The shredder is a very important tool in the office or home, especially if you regularly need to destroy copies of highly sensitive data (such as letters from credit card companies, or letters indicating your social security number). You’ve probably heard of horror stories related to identity theft; definitely, all precaution should be undertaken so you would never have to experience being a victim of identity theft yourself.
That being said, it’s important to know how to take care of your shredder. Actually, you should know how to take care of everything you own, to make sure they last long – which will help you get the best value for the money you used to purchase it. With regards to the shredder, however, there are many pointers that you need to follow in order to best ensure its proper maintenance. First of all, make sure that you shred only the recommended quantity of paper at a time. The amount that you could shred at a time is usually indicated in the manual, or at the exterior of the appliance.
If you’re not too careful and if you put more paper than the shredder can handle, you could risk damaging the motor or the shredder teeth. Second, make sure that you don’t run paper with adhesive through the shredder. Adhesive substances could get stuck between the shredder teeth, and this could result in damage in the long run. Other things that usually get into the shredder accidentally include paper clips and staple wires. A good precautionary measure is to make sure that you quickly browse through the paper you’re about to shred, and never, ever drop unopened envelopes into the shredding machine. Third, regularly dust off the shredding machine, and scrape away bits of paper that tend to get stuck between its teeth. Fourth, make sure that you lubricate your shredder regularly.
How you lubricate your shredder would mostly depend on its brand and model. Check your manual for specific instructions. If it’s not indicated in your manual (or if you lost this manual), don’t fret; there are some generic ways to lubricate your shredder, and these is usually adequate to ensure proper maintenance. Here are some of the general shredder lubricating tips that will help you out:
- Perhaps the easiest way for you to lubricate your shredder is by putting shredder-specific oil on a piece of paper, and then run this paper on the shredding machine. It’s recommended that you put the oil in a zigzag motion across the paper, and don’t attempt to soak it with too much oil.
- How often you lubricate your shredder depends on how often you use it. Most shredder manufacturers recommend that you lubricate the shredder at least twice a month; but in case you shred a huge volume of paper a day, you need to lubricate your shredder once every 30 minutes (or until the bag gets filled with paper). Another factor is what type of shredder you have. If it is a cross cut paper shredder, you’d generally have to oil it more often than a strip cut shredder.
- Yet another way to oil your shredder is to squirt the lube directly onto the teeth, or the cutting heads. Most shredders are constructed so that you could easily reach cutting head or displace the part that covers it.
Make sure that you are conscious about oiling your shredder, to ensure its smooth and efficient operation, and to avoid the hassles of having it repaired. Good luck!