Making sure your scanner is in tip top condition is the key to the life of your equipment and good quality image scans. Experts recommend that a scanner flat bed be cleaned about every 100 scans and that the rollers inside be cleaned every 3,000 to 5,000 documents. Usually the glass flat bed of a scanner can be cleaned with glass cleaner, but the interior is trickier, many times requiring the help of a professional or the use of a scanner roller kit.

To perform a maintenance clean at home, you’ll need:

1. Non-streak glass cleaner 2. Soft, lint-free cloth 3. Can of compressed air 4. Mild soap/detergent 5. Scanner roller kit (optional)

To Clean the Scanner Bed:

A good scanner bed is made out of glass, and as we all know, glass can get dirty and dusty at the drop of a hat. And a scanner that is not crystal clear makes for an image that can be distorted or look soiled. To begin, spray the glass cleaner on your non-abrasive cloth. Wipe glass bed until you have gotten rid of all fingerprints and debris. Then, wipe the bed again with the dry end of the cloth to get streak-free results. Be sure to never spray the scanner bed surface directly with the cleaner.

To Clean the Chassis (Scanner Exterior):

First, remove all dust and dirt by spraying the chassis with a can of compressed air. Second, work on any grease marks found on the chassis with warm soapy water that contains a mild detergent safe for cleaning plastic. Your ordinary liquid dish soap is appropriate for this type of surface. For stubborn grease spots, you can also use a solvent.

To Clean the Scanner Interior:

Most scanner manufacturers do not recommend any interior cleaning be performed except by a professional service. Some manufacturers, however, suggest using a specific cleaning device called a scanner roller kit you can purchase at stores that sell computer supplies. But, if you don’t want to front the cost of either of these options, some manufacturers recommend cleaning the bed with either a soft camel hair brush or a can of compressed air.

To make cleaning easier each time, follow these simple rules:

1. Do not scan documents that have white corrective liquid on them. With the heat the scanner produces, the liquid can become soft and stick to the scanner bed.

2. Always keep an eye out for dirt and debris that can fall onto your scanner flat bed. Make sure you do not have food around your scanner as this is one of the biggest culprits.

3. Be aware of larger items such as staples or rubber bands that can fall into the crevices of your scanner.

About the Author

Scanner Solutions ( is where you can purchase hard-to-find scanner parts, such as a scanner roller kit. Art Gib is a freelance writer.

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