Give your DTG printer a present for Christmas

Capping station cleaning
Capping station cleaning

The chances are that your direct to garment printer or printers will be left standing for a long period of time during the Christmas period. The correct maintenance before you close down will save you from any heartache when you start work again and could save you a lot of money. Peter Wright, managing director of Amaya Sales UK, explains more.

Some printers will have a pressurised ink system which can keep your system in working order for around 30 days while some others require more attention and even require draining of the inks.

Please read carefully the manufacturers’ instructions on what to do during a period of inactivity.

I have set out below some basic maintenance that should be carried out before you shut down.

Switch off your machine

  • Clean the capping station. This is the tray that sits below the print head and seals it in the home position. It also seals the head from outside air when in the cleaning cycle. If the seal is damaged or dirty then the print head will not be cleaned correctly and so giving poor printing. Use a swab with cleaning fluid to wipe around the rim of the cap. If you find the cap is damaged, please replace it, these are normally easy to change and not expensive. Also by using a small pipette pour some cleaning fluid on to the foam bed of the capping station, to keep the print head moist during the close down period.
  • Cleaning the encoder strip
    Cleaning the encoder strip

    Clean the wiper blade. Attached to the capping station you will see a wiper blade which is used to clean the bottom of the print head. Again this must be cleaned with the swab.

  • Clean the encoder strip with a soft cloth. The encoder strip lets the printer head know where it is in relation to its home position. If you start getting images going of line then this is normally the problem. If you need to clean any spots of dirt or ink use a swab with Isopropyl (alcohol) on it.
  • Clean the carriage drive belt gear, use a small brush or swab to clean out any lint.
  • Lubricate the carriage, clean off any lint and use a thin grease or oil.
Check the ink levels after your break
Check the ink levels after your break

Again, in the case of a printer with a pressurised ink system, this is all you need to do. Other printers may need further attention so I stress, please read the manufacturers’ instruction manual.

After the Christmas break and before switching on the printer

On most direct to garment printers you will need to take out the ink cartridges and shake them. Also check the ink levels.

Switch on the printer

Most printers will automatically go through a cleaning cycle on start up so it should be ready to use. If your printer has a pressurised ink system it should not need any more cleaning cycles. Carry out a nozzle check to make sure all nozzles are firing correctly. If not try a power clean, this should correct the problem.

After this, you should be good to go in the New Year.

Obviously the above applies to any reasonably long closedown of more than a few days.

Throughout the rest of the year, please carry out your normal daily maintenance and hopefully you will have trouble free year.

And finally, I would like to take the opportunity to wish all our readers a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Check Also

Why you need to be using Instagram reels to grow your business

Did you miss Instagram expert Estelle Keeber of Immortal Monkey at Printwear & Promotion LIVE! …

How to prepare quality artwork for DTG

In this article, Dmitry Sarbaev, managing director of FLUXMALL DTG, provides some top tips on …