Ways to Keep Your Printers Running Smoother, Longer

Large printer format inkjet working

The printer has been around for quite some time now, but the history of the printer will show you that it’s come a very long way from the smart, savvy designs we get to use today.

Even if you look back at printers from a decade ago, you’ll see much larger, boxier designs and a lot of tedious cleaning that was necessary to lengthen the lifespan of a printer. Printers were easily popped open, and many people took the time to dust and grease their printers in hopes of maintaining the quality of their prints. Unfortunately, this kind of process could do more harm than good, so it came as no surprise that newer models were quickly being invented.

In today’s day and age, printers are generally self-cleaning, with absolutely no access to the inside of the printer other than to re-fill paper and ink. The best self-cleaning printers take care of themselves throughout their use and, once they’re done, the most cost-effective option is to invest in a new model.

If you want to ensure that your printer can continue to perform at its best, there are a few things you can do to maintain quality printing and performance. The following are ways to keep your printers running smoother and for longer:

Different color inks

Use Quality Paper and Ink

Like anything else, there are paper and ink products that offer high quality, and there are less expensive products that are of a lower grade. While it might seem like a good idea to invest in a cheaper product for less, this isn’t necessarily the best solution if you want your printer to last.

To keep your printer running longer, it’s important to spend a little extra for quality paper and quality ink jet cartridges. Paper that you should be looking out for includes recycled paper, multi-purpose paper, or very specific paper designs for particular jobs, such as glossy paper or laser-printer paper.

Low-quality paper is often made from ground-up newsprint, which is much more likely to leave behind dust and get jammed inside your printer. The cost of having to reprint big jobs will likely end up being more expensive than purchasing quality paper in the first place.

When it comes to your cartridges, you’ll also want to research the various options you have based on your printer type. Low-grade cartridges can result in more faded prints and will last for a much lower number of prints. Consider what kinds of prints you need (documents, photos, etc.), and research the types of inks that are best for each type of project.

Quality cartridges should provide you with bright, clear images and font, and they should be able to offer more pages of print than lower-grade options.

man using printer

Keep It Plugged In

Because most printers these days are able to perform self-cleaning, it’s important to keep them plugged in. When plugged in, your printer can easily perform its regular cleaning process on its ‘own time,’ ultimately reducing the risk of delayed print jobs. These printers will wake up, perform their cleaning tasks, and then head back into standby mode, awaiting their next print job. These systems will recognize when a cleaning is necessary, so always keep it on to allow this natural process to occur.


You’ve likely invested a nice amount into purchasing your printer, so you’ll want to know how to take care of it to ensure it lasts as long as possible. With diligence and care, a printer can easily make itself worth its price when you cover the printer, use quality products in it, and allow it to clean itself.

If you’ve got an older printer that isn’t self-cleaning, consider these manual printer-cleaning tips to ensure your printer has a long life.