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How To Clean Zebra Printer

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How To Swab Rollers And Print Head

How to clean a Zebra thermal printhead

Article ID: 92529124

  • ZXP Series 1 Standard Card Printers
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  • ZXP Series 3 Professional Card Printers
  • ZXP Series 3 with Security Enclosures
  • ZXP Series 3C Card Printers
  • ZXP Series 7 Card Printer
  • ZXP Series 7 High Performance Card Printers
  • ZXP Series 7 Pro High Performance Card Printers
  • ZXP Series 7 with Laminator
  • ZXP Series 8 Card Printer
  • ZXP Series 8 High Security Retransfer Card Printer
  • ZXP Series 8 Secure Issuance Card Printer

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How To Clean A Thermal Printer

Because both styles of thermal printer operate using primarily the same style of machine, the cleaning process is similar. Be sure to check the user’s manual for any special instructions unique to your machine.

There are 3 common ways to clean a thermal printer.

  • Isopropyl alcohol is commonly accepted as the safest cleaning method and the one that should be used regularly to keep your printer running smoothly.
  • Cleaning cards are used to clean the print head and remove build-up on the rollers but can damage the print head and rollers so should be used periodically, but not for routine cleaning purposes.
  • Print head cleaning pens are convenient and effective for quick clean-ups and last for roughly ten uses before they need to be replaced.
  • For our purposes, we will outline the steps in cleaning a thermal printer head with isopropyl alcohol.

    How To Clean Your Printhead On A Zebra Gk420

  • Get a thermal printer cleaning card
  • Open the printer
  • Gently wipe the printhead to remove any ink residue
  • Thermal printer cleaning cards consist of a small, square cotton swab that contains alcohol for cleaning. Dont have a thermal printer cleaning card?

  • Dampen a microfiber rag with 70% isopropyl alcohol
  • Wipe the printhead to remove any ink residue
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    **written By Id Printer Systems Experts At Id Edge

    After reading this instructional you should be able to clean your Zebra P430i like a professional. Its not only important to clean the printer for the sake of cleaning, but to also prolong the life of the printer as well as keeping a high quality image on the card. You will also help prevent any costly printer repairs. Before starting the cleaning lets look at the printer parts and where they are located. To begin, we will start on the out side of the printer. On the right side of the printer you will see the input hopper cover.

    The spindle in the center of the bracket is the one that holds the new, unused ribbon. The spindle on the right is the one that pulls it off the new side. This is where it gets its name: The take up spindle. Now directly underneath the take up spindle is an encoder for magnetic encoding. you will only have this encoder if you ordered it with your printer. And the rest of the printer is just some rollers before it ejects out the left side.

    All you need to do now is place all of your supplies back into the printer and you are all set to continue printing. Remember that you should be cleaning your printer every time you change your ribbon. This will keep it nice and clean and you wont have to worry about damaging any major parts in your printer.

    Questions? Get in touch. Call us at , use live-chat or fill out the form below

    Advantages Of Thermal Printers

    Cleaning the Zebra GK420T Thermal Transfer Printer

    Thermal printers have many advantages over other styles of printer for professionals. In addition to retail use, their portability makes thermal printers ideal for use in a wide array of commercial and professional settings. You will find them used by pay-at-the-pump gas retailers and in medical diagnostic equipment like the cardiotocographs which measure fetal heartbeat and contractions during labor.

    • Low-Cost: There are no ink ribbons, cartridges, or other costly supplies that need to be replaced frequently. As long as you have paper, youre in business.
    • Compact: These printers are small and lightweight making them ideal for wireless POS which have uses in just about every scenario imaginable.
    • Speed and quality: With thermal printers, you dont have to sacrifice quality. They consistently deliver crisp, clear, and no-smudge printing on demand.
    • Quiet: Your co-workers and customers will never be distracted by the sound of your thermal printer because they are whisper quiet.

