How to Clean a Scanner

Bontebok sketch

Bontebok Sketch by Meg Lyman

So, does anyone know how to clean a scanner? Mine has been very good to me, but recently, the dirt on the glass has reached annoying levels. No longer do I have to use the Gimp to clean one or two dots; now they’re everywhere.

When I look at the surface, I notice two things. First, it’s foggy. The fogginess isn’t on the outside, but on the underside of the glass. I have no idea if it needs to be cleaned, or how to do it. It has slowly gotten worse throughout the scanner’s short life. Second, I see little dirty dots. They look green, presumably because of the way the scanner reflects light while it’s idle. But when I go to brush them off, I find that they’re sticky and need to be chiseled off with a fingernail, and mostly they smear all over.

When I scan, I see two undesirable things, both of which have gotten worse recently:

1. Grey areas on the edges. This admittedly may be a problem with the cover.

grey streaks

2. Spots in the scan, per the second complaint above.

I have a nice, soft monitor cleaning cloth that I use on the glass, but it won’t budge the sticky spots, and obviously has no effect on the fog. I keep the scanner covered so well that even cat hair never gets inside.

Does anyone have any words of advice? I paid a lot for this scanner, and I want to run it into the ground – many, many years from now.

8 thoughts on “How to Clean a Scanner”

  1. Probably not the best advice but I’d try rubbing alcohol. Maybe just dampen the cloth or something.

    Love the animal sketches btw.
    That armadillo reminds me of a cake I saw on the food network the other day.

  2. I just use my eyeglass cleaner and cloth I picked up at wal-mart in the optical department. That seems to keep mine really clean…..except for the cat hair hahaha my cat Sheimus finds that the top of my scanner is a comfy place to sleep….I just hope he dosn’t get any bigger haha he weighs about 35 pounds now and still has a couple more years of growth left in him…omg. I guess thats what i get for loving maincoon cats huh?


  3. White vinegar is very good at removing stubborn goo. Use a lint-free cloth such as very well washed old flannel, or cotton baby diaper.

    I think I’d ask the manufacturer about the fog on the underside, especially if this was an expensive piece of equipment. I have a cheapie, but the glass has remained clear.

    My scanner has always had a problem with discoloration on one side, and it’s red, of all things. I also use a piece of black fabric instead of (or over) the lid to help avoid reflected glare.

  4. Thanks for your advice, everyone!

    Tigress – I’ll try the alcohol. What kind of cake was it??

    John – holy cow, that’s a big cat! Of course they love sitting in the most inconvenient places. And I should get some eyeglass cleaner cloths anyway for my camera…

    Lisa – I already have white vinegar on hand, so I can try it immediately. And I’ll try asking Epson, but it may be tough to get answers from a big company.

  5. The hubby says the fogginess could be caused by condensation. Moving the scanner from different temperatures will cause this. If it isn’t under warranty you can take it apart and give the underside a good cleaning too. It should be really easy to do, I had to do it with my old scanner when it became waterlogged (should just be some screws holding it together thinks hubby)
    Lovely sketches :)

  6. Not sure what flavor the cake was. It looks like they used yellow cake. I remember this woman carved it in to a dillo shape and some of her partners help her with the large ears. They had to insert a cut and shaped piece of wood to stabilize the ear. She then used marzipan to cover and create the large scales on the dillo. After she touched it up with a bit of airbrushing, painting the nose a cute pink, airbrushing a tea shirt of some kind and added a dillo pattern.
    Like I said quite good. To pretty to eat if you ask me.

  7. Jennifer, thanks so much for the advice! I keep it by the window, so that may be part of the problem. I doubt it’s still under warranty, but I’ll check… and I love taking things apart! I just hope I can put it back together properly.

    Tigress – mmmm. :D Sounds very pretty, but marzipan is hard to turn down.

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