printer maintenance

3 Common Printer Maintenance Mistakes – and How to Fix Them

Just like taking care of your car, it’s equally as important to take care of your printers.  If you don’t, you might have to, say, change your printhead more often, or your printers’ internal sensors might be negatively affected.

Here are some common problems many of our customers run into and what you can do to prevent them from happening through proper printer maintenance:


1) Not cleaning the printhead enough

It isn’t uncommon for people to neglect cleaning their TSC printers as often as they should.  We understand why; maybe you didn’t know often you should clean your printers, or you maybe got caught up in other things, and cleaning your printers fell by the wayside.

But not doing so can be akin to having someone egg your car, and instead of cleaning it off, not cleaning it at all.  The effect?  Your paint starts to peel off.

So how often should you clean your printers?  Josef Becker, our IT manager, recommends:

  • Thermal transfer printers: every time you change the ribbons
  • Direct thermal printers: every other, or every, label roll


2) Using the wrong type of alcohol to clean your printhead

Now we come to another common mistake: using rubbing alcohol (i.e., isopropyl alcohol less than 99% – 100% would be better!) to clean your printers.  The problem with rubbing alcohol is that it only contains 70% alcohol, so about 30% of it is left as a residue on the printhead. This residue can be very harmful and corrosive.

So instead of using rubbing alcohol, we advise that you use specific cleaning pens, pads or swabs designed to clean our printheads.

You can buy these easily from our Genuine TSC Supplies.  Check out the supply catalog here to see examples of our cleaning products!

You can also buy similar pens from other sources; just make sure they’re designed for printheads.


3) Not using compressed air in dusty environments

If your printers are kept in a dusty environment and dust and debris build up on them, the printers’ internal sensors will be affected.  When they don’t work correctly, it’s like using an old-school camcorder and leaving the lens on.

So if your printers are kept in a dusty environment, it’s best to use compressed air for a quick blowout on at least a monthly basis.  That way, you’ll prevent the sensors from reading incorrectly.


Do you have any other questions about TSC printer maintenance?  Any other common questions you’ve run into?






8 responses to “3 Common Printer Maintenance Mistakes – and How to Fix Them”

  1. narottam yadav says:

    tsc ta 210 printer showing– other error.
    please help how to fix this issue

  2. Nouman says:

    My TSC 244 pro not printing and ribbon comes out along

  3. Rajat Jindal says:

    Plz help while printing labels in TSC 244 pro labels get stick to rubber roller

  4. Rehan Ahmed says:

    Dear Sir,
    I am a service provider,i first time bought tsc lablel printer model Tsc ttp 244 pro.I am using the 1.5×1.1 label film,i have integrated the library tsclib.dll.Its working fine from my c# program.The problem i am facing is that i have to print labels for multiple items in large quantity,evertime it prints it will shift some space and next time it starts printing from different position,so after 5 to 6 labels i have to adjust the film which is very bogous and time wasting,which did not resolved yet even after 6 months of continuous hit and trial.
    Please i need your assistance for this problem.Your help in this regard will be highly appreciated.

    • TSC Admin says:

      Rehan, that’s a great question!

      Please be sure you have the page size setup. This can be done ether by calibrating the printer or sending the TSPL2 comand to the printer to set the page size. If the page size command is not sent in the print job, the printer will use its last page size. To see what the page currently in the printer is, you can use the DiagTool. The labels used will need to have a gap or black mark. If the label is pre-printed, you may need to use the DiagTool to find the correct sensor settings.

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