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    How Do I Clean The Print Head

  • Place the printer power switch in the OFF position.
  • Open the printer lid to fully reveal the printhead mounted on the inside the cover.
  • Clean the printhead by moving an alcohol-moistened swab tip side-to-side across the printhead elements. Only use moderate force.
  • Allow two to three minutes for the printhead to dry before closing the lid and placing the printer power switch in the ON position
  • How Often Should I Clean My Thermal Printer

    A good rule of thumb is to clean your print-head every time you change the label roll or ribbon. This ensures that you will maintain high quality results and ensure that your printer is functioning properly for years to come by minimizing damage caused by excess print-head buildup.

    Sekure supplies a wide array of printers and terminals for merchants, including thermal printers. To upgrade your terminal or find out more about how Sekure can improve your business, contact us today.

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    Top 5 Common Issues With Zebra Thermal Printers And How To Fix

    Apr 15, 2020 4:45:42 PM / byLabelPack Automation

    ZEBRA Thermal Printer Troubleshooting Tips and Tricks

    TOP 5 Common issues with zebra thermal printers and how to fix

  • Poor Print Quality
  • None of the settings save
  • Wrong type of ribbon and paper
  • Poor or low barcode ANSI grade
  • During my 20 years of troubleshooting zebra printers, I have found that the same problems arise over and over again. These issues carry through to all thermal printer models in the zebra family. I am going to walk through some quick Zebra troubleshooting tips and, hopefully, save you some time and frustration when you find that your printer isnt performing like it should.



    Right after Im done cleaning, Ill run a pause test print. This sends a test label to the printer and isolates the printing function from the software running a normal print job. To do this: turn the printer off, hold in the pause button, and turn the printer back on. Keep the pause button pressed until all the lights flash once. This will load 9999 test print labels into the printer. Release pause and you are ready for troubleshooting. Pause test is the best way to quickly determine if the printer is functioning properly. It also prints across the entire capable width of the printer which will help you better fine tune your adjustments.





    Poor or low barcode ANSI grade

    S That You Can Take To Extend The Life Of Your Printhead

    Zebra ZC100/300 Series Card Printer – How to Clean the Printer

    With heavy use, buying a new printhead at some stage will be inevitable. However, there are steps that you can take to prolong the life of your printhead and delay having to purchase a new one. The first step is that you should be regularly cleaning your printhead, something that many people forget to do. The best way to clean your printhead is by using a printhead cleaning pen. To do this, you simply take the nib of the cleaning pen and run it across the printhead, cleaning the entire area. We would recommend using a printhead cleaning pen each time you use your printer, however you could reduce this to cleaning the printhead each time you change the roll of labels.

    Another technique to extend the life of your printhead is to ensure that you are using the right printer settings. The optimum printer settings that you should be aiming for is the lowest possible temperature and pressure to produce an acceptable printed image. Additional pressure and heat will only result in increased wear of your printhead meaning that it needs replacing sooner.

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    The Id Card Group Advantage

    As a Zebra Premier Partner, ID Card Group can offer all Zebra card printers and Genuine Zebra Color Ribbons and Monochrome Ribbons, Zebra PVC Cards, and Zebra Cleaning Supplies & Kits with the full technical support team at Zebra standing behind us and we are able to do this at the lowest possible cost to you.


    If you have questions about cleaning your ZXP8 or want help choosing the best ID card printer or supplies for your organizations needs, call our ID experts at 877-868-0012 or . Well make it easy for you!

    ID Card Group offers a price match guarantee, provides free shipping on orders over $100, and accepts purchase orders.

    Cleaning Your Zebra Gk420 Printer

    Regular cleaning of your Zebra GK420 printer will help extend it life cycle. The table below will help you with the cleaning process.

