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How to Disinfect Your Printer, Copier or Multi-function Devices

Brad Samuel

The office printer is one of the few communal devices in any office. It's the one device almost everyone will touch or use in a given day. In light of the recent concerns with the COVID-19 Coronavirus, we want everyone to know how to best clean their MFP screens and operation panels.

Unfortunately, disinfecting and cleaning a printer with common cleaning products can damage a printer, copier or multi-function device (MFD). DO NOT spray directly on the device’s surfaces or components, as getting liquid inside the device could damage the internal components. In addition, common cleaning products that contain bleach, ammonia or other ingredients can discolor or damage the surface of touchscreens.

While those types of products are powerful germ-fighting tools, we want to discourage them for use on a print device. Here is how we recommend you disinfect a printer, copier or MFD: 

1) Make sure a device is powered down and unplugged before cleaning. Wait until surfaces are dry before plugging the device back in. 

2) Do not spray any cleaning agent directly onto the machine, instead spray the cleaning agent onto a lint-free cloth/rag and then wipe surfaces. Avoid anything that contains bleach, ammonia or other harsh cleaning solvents. (Our technicians use Isopropyl Alcohol to wipe down machines. Most anti-bacterial wipes are acceptable in cleaning your machine, including the touch screen. Don't use one that is too wet though, or it could drip inside the machine.)  

3) Cloths/Rags should be disposed of after one use.

4) Use only glass cleaner on the plate glass surface and wipe with a lint free cloth.

In general, when cleaning electronics, never use an extremely damp disinfectant wipe to clean the device. If you have a very damp wipe it may need to be squeezed to remove some of the excess liquid before use. Don't let any liquid sit or pool on the area being disinfected for more than a few seconds. And never use rough paper towels or cloths to dry the glass or screens of your devices, which can cause scratches to the surface.

The reason for this more careful approach is that wet wipes and other consumer products contain ingredients other than alcohol which can damage machines. While no technique is guaranteed to kill all microbes, this is the best approach we know of. Be aware though, that alcohol is flammable, so keep away from open flames. 

For more information regarding the Coronavirus ( COVID 19) visit the CDC’s website FAQ page

GFC's professional service technicians can help any organization maintain a printer fleet. If you’d like to discover the benefits of a service and support program for your organization, contact us today or check out our Guide to Managed Print Services.

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