Proper Maintenance of Office Machines and Equipment

No one can contend that companies invest a sizeable amount in acquiring office equipment that is very significant in the production and day-to-day operation of any company. And because of this, it is only right to make sure that your office acquisitions are kept on their finest conditions despite the frequent usage of these indispensable office assets. Imagine if a computer unit or the projector you just purchased are damaged after just a month?  Repairs can cost you big bucks so it is quite undesirable to keep wasting money out of neglect and improper handling of your office properties. It only means that acquiring such equipment should mean you should be aware of the proper cleaning and maintenance that they require to maximize their use and get your money’s worth.

While office machines and equipment often come with a comprehensive cleaning manual, it often happens that the moment the unit was purchased, the manual gets slipped or stashed somewhere or thrown mindlessly in the trash bin—and you are left with no clue on how to properly maintain and clean them. Here are some helpful guides to proper cleaning and maintenance of your own office equipment, from simple cleaning solution to scanners and  xerox machines to making sure your ink cartridge & toners won’t mess your printing area; the article gives you simple tricks to keep your equipment working for a long time:

  • Office Computer: Ideally, computers, laptops, with the CPU and its other accessories are kept in rooms with cold temperature as PCs usually heat up when utilized for hours. Aside from cleaning the hardware  ( screens of your PCs can be cleaned with anti-static screen fluid), you should also secure the “inside” of your computers (meaning paying attention to your software’s too) by always updating your virus scanners to avoid infecting your files and documents in the office with dangerous file threats. Also, make sure to back up important office documents on an external drive or cloud in case unfortunate events happen when your PCs are infected. Scan flash drives that you insert on your PCs and laptops before opening them especially if the flash drives came from a different user. As computers contain confidential and significant documents, it is only necessary that we protect computer units with both external and internal threats.

  • Xerox machine: To keep dust and debris off from the ink cartridge head of the photocopying machine, use a dry nonabrasive cloth or a fine paint brush than can penetrate even the internals of the machine.  To clean the ink nozzle, on the other hand, a small cotton swab with water or isopropyl alcohol can do the trick. Always be gentle in rubbing and dumping any material on your office machine to avoid any further problem. It may also help if you commit to a monthly check up of the machine to experts to make sure detection of any technical problems on the unit will be avoided in the future.

  • Scanners: To clean a scanner, first make sure to turn off and unplug the unit. Raise its upper cover, with a cloth or paper towel, dampen it with a glass cleaner that is non-abrasive. There are lots of glass cleaners product available in the market. Never directly apply the liquid onto the surface of the scanner or the liquid might seep into the machine’s internals. Leave the lid open until what you applied dries up. Do this regularly to avoid accumulation of dirt and finger prints onto the glass.
  • Overhead Projectors: The same with scanners who have glasses, a nonabrasive glass cleaner is desirable for projectors too. With its non-glass surface, a cloth dampened with a spray of distilled or mineral water will do. Cleaning should be in moderate pressure.
  • Printers with ink cartridges & toner:  Paper jams, ink blotting, and streak and faint printing quality will be avoided if only the office people regularly using the personal or centralized printers know how to proper utilize and maintain this important office equipment. Printers with ink cartridges & toners are often the ones that immediately get damaged when utilized by clumsy, neglectful, and hasty employees. Cleaning and maintenance should be done regularly to ensure that the printer will always be of its finest condition and printing will be smoothly processed.   
  1. For faint and streaky print, the culprit may be the clogged print head. This happens when ink accumulates after a while on the print head and dries up eventually. When this happens, the tiny nozzles are blocked and it gets hard for the new ink to shoot onto the paper. To clean this, get a sheet of a paper towel, dampen it with some distilled water, and wipe the print head gently then moderately. Be very careful not to over-saturate the towel with water or the ink will be spread messily. Wipe the ink that was stuck and do this in the direction along the length of the print head.
  2. For unrecognized cartridge, use the eraser of a pencil (NO2) and carefully rub the electrical contacts with a moderate pressure (of course, make sure the printer is turned off when doing this or electrocution is highly probable). Since the strip and the contacts of the most print cartridge are comprised of copper, oxidization often blocks the transfer of current. Dust and excess ink can also accumulate and get stuck in certain areas so these need to be regularly cleaned as well. As you rub the eraser, notice that the contacts turn golden yellow after a while. Be careful not getting the metal holder of the eraser scratch the surface of the electrical strip or further damaged is likely to ruin your printer.

Sid Hilwa, an owner of an ink cartridges and toner shop in Singapore, says, “ A lot of people think that printers with ink cartridges and toner are the hardest to clean and maintain and they have a short shelf life. However, if the user is careful and very protective of them, there is no reason your printer won’t last longer than the most advanced printers you find now in the market. If you are a small business who do not want to constantly pay for repairs or do not want to buy too expensive printing units, this type of printers are still your best resort so make sure to always attend to them for cleaning and apt maintenance. As with any equipment, the working condition and longevity of use lie on the users themselves.”

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