Electronic office equipment keeps a business rolling, day in and day out. Computers, printers, fax machines and copiers enable salesman, administrative assistants, warehouse workers and executives to do their jobs. A broken or malfunctioning computer or copier can result in lost sales and down time for otherwise productive employees. A smart office administrator knows that cleaning and maintaining electronic equipment is just as important as any other workday task.
Clean computers on a weekly basis. To prevent dust and dirt from building up and causing random shutdowns, overheating or possible hardware malfunctions, use a compressed air spray on keyboards, mice, CPUs and monitors. Hold the can upright, aiming the straw dispenser at the CPU fan or other component to be cleaned. Spray in short, quick blasts.
Perform a thorough computer cleaning every few months. Dust the inside of office computers using compressed air spray, cotton swabs (to capture debris in corners and hard-to-reach places), and a lint cloth. Disconnect the computer from all power sources and let it cool down for 15 minutes before cleaning. Use an anti-static wrist strap to ensure that static electricity from your body doesn’t travel to the computer.
Maintain other computer parts. Use a spray cleaner to wipe the outside case. Use a dry cotton cloth to eliminate dust on monitors and LCD screens. Mix 50 percent Isopropyl alcohol to 50 percent water. Apply to a cloth, wipe the screen, then dry with another cloth. Wipe CRT screens with a dry microfiber cloth and then with a cloth dampened with water, if necessary. Rid a computer mouse of excess dust by cleaning it with a cotton swab, or by pressing a piece of transparent tape to the roller to lift dust or lint. Clean an optical mouse by wiping it with a cotton cloth. Hold keyboards upside down and shake gently to dislodge food particles, dust, bits of paper and other debris.
Fan paper before placing it in a fax machine or printer. This will help prevent time-consuming paper jams. Keep rubber bands, staples and paper clips away from these office machines, as they can cause major damage if they get inside the housing. Place faxes and printers at least six inches away from the wall to keep them well-ventilated and to avoid overheating. When changing toner or print cartridges, be sure to clean any spills or smudges from inside the housing. Excess ink particles can damage sensors inside the machine. Clean machines with a dry cloth and cotton swab for small parts. Use a cloth moistened with denatured alcohol to clean a fax machine’s roller or platen.
Clean platen glass on a copier at least once a week. Use spray cleaner to keep the platen free of smudges. Dust the outside of the copier with a cotton cloth. Don’t use compressed air on the inside of a copy machine. Contact a copier serviceman to perform regular cleaning and maintenance. Heed the warning when a service light turns on -- don’t wait until the machine stops completely to call a repairman.
Marianne Moro is a copywriter and journalist based in Hollywood. She has been writing professionally since 1999, specializing in home remodeling, interior decorating, pets, travel and holistic health. Moro was a part-time editor and contributing writer for Remodeleze.com, a home remodeling and decorating website, and has also contributed to the Cutting Chair and Entertainment Today.