Proper maintenance of your thermal printer is vital if you want it to have a long life span. Yes, the thermal printers are much more durable than the inkjet and laser printers and are unlikely to broke down. However, they still need to be properly maintained because the quality of the prints hugely depends on it. For that purpose, here are 4 essential tips on how to do it right.
1. Regular Cleaning of the Print Head
The thermal printer’s most delicate and most important part is the print head. There is also a platen roller underneath the print head which is also an essential part of the printer. To clean both easily, make sure you are not in a hurry or have dirty hands. In fact, it is of utmost importance not to touch the print head directly with bare hands because dirt, oil or other contaminants on them can harm it irreversibly. Instead, use a suitable cleaning liquid that is made of more than 90% isopropyl alcohol and use a non-abrasive cloth to clean it.
It is recommended that you clean the print head at least once a week by blowing out dust with compressed air. Otherwise, clean it every time when you change the thermal ribbons. In those cases, wipe the sensors and the platen roller separately with those mentioned above soft non-abrasive cloth dipped in isopropyl alcohol. Before you start using the printer again, make sure that it is completely dry.
You can also check whether your printer has a built-in print head cleaner. If there is, you can rest assured that the print head will be continuously cleaned automatically.
Finally, if the print head is worn out, don’t hesitate to replace it.
2. Secure Safe Location of the Printer
Make sure that your printer is not placed in a location where dust, heat or humidity can easily reach it. It will affect the quality of the prints. Therefore, it is recommended that you keep the thermal printer in a cool area where no dust and humidity can cause damage to separate printer components.
3. Use It with the Appropriate Voltage
If the voltage suddenly changes while the thermal printer is working, that could mean the death of vital parts such as sensors and screens. To avoid this, use a voltage regulator and protect your thermal printer in cases of a power outage. Even though most of the printers have a fuse to prevent damages, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
4. Always Use Quality Paper Stationery
The price you are going to pay if you don’t use quality paper stationery is much higher than the one you are going to pay for quality paper stationery. If you use unsuitable and with poor quality paper, the printer might need to be adjusted to use excessive darkness and heat settings so that it can still give you a quality print. Plus, such poor quality labels, for example, might have adhesive bleeding onto the print head, causing it to break down prematurely.
Therefore, always choose the best quality paper stationery because it will pay off in the long run. Make sure the ribbons you buy are suitable for the printer, thus use a zebra printer ribbon when you use zebra items or any other brand that comes with precise instructions.