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.
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.
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!
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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