manufacturer documentation. Always refer to the scanner's user guide for more information about proper cleaning and maintenance practices. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines carefully to avoid the possibility of voiding your warranty.

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