Cleaning the Printhead and Platen Roller
Cleaning the Printhead and Platen Roller

Cleaning the Printhead and Platen Roller

Inconsistent print quality, such as voids in the barcode or graphics, may indicate a dirty printhead. For the recommended cleaning schedule, see Cleaning Schedule and Procedures.
While you are not required to turn off printer power when working near an open printhead, Zebra recommends it as a precaution.
If you turn off power, you will lose all temporary settings, such as label formats, and you must reload them before you resume printing.
Before touching the printhead assembly, discharge any built-up static electricity by touching the metal printer frame or by using an anti-static wrist-strap and mat.
  1. Raise the media door.
    The printhead may be hot and could cause severe burns. Allow the printhead to cool.
  2. Open the printhead assembly by rotating the printhead-open lever upward.
  3. Remove the ribbon (if used) and the media.
  4. Using the swab from a Zebra Preventive Maintenance Kit, wipe along the brown strip on the printhead assembly from end to end. In place of the Preventive Maintenance Kit, you may use a clean swab dipped in 99.7% isopropyl alcohol. Allow the solvent to evaporate.
  5. While manually rotating the platen roller, clean it thoroughly with the swab. Allow the solvent to evaporate.
  6. Reload the ribbon (if used) and the media. For instructions, see Loading the Ribbon or Loading the Media.
  7. Rotate the printhead-open lever downward until it locks the printhead in place.
  8. Close the media door.
    The printer is ready to operate.
  9. Press
    to exit pause mode and enable printing.
    The printer may perform a label calibration or feed a label, depending on your settings.
If performing this procedure does not improve print quality, try cleaning the printhead with Save-A-Printhead cleaning film. This specially coated material removes contamination buildup without damaging the printhead.
Call your authorized Zebra reseller for more information.