Show your printer some love regularly and it will reward you with years of service
We all need a little bit of care and affection every now and again. And your plastic card printer is no different.
If you’ve bought a printer to print your own cards in-house when you need to, you’ll want to get the most out of your investment, as even an entry-level plastic card printer isn’t cheap.
Obviously the more of a work-horse the plastic card printer is, the more you’ll need to maintain it.
It’s easy for dust and dirt to become trapped in your plastic card printer and on your rollers as cards have a high static charge. This can result in poor quality print: images can be blurred and colours and text won’t be as sharp. Lack of cleaning over time can cause repair issues and eventually cause the printer to stop working altogether.
If you’re regularly knocking out large runs of double-sided colour cards, you’ll need to give your printer some TLC more often. And no, a hug won’t do.
Tips for ensuring a happy plastic card printer (and getting the best quality print)
As well as ensuring the best quality output, cleaning your plastic card printer regularly will also extend the life of the print heads and magnetic encoders. Which means the machine will last longer.
Here are a few simple and inexpensive ways to make sure your printer gives you years of service. Manufacturers recommend you clean the plastic card printer every time you change your ribbon and every time the cleaning light is on.
1. Use cleaning swabs for visible debris
If debris or dust is visible on the printhead, a cleaning swab is the safest way to remove it without damage. Never use a sharp object to do this as it could permanently damage the printhead.
2. Use a cleaning card for a fuller deep-clean
Using pre-saturated cleaning cards will ensure the printheads, transport rollers and magnetic encoder station are kept clear of debris. It’s like a deep clean for your card printer.
3. Improve printing performance with a cleaning roller
Using a cleaning roller regularly will improve printer performance by picking up debris from blank cards, producing sharper graphics and text.
You can buy branded products from the printer manufacturer, or generic products designed to fit multiple printers, which are cheaper.
You can generally buy all three in a pack for cost savings.
Regular cleaning will prolong the life of your plastic card printer, reduce maintenance fees and reduce the amount of downtime you experience.