Label Stuck in Your Barcode Printer? What Not To Do!

One of the most common and frustrating problems that occurs when you are printing bar code labels is when the label peels off the backing and sticks to the printer – usually either the platen or the printhead. I know your first inclination is to scrape it off and keep printing. Don’t do that! 

2 thing you should never do when a bar code label sticks to the inside of your printer:

1. Never use a sharp object to scrape the label off the printhead or platen roller.

By sharp objects I am referring to knives, screwdrivers and even your fingernail. You run the risk of either cutting the printhead or the platen roller. If you cut the printhead, it will be ruined and you won’t be able to print until you replace it. If you cut the platen roller your print quality will suffer and you will have to replace it.

2. Never clean the printer with the power on.

The reason for this is obvious (I hope). Turn of the printer and unplug it from it’s power source before cleaning or servicing.

The best way to clean a stuck on label from the inside of your printer:

What you will need:

Step 1: Remove What You Can of the Label

Gently peal off what you can of the label. Avoid scraping, scratching or picking at the label so as not to damage the printhead or platen roller.

Step 2: Use a New Label to Remove Any Stuck Adhesive Residue

By placing the sticky side of a new label down onto stuck on adhesive residue you can remove some of the residual adhesive. The glue will adhere to itself and pull off some of the remaining adhesive from the recently removed label.

Step 3: Clean with Rubbing Alcohol

Wet a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and carefully soak the stuck label or clean off the remaining adhesive if the label has already been removed.

Step 4: Clean Stubborn Adhesive and Labels with Goof Off

If not the rubbing alcohol didn’t do the trick then wet another swab with some Goof Off. Goof Off is a harsh and toxic household solvent. Please read the directions on the Goof Off container for safety instructions. Make sure to get all of the sticky gunk off the printer.  If it is even a little sticky another label will stick right to it and you’ll be starting the cleaning process all over again!