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How to Care for Office Equipment

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Proper care of your office equipment will keep your business running smoothly. A good cleaning every few months will keep keyboard keys from sticking and equipment from overheating. Regular maintenance may reduce downtime and maintenance calls for your computers, printers and fax machines.


Keep computers in a dry environment, away from sources of excessive heat or moisture. Do not place a computer next to a heating source or drink your coffee while at the computer.

Wipe screen and keyboard regularly with a static-free cloth and cleaner designed for use on computers.

Use compressed air to clean debris from between the keys on the keyboard. Turn the keyboard over and shake loose dirt. Use compressed air again to get leftover debris from between the keys.

Keep ventilation holes on the computer clear of blockages from dust or other items on the desk to prevent overheating. Use compressed air to blow dust and debris from all vents.

Plug all computers into surge protectors.


Open removable parts of the printer and wipe the insides with a dry, clean cloth.

Check the manufacturer specifications on paper weight and size. Verify that the paper you are using does not exceed the recommended weight and size. Paper weight indicates the thickness of the paper and can be found on the manufacturer's packaging.

Do not overfill the paper tray.

Remove all jammed paper completely.

Change ink as needed. Open the top of the printer and remove the ink cartridge. Specifications should be printed on the side to help you order another cartridge from your local office retail store or supplier. If you cannot find the ink cartridge, refer to manufacturer guidelines in the printer’s manual.

Fax Machines

Keep a fax machine in a dry room. Humidity can cause paper to stick together.

Place fax machines at least six inches from walls for adequate ventilation around the equipment.

Fan paper with your hand before inserting it in the fax machine. This prevents the machine from taking too much paper and jamming in operation.

Change toner as needed. Locate access on the front of the fax machine and remove toner. Set aside on a piece of newspaper or throw it in the trash immediately, as old toner cartridges can leak. Place the new toner cartridge in the slot. Wipe up any spillage.


Never force an office machine to open. When doing maintenance cleaning, only access parts of the machine that open easily.

  • Never force an office machine to open. When doing maintenance cleaning, only access parts of the machine that open easily.

Alice Drinkworth has been a writer and journalist since 1995. She has written for community newspapers, college magazines and Drinkworth earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Wisconsin and won a media award for her in-depth coverage of local politics. She is also a certified master gardener.

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