With identify theft on the rise, shredding personal papers that contain sensitive or identifying information is one way of decreasing this risk. Many home offices now contain paper shredders to help destroy that sensitive information. Just like every other appliance, paper shredders need regular care and maintenance to keep them running smoothly. How exactly does one care for a home office shredder? We got most of our tips here from www.papershredder101.com.
Pay attention to the quantity of paper being shredded
Whether you have an inexpensive paper shredder or a pricier model, these machines can only shred a certain amount of paper at a time. The quantity of paper the shredder can handle is printed on the outside of the feeding mechanism and should be followed for the best performance. Overfeeding the shredder can result in damaging the shredder teeth or burning out the motor.
It’s easy to burn out a motor by dropping unopened envelopes and junk mail into the shredder, which may contain more paper than the appliance can handle. Taking care to open the envelopes before dropping them into the shredder will keep the motor from being overworked.
Be mindful of what is being shredded
Envelope gum, labels, and other papers with adhesive or sticky substances should never be run through a shredder. This gummy paper can lead to paper jams which will bend the teeth and ruin the shredder. Other materials to avoid include paper clips, cardboard and heavier card stock which can also bend teeth and strain the motor.
Keep the wastebasket empty
For a shredder to work efficiently, the paper being shredded must be able to drop freely in the wastebasket below. An overfilled basket impedes the shredders output, and can even draw already shredded paper back into the shredder, causing it to jam.
Apply regular lubricant
Paper has a way of pulling moisture out of it’s surroundings, and the shredder teeth must be lubricated on a regular basis to keep the appliance operating smoothly. Most manufacturers recommend lubricating the shredder twice a month, using specially formulated shredder lubricant.
Spray lubricants, such as WD-40, petroleum based or flammable oils should never be used. These machines are electrical and using the wrong kind of lubricant for the job may result in fire. From my own experience, they also seem to attract dust and lint which can also lead to damaging the machine.
Paper shredders are fickle appliances that take a great deal of extra care and attention. They can’t handle the strain of being overloaded, and require regular lubrication to run smoothly. By following these simple tricks and tips, your home office paper shredder will be able to operate at peak efficiency.