How to Clean a Thermal Fax Machine

By Nick Davis

Updated September 26, 2017

Clean your thermal fax machine regularly to improve print quality.
i fax image by Attila Toro from

Poor print quality, fading print and paper jams are all signs your thermal fax machine need cleaning. Like printers and other fax machines, thermal fax machines are susceptible to ink, paper and dust buildup. Thermal fax machines use a dry heat process to transfer ink through the device's printhead onto chemically treated paper. If not maintained properly, the internal components of the device will eventually fail. Clean your thermal fax machine regularly to keep dust, dirt and grime from building up within the device.

Turn off and unplug your thermal fax machine.

Open the fax machine's paper-loading door. Remove the roll of thermal paper from the device.

Use a can of compressed air to spray the paper-loading door and area below the door.

Open the door over the fax machine's platen (below the keypad). Spray the platen, the device's thermal printhead and other exposed areas with compressed air.

Apply 1 tbsp. of denatured alcohol to a lint-free cloth. Wear latex gloves to keep your hands from getting wet.

Wipe the fax machine's platen, rollers and other exposed components with the alcohol-soaked cloth.

Sweep any caked-on debris away from the printhead and other components with a small brush.

Re-apply denatured alcohol to the cloth. Continue wiping the fax machine until the components are clean.

Locate the fax machine's exposure lens, if accessible, by using a flashlight. Wipe the device's exposure lens with a dry, lint-free cloth.

Let the fax machine air dry before reloading the thermal paper and closing the open doors on the device.

Items you will need

  • Can of compressed air

  • Denatured alcohol

  • 2 lint-free cloths

  • Latex gloves

  • Small brush

  • Flashlight


Do not clean the thermal fax machine while it is hot--let it cool completely before opening the device.