How to Clean a Thermal Printer Quickly and Easily

Learning how to clean a thermal printer will save you time and money. Thermal printers, made by brands such as Toshiba, TSC, DMYO, and Zebra, are used to print barcode tags and labels. When learning how to clean a thermal printer, remember that the most crucial piece of equipment on a thermal printer is the print head, which ensures high-quality printing.

Regular cleaning and maintenance will not only prolong the life of your printer, but it will also save you from buying replacement parts. It will also avoid any printing errors.

Cleaning the print head will extend the life of your printer in the long run. As print heads are expensive, maintaining it will result in cost savings for your operation.

If the print head is dirty, clogged, worn or scraped, the quality of your printed product will suffer as a result. In fact, the print head of the thermal printer should be cleaned every time you change the ribbon or label roll.

Steps on How to Clean a Thermal Printer

  1. Turn the printer off.
  2. Open the thermal printer by lifting the print head access door. You’ll see the print head, ribbon, paper spool, and other internal components of the thermal printer.
  3. Push the lever that releases the print head, allowing the ribbon to be removed easily. Pull the ribbon aside so you can see the print head.
  4. Moisten a lint-free cloth with the isopropyl alcohol.
  5. Wipe the cloth across the thermal print head several times with a small amount of pressure to remove any carbon build-up and ribbon dust.
  6. After wiping, allow a few minutes for the print head to dry.
  7. Replace the ribbon cable on the print head by pressing the print head back to its original position.
  8. Close the print head access door and power on the thermal printer.
  9. Print a label or barcode tag to test the thermal printer.

How to Clean a Thermal Printer: Materials to Use

Isopropyl alcohol can be applied to clean the surface of the print-head. Swabs are known to be the safest option, or you can also apply the solution to a lint-free cloth. If you use a cloth, use rubbing alcohol with a high purity percentage.

Cleaning cards can be used to clean the print head and remove any build-up on the rollers. Cleaning cards should be used for periodic cleaning, as they can abrade the print heads and rollers and cause damage.

Print head cleaning pens are an effective option for simple touch-ups. Press the pen tip to the print head and move from side to side. Cleaning pens are typically useful for about ten uses, or until it shows signs of dirt buildup.

Thermal transfer ribbons with built-in cleaners are also an option when determining how to clean a thermal printer head. Brands such as Clean Start offer a print head cleaner that’s built right into the ribbon to removes debris before it builds up.

Learning how to clean a thermal printer is easy. Following your printer manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations will save you time, money, and hassle. Periodic inspections of the equipment can also identify potential issues before they arise. It can also lower the cost of repairs and service and ultimately extend the life of your thermal printer.