    Printer Part Interval
    Printhead Let the printhead cool for a minute, then use a new cleaning pen to swab the dark line on the printhead, cleaning from the center to the outside edges of the printhead. When using a ribbon: after every roll of ribbon. When using direct thermal: after every roll of media.
    Platen Roller Remove the platen roller to clean. Clean the roller thoroughly with 90% medical grade alcohol and a cleaning swab or lint free cloth. As needed.
    Peel Bar Clean thoroughly with 90% medical grade alcohol and a fiber free cleaning swab. Let the alcohol dissipate and the printer to dry completely before use. As needed.
    Media Path Clean thoroughly with 90% medical grade alcohol and a fiber free cleaning swab. Let the alcohol dissipate and the printer to dry completely before use. As needed.

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    Choose The Right Label Media And Check Settings

    As they come into constant contact with the print head, choose only labels of good quality and matched to your specific application. Poor quality labels will lead to premature print head failures due to adhesivebleeding, increased and unwanted deposits, unfavorable perforation cuts or other things.

    Another downside of unsuitable labels is that you may need to use excessive darkness and heat settings to compensate for poor quality. Unfortunately, increased heat and residue will eventually cause damage to the print heads protective layer, therefore reducing the print heads lifespan. Furthermore, too high of a heat setting can break low-temperature wax ribbon.

    Speaking of: A high quality ribbon protects the print head from abrasion caused by the movement of labels while printing. It is also recommended to use a ribbon that is slightly bigger than the label stock to prevent the print head being directly exposed to the label.

    Mind that there are different thermal printing options. Not sure what to choose? As a full-range supplier, Weber Marking Systems will be happy to provide you with the perfect label printer as well as professional labels and premium thermal transfer foils fully tailored to your needs!

    How Do I Load A Ribbon Cartridge

    Printer Cleaning: Zebra ZC300 Card Printer
  • Open printer lid by pressing the Cover Release button on the top of your printer.
  • Peel protective wrapper from the adhesive cleaning roller by gently pulling on the tape. Discard the protective wrapper.
  • Insert the ribbon cartridge with the cleaning roller facing down, so the gears on the ends of the rollers fit into the appropriate slots.
  • Close the printer lid and push down until you hear an audible click.
  • After the lid is closed, the ribbon automatically synchronizes when the printer power is on.

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    Types Of Thermal Printer

    Thermal printers are popular with merchants because they do not require costly ink to print labels, receipts, and a host of other transactions that may be required for their business operations. There are two different types of thermal printer commonly in use today. The method used to clean your device will changes depending on the type of thermal printer you have because they produce images in two unique ways.

    In direct thermal printing, the image is produced when heat is selectively applied to thermal paper as it passes over the thermal print head. Thermal paper is coated with a special coating which turns black when heated.

    Thermal transfer printing uses a heat-sensitive ribbon rather than thermal paper to produce images. This digital printing method melts a coating of ribbon to the material being printed. The melted ribbon coating acts like a glue so the image adheres securely to whatever material has been printed. This makes the printing more heat sensitive and durable and thus a popular for printing labels and barcodes.

    Can Thermal Printers Print in Color?

    Direct thermal printers are available in one-and two-color options. The two-color printers produce images in black and most often red by applying different levels of heat to the paper.

    Thermal transfer printers use wax ribbon which makes it easier to print in black and white or color. They come in monochrome, three, and four color options.

    How To Maintain Your Thermal Label Printer

    Maintaining your label printer is key to perfect print results in . In addition, a little extra care will save you a lot of money for repairs and replacements. Learn about our 5 quick and easy best practices for thermal label printer maintenance in this blog post!

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    Set Up A Maintenance Contract For Your Thermal Label Printer

    While our tips help you reduce downtime due to label printing errors, we understand that you might have a lot of other machines and projects to take care of. We recommend that you set up a maintenance contract with your printer provider. Certified technicians will make sure to perform scheduled maintenances and necessary repairs according to the manufacturers instructions and warranty notes.

    Maintenance contracts can be tailored to your individual needs and offer calculable costs for extended services such as: 24 hours support, free substitute printers during repair time, fast replacement delivery and employee trainings.

    Weber Marking Systems is an official trade and service partner for market-leading label printers made by Zebra, Epson, Sato and other manufacturers. Contact us for more information about all things labeling and printer maintenance!

