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General => Technical Help => Topic started by: jayfish on Monday 02 April 12 14:26 BST (UK)

Title: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: jayfish on Monday 02 April 12 14:26 BST (UK)
Hi,

When trying to print photos I`m finding that the photopaper won`t feed through my HP Photosmart printer any more although I`ve no difficulty with other papers.

The advice is to use rubbing alchol to clean the rollers but the large main High Street chemists no longer stock the stuff  let alone the smaller chemists.
Suggestions for a suitable alternative  to clean the printer rollers please?

Jay.
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: greenrig on Monday 02 April 12 14:30 BST (UK)
You may want to try acetone, this is sold as nail varnish remover in Chemists.
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Calverley Lad on Monday 02 April 12 14:56 BST (UK)
Acetone be aware is highly flammable and melts plastic!!
A safer alternative is to use 'screen cleaning wipes'!
 Brian
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: mazi on Monday 02 April 12 17:18 BST (UK)
you could try meths, also inflammable, or a household window and glass cleaner which works on the plastic surrounds to double glazing, I swear by Mr Mus***,its green coloured.  ;D ;D ;D ;Dand not inflammable, I tested it with a match :o :o :o

mike
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: lookingforold on Monday 02 April 12 17:46 BST (UK)
you could try meths, also inflammable, or a household window and glass cleaner which works on the plastic surrounds to double glazing, I swear by Mr Mus***,its green coloured.  ;D ;D ;D ;Dand not inflammable, I tested it with a match :o :o :o

mike
Coming from the other side! 8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: sstarr2008 on Monday 02 April 12 18:17 BST (UK)
I find surgical spirit is readily available at most chemists, not had any problems with it melting plastic but it is inflammable.
I would also try removing the ink cartridges, turn the printer upside down and give it a good shake to get rid of any dust or paper debris. Also a quick once over with the pipe from the vacuum cleaner afterwards.

Stu
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Calverley Lad on Monday 02 April 12 18:29 BST (UK)
What is needed (general spec) is a cleaner that does not leave a residue.
Window cleaning solution o'k, use with a cotton bud.
Methylated spirits leaves a residue, (the additive that stops people drinking the stuff)?
What about those things like baby wipes without the smell? (used for sticky hands)
 The choice is yours.
 Brian
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Midase on Monday 02 April 12 20:19 BST (UK)
The thing that will do the trick is Vinyl Record Cleaner. You can get this on a well known auction site.
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Jamjar on Tuesday 03 April 12 01:21 BST (UK)
The little wipes that are used for cleaning the skin before an injection will do. They are even great for cleaning gold jewellery and are inexpensive.

You printer should be cleaning itself, all my printers have done so, even the HP I had.

Jamjar
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Deb D on Tuesday 03 April 12 01:34 BST (UK)
Isopropyl alcohol ... sometimes marketed as "frost free" for defrosting refrigerators, or as a type of rubbing alcohol that's sold in supermarkets in a green bottle (can't remember the trade name) - mind, they're both rather expensive compared to the price you'd pay if you were buying in bulk for your signwriting business (which we were). 

It doesn't usually melt plastic, but again it is inflammable - a lot of these products are ... it's not likely you'll be smoking while you try to do the cleaning, though, is it?
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Erato on Tuesday 03 April 12 01:59 BST (UK)
vodka
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Deb D on Tuesday 03 April 12 02:00 BST (UK)
 :o

Good one, Erato - I'd totally forgotten about vodka!
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Nick29 on Wednesday 04 April 12 09:53 BST (UK)
WD40 ?
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Deb D on Wednesday 04 April 12 10:33 BST (UK)
I suspect WD40 might melt things you don't want melted ...  :-\
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Nick29 on Wednesday 04 April 12 10:41 BST (UK)
The can states that WD40 is safe on all metals, wood and plastics.   I've been using it as an engineer for well over 20 years, and not had a problem with it.  In any case, you would only be putting it on the rollers and wiping it off again.  It does make an excellent cleaner.

Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Deb D on Wednesday 04 April 12 10:45 BST (UK)
Having just read the can for the first time in ages, I stand corrected - thank you, Nick.   ;)

*Edited to add; - but I think the vodka smells better  ;D  *
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Calverley Lad on Wednesday 04 April 12 13:27 BST (UK)
If you want a scrap printer feel free to use WD40!
Please read! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WD-40
WD40 contains silicone, which is used as a lubricant.
What you need is a cleaner that doesn't leave behind any residue.
 Brian
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Nick29 on Wednesday 04 April 12 14:01 BST (UK)
If you want a scrap printer feel free to use WD40!
Please read! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WD-40
WD40 contains silicone, which is used as a lubricant.
What you need is a cleaner that doesn't leave behind any residue.
 Brian

Well, I've read that Wiki article three times now, and I can't find any reference to silicone ???

In any case, I'd rather believe the manufacturer's website which says "WD-40 does not contain silicone, kerosene, water, wax, graphite, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), or any known cancer-causing agents".

WD-40 does leave behind a small amount of mineral oil, which (in the 20+ years that I've been using it) I've found helps to rejuvenate old rubber rollers.  When cleaning printer rollers, I would spray a small amount of WD-40 on a J-cloth, and then gently wipe the roller with it.  The tiny amount of mineral oil left behind will be absorbed by the roller, and it would not adversely affect operation.

P.S. - see http://www.wd40.com/uses-tips/category/on-the-job/2/ "2000 uses for WD-40"

Page 2, about 90% down the page "Reconditions rollers in fax machines"  :P  ;D


Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: jc26red on Wednesday 04 April 12 14:09 BST (UK)
If you phone HP support they will tell you to only clean the rollers with a lightly moistened cloth (make sure the printer is unplugged from the power source and  pc first) and definitely not use any other kind of cleaning fluid!
(I should know I dished out this information daily in another lifetime for a number of years)

If the printer works with other kinds of paper, you might find the photopaper has absorbed moisture from the air if the packet has been opened and left a while, this is the most common cause of paper jams.

