How To Maintain A Shredder: 10 Tips That Will Keep Your Machine Working

Shredders take the beating after the tax season or during the Spring Cleaning at your home or office. The problem is that you might only know how to use it but not how to maintain a shredder. If you don’t know a thing about lubrication and cleaning, your equipment might bog down a little early than its expected lifespan.

1. How To Maintain A Shredder: Oil it regularly

Like any other engine, your shredder needs to be lubricated regularly so it will smoothly chew paper. You just need to apply oil on a sheet of paper in an ‘S’ pattern then feed it to the shredder. Once the oiled sheet is shredded, run the machine in reverse to scatter the oil on the metal cutters. You should shred a few clean sheets to wipe the excess oil.

Oiling should be every hour if you’re doing the heavy shredding. Once every two days would do for a light cutting job.

2. Don’t overuse it

If your machine can only chew 10 sheets at a time, don’t force it with 12 sheets or more. You should keep in mind that for your shredder to function optimally, you should follow the indicated instructions. Shredders can function in a variety of runtimes where 30 minutes could be the longest. If you‘re in a rush, you should consider following the No. 10 tip on this list.

how to maintain a shredder

3. Allow it to cool down

After you reach the indicated runtime, shut down the machine and allow it to cool down. There are models that have a thermal protector that will shut down automatically once it detects intense mechanical heat. Such system lengthens the life of the motor and prevents your machine from ending up in smoke.

For automatic shredders, it’s best to unplug it. Some machines have light indicators that will tell you if it’s time to cool it down or if it’s ready to use.

4. Consider using a shredder bag

Putting a shredding bag inside the bin won’t just be a convenient way of disposing of the shredded materials. It’s also a good hack to remove the paper and plastic dust from the machine. This powdery substance may accumulate inside the shredder and cause it to clog or malfunction. Some machines nowadays have dust-proof built but it’s not always foolproof. For your own good, purchase shredding bags that fit your machine. You should note that typical plastic bags might not engage the bin perfectly.

5. Dust it off once in a while

If you don’t like using shredding bags, you should at least dust your machine once in a while. You should remove the wastebasket and wipe it clean while you can also lift the shredding module to give it a good wipe. Some bits of paper could be stuck inside within the cutter cylinder and if it piles up, your machine may jam repeatedly.

Dirty oil from past lubrication is also important to remove if you’re wondering how to maintain a shredder. Doing this at least once a month will lengthen the lifespan of your machine and retain its efficiency.

how to maintain a shredder

6. Shred only materials that your machine can manage

Many shredders nowadays can cut credit cards and CDs aside from paper. It’s a good thing if what you bought have this versatility, but if not, don’t force your machine to shred a material it’s not equipped to cut.  You’re just making the cutting metal dull and the machine to overheat easily from too much load. More likely, you’ll end up picking the material using a scissor because it got jammed inside. Read the No. 10 tip to avoid this from happening.

7. Always unplug it when not in use

This tip is very crucial if you set your shredder in the auto mode. Even if not in use, shredders in auto mode are still consuming electricity and performing internal functions. Do you ever wonder how its auto-sensor works? It’s because the plugged system keeps it alive even if it the machine is not in use.

Give your shredder a rest and pull the plug from the wall.

8. Read the user manual

Almost every machine comes with a user manual. Included in this booklet are the instructions on how to how to maintain a shredder and the precautions you should follow. Take time to read this so you’ll be advised how often you should lubricate it or how long you should be using the shredder. If you got a comprehensive guide, it may detail the steps on how to clean the machine.

If ever the shredder you bought didn’t come with a guide-which is impossible-do your assignment of researching it on the web.

how to maintain a shredder

9. Fix glitches the moment it occurs

Jammed papers, chipped parts, or dull blades – you should address these concerns the moment you notice it. If not, the problem will just get worse and before you know it, you’re already replacing your $200 shredder. If the problem is the constant jamming, try using the reverse system. When that doesn’t work, you’ll need to take a look inside.

You can hire someone to do it but you can also check it yourself. It only comes with a little disassembling.

10. Get the right shredder for the job!

Above all the tips I gave here, buying a shredder that fits the cutting jobs you need to be accomplished is the most important thing. No matter what cleaning you do, the capability of the shredder will always play a big role. Some are built to last only a few years while some can be efficient even after a decade. Also, some are exclusive to shredding paper while others can chew cards and CDs.

These tips on how to maintain a shredder will save your money from repairs or a possible replacement. Some of the points I include here are simple to perform and will not take much of your time. For the sake of making your investment last, follow these maintenance hacks. What do you think? Share your shredding thoughts with us!