What to do when your printer stops feeding paper! » Little Learning Lovies

What to do when your printer stops feeding paper!


It’s 2:13 am and you’re trying to get your activities printed out for tomorrow. You’ve got plenty of ink and paper on hand and know it’s only going to take a few minutes to queue up your print jobs.  You can go wash up for bed while it’s printing and you’ll be all set for tomorrow and in bed by 2:30.

And then you hear it. 

That abbreviated sound that the printer makes when it tries to grab the paper but misses.  It tries twice because that’s what it’s programmed to do, but you know it will fail.  Maybe it grabs a sheet but it only gets halfway to where it needs to be and then the printer beeps at you.  That red light glows.  The LCD screen reads that there’s a paper jam, but what your printer is REALLY saying is…. Nope!  No bed time for you!

It’s happened before and it’s been happening more and more frequently and you send up a little prayer that this machine will last a bit longer because you know you can’t afford to replace it.  You wrestle with it, reloading paper, turning it, fanning it, smashing it.  An hour later, you have half of your printing completed and decide that the rest isn’t as necessary as you first thought.

But I have a special trick for you today.  You DON’T have to wrestle with that printer and you DON’T have to buy a new one!  Here’s a quick and easy fix to that most vexing paper-feed issue that all inkjet printers will eventually force you to deal with.

What To Do When Your Printer Stops Feeding Paper

Don’t panic!

Grab the rubbing alcohol out of your bathroom cabinet, a lint free cloth and a few cotton swabs. Your inkjet printer, that you’ve been alternately yelling at and cajoling through each print job, is about to run like new again.

Another Gift For You!

(Opens in a new window so you don’t lose your current page. ♥ ENJOY!)


** WARNING – Rubbing Alcohol can damage some LDC type screens (cracking them).  Make sure you only use it on the rubber rollers as described below and no where else.**

First thing to do is take out the paper tray (or trays) and pull the paper out.  Take your lint-free cloth (micro fiber works great) and wipe down the entire tray, inside and out.  Dust is your enemy.  And paper is dusty stuff!

Next, wipe down, carefully, inside the area where the paper tray sits.

Take your rubbing alcohol and very slightly dampen a small spot on your cloth (or use the cotton swabs).  You want to just barely dampen the area so don’t go too overboard.

Find the little rubber rollers that grab the paper up from the tray.  They are probably hanging just above where the tray normally sits.  Gently rub them with the damp spot on your rag.  Make sure you turn them as you do.  You’ll be getting paper fiber and ink splatters off of them.  When you’re done, rub them again with a dry spot on the rag.

There are usually several other areas where you’ll see the little rubber rollers.  So open up the machine (after you unplug it to be safe) and look around to find them all.  Wipe them all down with the damp spot and then with a dry spot on your rag.

Reload the paper into the tray, load the tray into the machine and plug it in.  Now.  Go ahead and print to your hearts content!

You’ll save yourself hours of heartache if you take just 10 minutes to do this job.

Let me know if you do it and if it works for you!


About the Author Sandra Modersohn

Sandra Modersohn is a devoted wife, mother, and homeschooler. She loves great graphic design and has a passion for creating beautiful and useful printable materials for children. Little Learning Lovies where she shares her creations with the world. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest and, of course, at the Little Learning Lovies Blog and Store.

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Leave a Comment:

Jennie C. says 6 years ago

I can’t say I’ve ever had this problem, though I do have to clean the ink cartridge carrier from time to time. And you’d not catch me printing anything at 2:13AM. 🙂 Heck, nowadays, it’s a bit of a struggle to keep me up past 8! But even when I’m feeling fine and sassy, quitting time is 7:30. All work and no play is bad for the soul. 😉

    Sandra Modersohn says 6 years ago

    🙂 I have run, I calculate, more than 55,000 sheets of paper through this printer. 🙂 I suspect I use mine considerably more than the average household does, but those paper fibers can build up on the rollers and really mess with it’s ability to print. Dust, too, from everyday life can settle in there and wreak havoc with the poor paper pick-up systems.

    And you are right. All work isn’t really very good for anyone. But I’m sure I’m not the only one who has spent the day at play only to remember at bed time that I forgot to print something out 😉 And anyone who follows along with me here or on FB knows I have a horrible habit of staying up far too late into the evening trying to get it all done. It never actually all GETs done, so I’m not sure why I try! lol Love you, sister! ♥

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