How to Clean a 3D Printer

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Updated January 13, 2023

If you are new to the wide world of physical printing, you may wonder how to clean a 3D printer. Some of the best printers, after all, are 3D printers, and these models use resin and various filaments that require cleaning. So why clean the best 3D printers, and what are some tips to ensure a safe and thorough cleaning process? Keep reading to find out.


  • Cleaning your printer is a crucial maintenance step to minimize repair issues down the line.
  • Each printer is unique, so read the instructions to learn specific cleaning processes regarding nylon filament and ABS filament.
  • Generally speaking, use a microfiber cloth to wipe away dust and isopropyl alcohol to clean the glass bed. Paper towels are ok for some components.

Why Clean a 3D Printer?

Once you learn how to fix a 3D printer, you realize just how important cleaning and maintenance are. Learning how to clean a 3D printer bed and related components is crucial for keeping the appliance properly maintained. With a clean printer before you, the world is your oyster, so go ahead and learn how to 3D print on fabric and related materials.

Insider Tip

Make sure to give the various components plenty of time to dry before creating a new 3D model.

Additionally, learning to clean a printer will give you an inside look into how the printer actually works, helping with repairs later on. In other words, you will be better equipped to learn how to change a 3D printer nozzle, among other simple maintenance tasks, once you learn how to clean a printer.

Tips to Clean a Printer

There is no way to sugarcoat this. 3D printers are complicated bits of technology, and no one unit is exactly similar to another. There is no universal cleaning process to handle every printer out there, though some useful tips apply to nearly every printer.

Remove Debris and Dust

No matter the printer, your first step is to remove any obvious debris and dust. Use a microfiber cloth here to wipe away dust and try to keep it away from other parts of the printer. As for debris, if you can see it, scoop it up and discard it.

STAT: The nozzle is so important because it affects a printer’s extrusion, and if it is not working properly, it can lead to a host of printing problems. (source)

Remember the Print Bed

The various nozzles and moving components of your printer make for attractive cleaning targets, but don’t forget the print bed. This surface is where the object rests as it is being built, so the bed attracts all kinds of dirt and grime. Use a bit of isopropyl alcohol to wipe down this bed, but read the instructions first to see if you can use alcohol.

Read the Manual

Each printer is unique, so read the manual to find out any exceptions as to what can and cannot be used to clean the appliance.

Cleaning 3D Printers FAQs

How do you clean a printer nozzle?

Clean the nozzles after every 3D print to discard any cleaning filament. Perform this task with a soft cloth, a brass wire brush, and warm water. This should make short work out of clogged nozzles.

What is a 3D printer bed?

The bed is where the object sits as it is being built. This bed comes into contact with dirty filament and plenty of low-quality filaments, so clean it after every 3D print.

When do you clean your printer?

Clean your printer after every print job, especially if there is some leftover filament or filament residue. Leave it to dry in a well-ventilated area after cleaning it with a soft cloth or brass wire brush.
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