Z  Series Cleaning


The exterior surfaces of the printer may be cleaned with a lint-free cloth. Do not use harsh or abrasive cleaning agents or solvents. If necessary, a mild detergent or desktop cleaner may be used sparingly.


Remove any accumulated dirt and lint from the interior of the printer using a soft bristle brush and/or vacuum cleaner.

Refer to Table 1 for the correct interval for cleaning the printhead and platen roller. Poor print quality as represented by uneven print darkness, blank areas in bar codes or graphics, or illegible numbers and letters, may indicate a dirty printhead and/or platen roller.

Recommended Preventive Maintenance Schedule







After every roll of media (or 500 feet of fanfold media) when printing in direct thermal mode.


After every roll of ribbon when printing in thermal transfer mode.


These intervals are intended as guidelines only.  You may have to clean more often, depending upon your application and media.


Platen Roller


Media Sensor

Air blow

Ribbon Sensor

Air blow

Media Path

(Dancer Assembly)

Solvent* + cloth

Ribbon Path


Cutter Assembly If cutting continuous, pressure -  sensitive media Citrus-based cleaner such as Goo-Gone After every roll of media (or more often, depending upon your application and media).
If cutting tag stock or label backing material Solvent* and air blow After every two or three rolls of media
Tear-Off/Peel-Off Bar Solvent* Once per roll of media.
Media Take Up Spindle (Optional) Formal preventive maintenance is not required on these spindles.
Ribbon Take-Up Assembly

Ribbon supply and ribbon take-up assembly once per year or after 200 rolls of ribbon.

This spindle should only be disassembled and cleaned with Zebra solvent for it to operate smoothly.

Take label sensor Air blow Once every six months.
Value Peel Solvent* Once per roll of media
* Zebra recommends using a solvent containing 90% isopropyl alcohol 10% de-ionized water.

Table 1 Recommended Preventive Maintenance Chart


Printhead and Platen Roller

Inconsistent print quality, such as voids in the bar code or graphics, may indicate a dirty printhead. For best results, perform the following cleaning procedure after every roll of ribbon.

Click here for information on extending the life of your printhead.

Note: You are not required to turn off the printer power for this procedure.   Remove all rings, watches, hanging necklaces, identification badges, or other jewelry that could touch the print head or get caught in the printer.  If you turn off the power, you will lose all temporary settings, such as label formats, and you must reload them before you resume printing.

To clean the printhead, refer to Figure 1 and follow these steps:

  1. Open the printhead assembly.
  2. Remove the media and ribbon (if loaded).
  3. Using a swab soaked in the Zebra-recommended solvent, wipe along the print elements from end to end. (The print elements are on the brown strip just behind the chrome strip on the printhead.) Allow sufficient time for the solvent to evaporate.
  4. Manually rotate the platen roller and clean thoroughly with solvent and a swab.
  5. Brush/Vacuum any accumulated paper lint and dust away from the media and ribbon paths.
  6. Reload media and/or ribbon, and close the printhead assembly.

Click here for Pens and Kit information

NOTE: If print quality has not improved after performing this procedure, try cleaning the printhead with Save-a-Printhead cleaning film. This specially coated material removes contamination buildup without damaging the printhead. Call your authorized Zebra reseller for more information.


Cleaning the Sensors

Brush or vacuum any accumulated paper lint and dust away from the printer sensors.  The reflective sensor, transmissive sensor, and ribbon sensor should be cleaned on a regular basis to ensure proper operation of the printer. For printers with the value peel and power peel option installed, clean the take label sensor and reflective surface on power peel.

ZxM Plus Sensors

ZMX00 Sensors

Cleaning the Value Peel Module

(Value peel option required)

Perform the following procedure if adhesive buildup begins to affect peel-off performance.

Refer to Figure 2.

  1. Open the printhead assembly.

  2. Open the pivot bracket assembly by pivoting the module toward you.

  3. Use a swab soaked with the Zebra-recommended solvent to remove adhesive from the tear/peel bar.

  4. Manually rotate the pinch and deflector rollers, clean thoroughly with solvent and a swab.

  5. Close the pivot bracket assembly.

  6. Close the printhead assembly.


Figure 2 Cleaning the Value Peel-Off Module

Cleaning the Cutter Module

(Cutter option required)

Refer to Figure 3.

To clean adhesive off of the upper and lower cutter blades:

  1. Remove the cutter shield by removing the thumb screw and lock washer.

  2. Use a swab moistened with the Zebra-recommended solvent to wipe along the upper cutter blade.

  3. To expose the lower cutter blade, turn the cutter motor thumbnut counterclockwise until you see the "V"-shaped lower cutter blade.

  4. Clean the lower blade, following the instructions in step 2.

  5. Replace the cutter shield.

  6. When you have finished cleaning the cutter module, plug in and turn on the printer. The lower cutter blade will return to its correct operating positions.

If the cutter continues to perform unsatisfactorily, contact an authorized service technician.

Figure 3 Cutter Module Cleaning