    How To Care For And Know When To Change Your Printhead

    Zebra ZT400: How-to Clean the Printhead & Platen

    A guide for your label printer

    An often-undervalued element of your Zebra printer, the printhead is the most important part of your printer. Adequate care and maintenance are needed to ensure that high-quality labels are printed and the life of your printhead is not diminished. If you use proper, appropriate and regular care, the life of your printhead will be greatly extended. This will, in turn, increase the length of time between buying a new printhead.

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    What Are The Signs Of A Failing Printhead

    Typically, you will know when your printhead is beginning to fail because the images that you are printing from your Zebra printer will become lighter and sections of dots begin to fail to print, leaving behind white voids. This is when you should consider purchasing a new printhead. Normally, a printhead will fail as a result of the fast heating and cooling process which happens as the printing elements switch on and off when they pass over the printing material and ribbon. Another contributor to the failing of a printhead results from the pressure that is applied for the accuracy and quality of the print. The harder the printhead must work the quicker it will burn out.

    A printhead should be expected to print up to ten million labels before needing to be replaced. However, without the proper maintenance and care, this can reduce to as little as one million. With attention and care, you can prevent this burnout and extend the life of your printhead.

    Perform A Pause Self Test

    Missing print outputs and streaks when printing may indicate a defective or clogged print head. Try cleaning the print head and perform a PAUSE self test. Consult your user manual for the exact instruction. The self test will print a nozzle check pattern to see if the print head is capable of printing across the entire label width. If it verifies a printer problem, it may be necessary to replace the print head. Ask your supplier or manufacturer to send a certified technician who will be able to do this.

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    How To Clean Your Printhead On A Desktop Printer

    Maintenance is a crucial part of owning a thermal printer. One feature you will need to regularly check and clean is the thermal printhead. This is where the heat is applied to the label substrate or a thermal ink ribbon to produce an image.

    Ink residue gradually builds up on the printhead, which can alter the print quality of your labels. By regularly cleaning your printhead, your labels will print clean, crisp, and clear images.

    Below are step-by-step instructions on how to clean the thermal printhead for a desktop printer.

    Cleaning Your Zxp8 For Superior Print Quality

    Zebra TLP and LP Series Printhead Cleaning (Thermal and ...

    Regular cleaning ensures your ZXP8s superior print quality is maintained. Youll know its time to clean your Zebra ZXP8 retransfer printer when you see the printer cleaning message display on the printer control panel. You can begin the cleaning process two ways:

    • Via the Control Panel
    • From the Toolbox in the driver

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    How Do I Clean The Printer

  • Place the printer power switch in the ON position. When the printer LCD shows READY, hold down the Multi-Function Control Button for five seconds.
  • When the cleaning cycle is initiated, the LCD message REMOVE RIBBON THEN CLOSE LID will display. Open the lid, remove the ribbon, and close the lid.
  • Once the ribbon is removed and the lid is closed, the firmware will eject any card inside the printer then the message EMPTY FEEDER THEN CLOSE COVER will display. Open the cover, remove the cards, and close the cover.
  • Once the cards are removed and the cover is closed, the LCD will display INSERT LONG CLEANING CARD. Insert the long cleaning card.
  • When the presence of the cleaning card is sensed, the rollers will take the card into the printer and the cleaning process will begin.
  • When the cleaning process is completed, the printer will eject the cleaning card.
  • The message INSERT FEEDER CLEANING CARD will display. Open the feeder cover, and insert the feeder cleaning card.
  • When the feeder cleaning card has been sensed by the feeder card sensor, the message CLOSE COVER will display. Close the feeder cover.
  • When feeder cleaning is complete, the message REMOVE FEEDER CLEANING CARD will display. Open the feeder cover, remove the cleaning card, and close the feeder cover.
  • After the cleaning card is removed and the feeder cover is closed, the LCD will display CLEANING DONE.
  • You may now reload the ribbon and cards and continue printing.
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