Maintenance is a crucial part of owning a thermal printer. One feature you will need to regularly check and clean is the thermal printhead. This is where the heat is applied to the label substrate or a thermal ink ribbon to produce an image. 

Ink residue gradually builds up on the printhead, which can alter the print quality of your labels. By regularly cleaning your printhead, your labels will print clean, crisp, and clear images. 

Below are step-by-step instructions on how to clean the thermal printhead for a desktop printer.

  1. Get a thermal printer cleaning card
  2. Open the printer
  3. Gently wipe the printhead to remove any ink residue

Thermal printer cleaning cards consist of a small, square cotton swab that contains alcohol for cleaning. Don’t have a thermal printer cleaning card?

  1. Dampen a microfiber rag with 70% isopropyl alcohol 
  2. Wipe the printhead to remove any ink residue