You didn't say what grade of photo paper you are using?
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Nick29 on Wednesday 04 April 12 14:14 BST (UK)

(I should know I dished out this information daily in another lifetime for a number of years)




With respect, I used to service diagnostic lab equipment for 20+ years, which usually included a printer, often abused, and often long past its sell by date.  I would not recommend cleaning rollers with WD-40 unless I'd seen the results for myself over many years, and I know it works  :)

Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: jc26red on Wednesday 04 April 12 14:45 BST (UK)
Nick... I definitely wouldn't recommend WD40 either ... I said   meant WATER
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Nick29 on Wednesday 04 April 12 15:18 BST (UK)
"The proof of the pudding is in the eating"  :)
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Midase on Wednesday 04 April 12 16:15 BST (UK)
200 uses for WD40 http://www.wisebread.com/almost-2000-uses-for-a-can-of-wd-40-1
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Nick29 on Wednesday 04 April 12 16:44 BST (UK)
http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/118208/printers/quick_fix_for_paper_feed_problems_on_copiers_fax_and_printers.html


.... a can of WD-40 and some paper towel  ;)
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: jayfish on Thursday 05 April 12 19:30 BST (UK)
Hi ...
 Very many thanks to all who were kind enough to answer with a range of products. 

The stuff used obviously has to evaporate quickly so as not to leave a residue and possibly damage the rollers.      So....... after much head scratching I`ve come to the conclusion that `rubbing alcohol ` (the easy name for the stuff I need but no longer stocked by chemists)  is  probably surgical spirit or as near as dammit.
Unless of course someone can tell me different  before I rot my rollers with the stuff ?????
Thanks again
Jay
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: bodger on Thursday 05 April 12 21:43 BST (UK)
Not sure of your situation, but a friend , bought a H P, printer today, for under 50 euros, with two cartridges,  it costs me more than that to buy a black  and colour cartridges, so i could'nt be that mean to worry abou cleaning rollers, just buy a new printer
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Nick29 on Friday 06 April 12 10:06 BST (UK)
Hi ...
 Very many thanks to all who were kind enough to answer with a range of products. 

The stuff used obviously has to evaporate quickly so as not to leave a residue and possibly damage the rollers.      So....... after much head scratching I`ve come to the conclusion that `rubbing alcohol ` (the easy name for the stuff I need but no longer stocked by chemists)  is  probably surgical spirit or as near as dammit.
Unless of course someone can tell me different  before I rot my rollers with the stuff ?????
Thanks again
Jay

Surgical spirit won't 'rot' the rollers, but it could drive out the natural oils in the rubber and make them harden, which could make the problem worse.  Which is why I suggested WD-40 because it does contain a small amount of mineral oils, which can actually rejuvenate 'tired' rubber rollers when used correctly.  I've also read that eucalyptus oil is quite good too, but I haven't tried it, and not everyone will appreciate the odour  :)   Whatever you use, use it very sparingly, because most people who say "Xxxxxxx has ruined my printer" say it because they drowned the innards of the printer in it !  ::)

Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers. WD40 YES!
Post by: PJBeee on Saturday 10 September 16 16:48 BST (UK)
In a nutshell: DON'T spray it into the printer, just rub some on the rollers...  Now read on...

I just discovered this "fix" a short time ago, and I'm glad I did. A couple of months ago (maybe 3?)  I changed the tray feed rollers in a maybe one-year-old business-class HP LaserJet - wasn't feeding reliably. Used new HP-branded rollers, and guess what? The paper feed issue remained. Sprayed some WD40 on a paper towel, rubbed it on the rollers, waited 2-3 minutes for it to "dry" and tried printing again. Worked right away, and still is.

I have now "repaired" several laser printers in this way with absolutely no ill-effects. What's more, the printers are still feeding paper OK.

So for the naysayers, I say "go for it." To me, it's seems like a good short-term fix at the least, but also a possible long-term fix for many problems such as these. And of course, re-treatment as needed is always an option.

The WD40 appears to permeate the roller material, and make it more pliable and just "sticky" enough that the roller does what it's supposed to do, which is.... wait for it.. feed paper.

YMMV, but I'm confident of this procedure, at least with respect to it doing no harm.  I would be interested to hear from anyone who's had a bad experience doing this.

And the usual disclaimer... I take no responsibility for any damage you do using WD40, but I have a hard time envisioning such damage. Heck, you could make a bad roller worse (I still doubt that), but then you're probably no worse off than before.


Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Ray T on Sunday 11 September 16 14:25 BST (UK)
Hmmm...

My vote still goes with meths. Why? The residue it will leave behind will be imperceptible.

1) I spent a happy half hour with the local chemist thirty odd years ago. I went in to try and buy some isopropyl alcohol to clean tape recording heads. He hadn't got any to sell me but thought meths would make a good substitute. I raised the issue of residue left by the purple dye and, looking through various chemical tomes, he concluded that meths was likely to have fewer impurities than isopropyl even with the dye.

2) An old photographer's trick I used for a number of years - when developing films, instead of water for the final wash, use meths. (a) it avoids streaks from drying water and (b) the film drys much quicker so you can get on with printing the photos. I never noticed any problem with residue despite enlarging meths bathed negatives several hundred times.
Title: Re: Cleaning printer rollers.
Post by: Calverley Lad on Sunday 11 September 16 18:44 BST (UK)
Given that the original poster hasn't been here for 12months and on a 4year old thread I would have thought the problem would be sorted by now!
 Brian