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How Do I Clean & Disinfect My Copier (Without Destroying It)?

cleaning copiers

Prefer to listen?

Let’s face it—office copiers can be gross. 

For this reason, a regular disinfecting of your office copier and printers should be standard protocol. Let’s look at how to do this safely. 

There are many wrong ways to disinfect your copier. 

Your copier is a very sensitive and complex electrical imaging device with various components. It contains its own onboard computer, an array of buttons, screens, circuits, and surface materials. Let’s walk through the right way to clean and disinfect your printer or copier. 

What You’ll Need

  • Latex Gloves
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Pure Water
  • Office Glass Cleaner
  • Spray Bottle
  • Microfiber Cloth

Step 1. Power Down

Follow the manufacturer’s recommended protocol for powering down your device (there may be more than one switch) and then unplug your copier from its power supply. 

Step 2. Glove Up

Before mixing the necessary cleaning solution or doing any cleaning, you’ll want to don disposable latex or another form of rubber gloves. 

Step 3. Mix It Up

Most disinfecting cleaning agents on the shelves contain additives that may damage your copier’s materials. A simple yet effective disinfecting solution is 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% pure water—as per the CDC’s recommendation. Keep this mixture in a properly labeled spray bottle in a safe place for future cleanings.

Step 4. Spray the Cloth, Not the Machine

With the nozzle turned to provide an even mist, just a couple of squeezes of the spray bottle’s trigger should supply an adequate amount of cleaning solution. It should be just slightly damp to the touch.

Step 5. Try It Out

Before you go to town with your microfiber cloth, test out the solution by lightly wiping it on a small and inconspicuous corner or on the near side of the machine. Let it dry and compare the color compared to the rest of the machine.

Step 6. Be Gentle, Yet Thorough

If the isopropyl alcohol solution did not damage the test area, feel free to use it to begin gently disinfecting the rest of your copier surface. Focus on the areas of the machine most touched by users. These areas may include, but are not limited to the power switches, button panels, touch screens, paper trays, drawer handles, or even just familiar places where people may rest their hands while waiting for prints and copies. 

Step 7. Be Careful With the Glass

Never use any glass cleaning solutions that contain ammonia, benzene, acetone, or carbon tetrachloride—all agents known to damage copier and scanner glass. 

Step 8. Let it Dry, Ditch Your Gloves, Wash Up

Before plugging your copier back into its power source and firing it up, give it a few minutes to fully dry. In the meantime, you should throw your gloves away and thoroughly wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Only once your hands are completely dry should you ever plug the printer device back into its power source and switch it back on. Keep a close eye on any malfunctioning. 

If the copier begins to malfunction after booting back up, switch it off immediately and unplug it from its power source. Don’t try turning it on again for the rest of the day.

Step 9. Wipe & Repeat

Make a point to disinfect your printer or copier frequently—especially during winter months when sickness is more abundant. Doing this straightforward routine can go a long way towards keeping your office staff healthy, happy, and productive.


Enjoy this printable infographic you can display near your copiers or printer to inform others in your office how to clean and disinfect your printer device.

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