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!

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/4407861669)