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How to Clean a Scanner: Document Scanners, Check Scanners

Blog Post
May 19, 2020

Cleaning is an essential part of scanner maintenance. Regular commissioning is a surefire way to maintain not only the functionality of your equipment but the longevity. As businesses now return to the workplace, it’s an excellent time to clean both the interior of devices and disinfect the exterior.

According to the CDC, cleaning is “the removal of foreign material (e.g., soil, and organic material) from objects ” In contrast, disinfection is “the process of killing or rendering pathogenic microorganisms inert…” on inanimate objects. Thorough cleaning is necessary before disinfection can take place.

In this post, we’ll cover best practices for both types of cleaning.


Just as you sanitize your hands with antibacterial soap, it’s important to regularly disinfect your business equipment. Cleaning methods and chemicals might not be universal for your inventory; however, so confirm each manufacturer’s instructions.

In general, avoid chemicals that contain bleach, ammonia, or other harsh cleaning solvents.

Isopropyl alcohol is usually a safe choice, as are antibacterial wipes. However, the main goal is to avoid wetting the machine’s surfaces to the point of pooling up or dripping inside. Additionally, stick to clean, soft, lint-free cloths. Rough paper towels can scratch the glass or screens of your device.

Ask the experts about cleaning your device

How to disinfect your scanner, multifunction printer, or similar devices:

  1. Power down and unplug your device before beginning.
  2. Spray cleaning agents onto a lint-free cloth (as opposed to onto your device.)
  3. Use a new cloth for each use.
  4. Make sure all surfaces are dry before powering up again.


Check Scanners

If you don’t clean your check scanners regularly, you risk increased scanning failures, customer frustration, and cost to reconcile poor quality check images. Cleaning a check scanner is simple. Remove the ink cartridge and insert the cleaning card as you would a check.

Many of our customers opt for Waffletechnology® cleaning cards. With their unique “waffle” shape, these cards remove dirt and debris from the scanner track with fewer passes than other products. However, it’s important not to let these cleaning cards dry out during the process.


Here’s a list of manufacturer check scanner instructions:

Document Scanners

One of the main questions we get with flatbed document scanners is how to clean the scanner glass. In the past, using Windex or a similar chemical agent was damaging to the scanner, as the alcohol in the substance would dry out the belts. Today, most flatbed scanners have glass to protect the belts, but it’s best to check with your OEM whether or not glass cleaner is acceptable.

If you do receive the go-ahead to clean with Windex, it’s still important to be gentle: Opt for a microfiber cloth over a paper towel to minimize particle remnants. Additionally, don’t use too much liquid—scanner beds streak worse than your bay windows.

Now that we’ve covered how to clean the scanner bed, let’s move on to the inside. Try to clean your document scanner once a week, or every 1,000 scans. Scanners that aren’t cleaned regularly may experience frequent paper jams, lines on scanned images, and multiple pages feeding at the same time. To clean the inside of your document scanner, you will need some Isopropyl alcohol, a soft cloth, and cotton swabs.

These are great general instructions, but here’s a list of OEM guidelines:

What are your next steps? Create a device cleaning policy for each type of hardware in your facility using original equipment manufacturer (OEM) guidelines. Not only will this help disinfect the devices in your facility for infection control, but it will also ensure that your employees feel you are doing everything you can to protect them.

Ask the experts about cleaning your device

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