Join Taz Tally for an in-depth discussion in this video Cleaning your scanner, part of Scanning Techniques for Business and Home.
Let's chat about caring for and cleaning your scanner. Well, first rule of engagement is prevention rather than cure. As we already talked about but just to review. Locate your scanner in a dust-free environment away from drafts or away from any sources of dirt and dust, no moving air, windows doors, vents, fans. Avoid them, all right. And then set up your scanner on a nice hard surface, no fabrics because fabric has static electricity, which attracts dust and dirt and then that further gets on your scanner and your images. So stay away from that completely. And you may have noticed I have been wearing these lint free gloves the whole time we have been talking about scanners and I have been handling my scanners and my images. Always, always wear these and it's critical because your fingers have oil on them.
No matter how much wash your hands you get oil on your fingers and that oil gets on your scanner, gets on your images, and then that attracts dust and dirt and boy, it's just awful to keep clean. Don't believe me? Take a look at this keyboard that has been washed in a while. See all that gunk on there that's from oil on the fingers that has attracted dust and dirt. Think about getting that on your images or your scanner. Now we want to avoid that whenever possible. And since these gloves are so important and I don't about know you but I don't wear these all day long all day. It's not the kind of environment that I work in.
I typically use them just when I'm working on my scanner or touching my images. So I'm likely to, if I don't already have my gloves on, is I am likely to walk to my scanner and start handling my scanner then I remember, oops! So what I do is put a pair of these gloves right on the top of the scanner and that gives me the visual reminder that oh, I need to put on my gloves before I even touch my scanner and it really works for me. Couple of other details about gloves is I recommend you get the good quality ones like these. See how nicely that fits? It proves the dexterity that you have for handling your scanner and your images and loading and unloading and so forth and I buy them by the bag or the box.
And I recommend getting them from a company that has the good quality gloves, not just the inspection gloves but the really good quality gloves. I get mine from Gloves-online.com and it's gloves-online.com and these right here are the all day gloves. So that's what I recommend in terms of the gloves. And then of course leave the gloves in the plastic packages until you are ready to take one and use it so that you are not collecting dust. So but no matter how careful you are you are going to end up getting some dust and dirt on your scan or images. So let's talk about some tools and techniques to help you clean your scanner. First tool.
Well, what's the first tool? Well, prevention. Second tool, the gloves for sure. No question about that. Then some other tools here is these little Pec Pads here. These are dust free, lint free pads you can get in the Pec Pads. A lot of people sell these and they are kind of the industry standards. There are some other varieties as well but make sure that they are lint free and very, very soft. And then a little brush here. A little fine brush. This one happens to have little air pump on it. And then lens cleaning solution, want to get some of that for when you can't just wipe things off.
But make sure you don't use household and industrial cleaners because of two things. One, they will leave a film and two sometimes they will actually corrode the plastic on your scanner. And then some judicious use of canned air can sometimes be helpful as well. All right! So there are kind of our tools. Now let's talk about the actual cleaning process. When do you want to clean your scanner? Well, just prior to using your scanner. Don't clean your scanner and say oh, it's time to go lunch and then come back and start scanning. No, you want to clean it just before. So get everything all ready, organize your images, and then clean your scanner. And how do we go about doing that? Well, of course you got your gloves on all the time and open up your scanner.
We are going to talk about cleaning this kind of scanner, the flatbed scanner or the multipurpose scanner. Why? Wecause there are lots of surfaces that can get dirty here. We will do the film scanner in just a little bit. That's easier to kind of handle. So you got your gloves on and then we are going to grab a lint-free pad here. Notice I am taking it out of the bag because after you use these once, toss them because they are going to get dirty, they will collect lint and then you start to use them and you put lint on the scanner. Not a good idea. Okay, so grab your gloves, grab the lint-free pad, and then your initial inclination is start cleaning the bottom because that's the key surface.
Don't because one you either forget to clean the top or then you will go clean the top and knock all the dust onto the bottom. I know it's silly but it happens all the time. So clean the top surface first and I like to wipe away from me, away from the scanner, away from the images, and then you can come down and do the bottom. Same thing like this. And sometimes that's all you need to do but you know how do I know how it happens but I looked down there, I have cleaned it off and there is somebody's thumbprint, certainly not mine. Somebody has been touching the scanner while I have been away.
So when it's like that, don't just push harder. That's when you want to use your lens cleaning solution. So you open this puppy up and then don't spray this right on the platen. Spray it on the cloth here and then easy circular strokes like this and then I end up going away from me like that and you can do the same thing on the top of scanner and you know if you don't have this foam part and if you have got a transparency adapter on top of your scanner, you will be cleaning the glass on top of it.
Either way start on the top. All right, so do the pad and then you would be working with your image and you may notice oh, there is one little piece of dust in there that's when this comes handy. Aalways away from you, away from your images, away from the scanner, and then sometimes a little bit of canned air is useful and helpful to just blow a little bit off. [00:05:17.#8] But listen, if you are working in a dusty environment at all, all the canned air does is blow dust into the air and covers everything. So I tend to use this rather than the canned air because and sometimes the canned air is just too hard and too strong. All right! And then finally I am going to tell you not to do what I'm doing and that is don't talk while you are cleaning your scanner or your images because what happens is when we've got a Pedi Pad and we are over the top of the scanner and I am cleaning the scanner like this, what I am doing is I am talking and I am spitting on my scanner.
I don't intend to but that's what happens. Same thing when you are cleaning your images. Shhh. Silent process, all right. So that's for cleaning your flat bed scanner and your multipurpose scanner. Now for film scanners, actually these are little bit easy to deal with in a way. What you don't want to do is what I have done right here. See how I have got my film holder and it's still in the scanner. Maybe I scanned this morning or last week and the film holder is still there. That's going to cause a problem. Why? Because most of these film holders, I have got these little windows on them like this and that prevents dirt and dust from getting inside the scanner.
If you keep the film holder in the scanner for long periods of time, that opens it up to dirt and dust. Can you clean dust away if it gets inside? Sure, you can kind of take your canned air and put it in here and psssh, but all that really does is blow the dust around inside. Hopefully you blow it off maybe the scanned surface. But cleanliness and prevention is really the way to go with these because if you get much dust or dirt then you have to open them up to actually clean them. And then when you get done with the scan process, close everything up so that you prevent dust and dirt from getting on the scanners, and then what I like to do at the very end, you will notice in the end of my scan bench here I have got this cloth.
We will put that down so we don't knock it over. I fold that cloth back on top of itself so at the end of the scanning process, right, I can take this and just drag it all over everything on my scan bed. That prevents any dust from collecting while I am not using my scanner. I don't scan every day. I scan, I have a scan session a couple of times a week, but I keep it covered like this and then when I take it off I just fold it back on itself, so that the dusty surface is never facing towards my scanner or scanner equipment images and cleaning equipment.
So that's how to keep your scanner clean.
- Caring for a scanner
- Understanding pixels and resolution
- Choosing scanning software
- Scanning logos and line art
- Scanning grayscale vs. color
- Scanning for print
- Converting documents to editable text with graphics
- Scanning images for use on websites
- Converting images and documents to PDFs
- Emailing and faxing scanned images
- Creating PDFs for OCR
- Automating the scan process