Care for a Photo Scanner

by : Christine Peppler

Photo scanners are a great way of converting images from traditional film and slides into digital form. A scanner can also be used to make digital images of text and small objects. Once in digital form, images are easy to manipulate, print, store, send via e-mail or publish on the internet. Proper use of a photo scanner helps to not only assure that it continues to function well into the future but can also result in better quality images.

Following just a few basic tips should preserve longevity and quality output.

&bullAvoid touching the glass. As with most electronic products, grease and oils can damage the glass. The presence of such smudges on the glass can also obscure the scan resulting in blurred images. It is therefore important to avoid touching the glass as much as possible.

&bullKeep the glass and underside of the scanner cover clean. Review the manufacturers care instructions and use only approved cleaners. In general, never apply the cleaner directly to the glass as it can leak into the inner part of the device. Instead apply the cleaner to a cloth for cleaning. Microfiber cloths are preferred as they do not scratch. The glass should be wiped free of any lint or dust with a microfiber cloth before every use.

&bullAssure any lint and particles are blown from originals before placing them on the scanner to assure a quality image from the scanner.

&bullAvoid exposure to moisture and heat. This includes assuring that anything placed on the scanner glass is not damp. Care should also be taken when placing objects on the glass to assure they do not cause scratches.

&bullSet the scanner so that it is level to assure proper functioning. It is also important that the device is well supported to prevent falls.

&bullAllow the scanner to warm up for 4 to 5 minutes before operating it.

&bullBefore moving the scanner, be sure it is locked to prevent unnecessary movement of internal parts.

&bullAvoid using the scanner cover to flatten larger items, such as books and magazines against the glass. This can damage the hinges. Instead, use a small weight or a heavy book to press the item against the glass.

&bullUse of a surge protector is always wise with any electronics device including a photo scanner.

&bullBecome acquainted with the manufacturer's guidelines for any maintenance. Many require professionals to do any internal cleaning.