How to maintain your Typewriter(s)

Tip 1: Keep your typewriter covered up when you are not using it. If the typewriter has a carrying case, it may be best to keep them inside the case when they aren’t being used. Doing this will keep dust from getting inside the mechanism and all over the exterior. It’s not fun to clean a typewriter every other month because it’s been left out for dust to settle all over it. While it is true that nobody likes to keep their machines covered up, I would highly recommend it anyways. The only exception would be if the machine is only a decoration piece, and will not be used.

Tip 2: Pull the paper release lever forward on the machine if it will not be used for a long time. If this isn’t done, flat spots will appear in the platen from where it was left at. Pulling the paper lease will help care for your platen on the machine. When typing, be sure to type with two (2) sheets of paper. The one behind the page being printed on will help protect the platen and allow it to last longer with heavy use. If you type with one sheet of paper, or even none for some reason, the typebars will make slight imprints on the platen, and over time, could make the platen rough instead of smooth.

Tip 3: As you feel necessary, you can dust the exterior and accessible parts with a brush or a lint-free cloth. This will keep the typewriter looking clean and shiny.

Tip 4: If you are experienced in oiling typewriters, and if you know what you are doing, you can also oil certain parts of the typewriter as you feel necessary. Typewriters only need little amounts of oil, and it depends on how much you use the typewriter to determine a good oiling schedule. If it is used nearly every day, I would give it a thorough wipe down and oiling every month or so.

Tip 5: Clean the typebars with a brush. After significant use, you may notice that the “a, o, e, p, b, d, q” keys may start to get parts of the ribbon stuck in the insides of the typebars, which looks sloppy on paper. While it is tedious, I prefer to use a pin to clear the ribbon out the dirty typebars. Like oiling and wiping your machine down, this depends on how much the machine is used, so it’s up to you to figure out when it’s necessary to clean the typebars.

Tip 6: For long term storage, keep your typewriter in a moderate temperature. I would suggest room temperature (around 40 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit) If the typewriter is kept in an environment that is too cold, it could effect the rubber parts of the typewriter. If the typewriter is kept in an environment that is too hot, the rubber parts such as the platen and feed rollers, as well as the feet can melt in the heat, and will be deformed. I have seen this occur before, so it does happen.