How to Clean Your ScanSnap

If you frequently read Lawyerist, there is a good chance you use a Fujitsu ScanSnap as part of your paperless office.

Like every other technological wonder, the ScanSnap requires upkeep and occasional cleaning. Fortunately, maintenance is fairly inexpensive and easy.

When should you clean?

Fujitsu recommends cleaning your ScanSnap after every 1,000 scans. Depending on how much you use your scanner, that could be once a year or every six months. I use my scanner daily—approximately five scans per day. That works out to twenty-five scans per week and one hundred scans per month, meaning I my scanner needs cleaning every ten months.

If you see long vertical lines on documents, it is also time to clean. I usually sign documents in blue ink before scanning. Last week I noticed a long blue streak on every document—leftover ink from a signed document.

Cleaning supplies

Fujitsu recommends two supplies—a liquid cleaner and cleaning pads. If you do a quick search on the internet, you could find the supplies from various retailers. Using random liquid cleaners can damage your scanner, so make sure you are buying the right product if you are bargain hunting. Otherwise, proceed at your own peril.

How to clean

Unplug the AC adapter from your scanner and let it cool down for a few minutes, especially if you were just using it. Once it has cooled down, the overall goal is to wipe down a variety of parts using the cleaning pads and cleaning solution (refer to this diagram). I suggest spraying the cleaning solution onto the pad, rather than spraying directly onto the scanner.

Make you sure you look at the diagram so that you clean all of the various parts (and clean the correct ones). Cleaning the actual scan glass is the most important part—that is where you will notice excess smudge or ink from signed documents. You may need to use more than one wipe to clean the glass if there is a fair amount of gunk on it.

Once you wiped everything down, leave your scanner open for a few minutes to let the cleaner evaporate. After that, you are back in business!


  • Richard Hornsby

    Fujitsu documentation also states that “Isopropyl alcohol [Rubbing Alcohol] can be used instead of Cleaner F1.” Basically a $12 savings over the $15 Cleaner F1.

    • Randall Ryder

      Good tip—thanks!

    • Paper Upgrade Project

      Where does the documentation state this? I just did a search in the Operator’s Manual (the other manuals, as explained in the Operator’s Manual, do not discuss cleaning), and found no reference to isopropyl alcohol, although I wish that were the case to save money. Instead, the manual states, “Do not use aerosol spray or spray that contains alcohol to clean the scanner. Dust blown up by strong air from the spray may enter inside of the scanner which may cause scanner failure or malfunction.” Admittedly, F1 Cleaner is so vague that it screams ancillary cost and may, ultimately, be something very close to isopropyl alcohol.

  • Jim Caldwell

    Have had S1500 couple of years. Has been used only about 50 times. Decided to go more paperless, but now Every sheet feeds crooked to one side and jams. Any one else had this problem and what did you do to solve it? Is it a local fix?

    • Sam Glover

      It sounds like you should just try to clean it, and see if that works. Or look inside to see if something got jammed in there.

  • Neal

    Form the Fujitsu website:

    (1) Isopropyl alcohol can be used instead of Cleaner F1.

  • Mike

    I googled how to clean my ScanSnap S1300 and stumbled upon this website. A note regarding “Isopropyl alcohol [Rubbing Alcohol]” and ScanSnap cleaning – don’t do it since it might damage rubber rollers. The referenced Fujitsu’s page states that alcohol can be used only on some models of Fujitsu scanners and that for SnapScan “We recommend the use of our genuine products for the consumables. Failures, troubles,
    and damage of this product resulting from the use of consumables other than our genuine
    products are subject to repair fees even within the warranty period.”