Have you noticed a decline in the quality of your printer's ID Cards? Have you even gone so far as to replace an entire printhead to prevent blemishes from occurring? The issue could be that your ID printer is in need of regular cleaning. Whether you have an ID Card printer or are thinking of buying one, at Bodno we always recommend stocking up on ID card printer cleaning kits. Just as the saying goes: “a penny now, dollar later”, a cleaning kit now can save you costly repairs and loads of supplies later.
Below, we’ll go over why to clean your printer, how to clean your printer-including the best supplies to accomplish this- and how to regularly maintain and clean your printer to ensure its optimal performance.
Why Cleaning your ID Printer is Important
Firstly, you may be wondering why it is necessary to clean your printer. When using your plastic ID card printer, tiny particles of dust and debris can be transferred onto the rollers and build up over time. This can lead to issues with printing clearly, resulting in smudging or unsightly blotches and gaps in printing, which can look unprofessional and in the worst case, may be unusable.
Additionally, this may lead to numerous reprints, meaning more supplies like ink and cardstock for ID card printing, potentially putting strain on your budget. The solution is taking preventive steps through careful handling and regular cleaning.
How to Prevent Buildup on my ID Card Printer
One of the ways to help slow and prevent build-up is by minimizing your blank ID cards’ contact with bare and/or unclean hands. This is an important step to prevent the transfers of oils and various debris from your hands onto the printhead.
Often, a pack of blank ID cards will come wrapped in some way, and if your input hopper allows it, the full amount can be placed by partially unwrapping and carefully sliding the cards from their packaging and into the hopper. If you must directly touch the cards it is especially important to thoroughly wash your hands before handling the new ID cards.
While being careful in this regard is important, the environment around your ID printer can never be completely free of dirt and dust, and debris will still slowly build up over time. Prevention measures are crucial, but what do you do once you notice the buildup or become aware of its possibility? The solution is an ID Card Cleaning Kit.
What Comes in a Printer Cleaning Kit?
There are several things included in printer cleaning kits, but what exactly they include can vary by manufacturer. Overall, a kit typically includes:
- Cleaning pads
- Cleaning Swabs or pens
- Cleaning Cards
- Cleaning Rollers
You may be asking “Is an ID card printer cleaning kit really worth it?” As we mentioned before, this regular cleaning maintenance is important to prevent the buildup, which can result in damage. the purchase of more supplies. Additionally, each manufacturer makes a cleaning kit specific to their models, meaning you’ll be getting the best cleaning tools and cleaners to ensure safe, non-damaging cleaning of your printer.
It's also important to mention that just one ID card cleaning kit typically contains enough supplies to last for multiple cleaning runs on a single machine or even for more than one.
How to Use ID Card Cleaning Supplies
Before beginning the cleaning process, make sure your id card printer is off and not connected to a power supply. It is also important to note that most manufacturers offer specific guidelines depending on the printer model, and these are general guidelines.
- Cleaning pads:
These are for wiping away any dust and debris on the inside of the printer. Gently wipe the surface you are cleaning and allow it to fully air dry before reassembling and/or printing.
- Cleaning Swabs or pens.
Typically shaped like markers or Q-tips, these are used to carefully clean the printhead itself. Like the cleaning pads, gently wipe the surface you are cleaning and allow it to fully air dry before reassembling and/or printing.
- Cleaning Cards
These will help you to clean the rollers. These cards come ready-to-use as they’re pre-soaked in a cleaning solution. They can also be adhesive cards, which wick away dust and debris as they are sent through the rollers. Often, your printer will notify you when it's time to run one through the printer.
- Cleaning Rollers
Cleaning rollers are especially ideal as they clean the cards as they are run through the printer and before they are printed. Not all models feature cleaning rollers, but if they do, it's important that you regularly check and replace them.
What Kind of Printer Cleaning Kit do I Need?
Each ID card printer manufacturer offers different kits, some even varying by model. Below, are some of the most common ones:
- Magicard CK1 Cleaning Kit - T Cards and Pen
- Evolis ACL001 Cleaning Kit for Zenius and Primacy
- Zebra 105999-311 Cleaning Card Kit for ZC Series
- Fargo 86177 Complete Printer Cleaning Kit - Cleaning Cards & Swabs
- Matica MC320 PR20309601 Service Cleaning Kit 5 T-Cards, 5 Sticky Cards and 1 Cleaning Pen
- Fargo 89200 Complete Printer Cleaning Kit for HDP5000 & HDP5600- Swabs, Cards & Pad
Following your ID card printers notifications, warnings, and general guidelines is important to maintaining the functionality of your machine. Regularly cleaning with the appropriate tools provided by ID card cleaning kits will ensure its longevity and optimize its performance, saving time and money on costly supplies for replacements of misprints and debris-damaged printer parts.
If you’re in need of printer cleaning kits or supplies specific to your printer model, visit Bodno today and find the best printer cleaning kits for ID printers.