A shredder is a pretty important fixture in any office environment. Primarily, they’re essential for security purposes– they’re the best way to dispose of confidential documents, or any document that contains identifying information that you don’t want the wrong person to get ahold of.

Depending on what type of shredder you have, you might be able to dispose of much more than just paper, too. With the right shredder model, you may be able to destroy credit cards, fabric, CDs, and even metal! 

But a shredder that hasn’t been properly cared for or maintained can become pretty useless. In order to keep your shredder functional, it’s imperative to understand the right maintenance techniques– and then follow them!

Keep it clean

Although it seems obvious, this simple step can fall by the wayside during the course of a busy workday. Blades that haven’t been cleaned will work much less efficiently!

Sometimes you can just run the shredder in reverse to remove residue from the papers and other items you’ve been shredding. You should aim to run the shredder in reverse on a regular basis to keep things running smoothly.

In addition to running the shredder in reverse, you can also clean the blades a few different ways– for example, you can remove the lid of your shredder and pour rubbing alcohol (mixed with a little dish soap, if you’d like) onto a cloth or towel. 

Use the cloth to very gently wipe the blades down, while being extremely careful not to touch the blades yourself– they’re very sharp!

Oil the blades

One of the most important things you can do to give your shredder a long, healthy life is to regularly oil the blades.

However, you should be extra careful to choose the correct type of oil– using oils that are specially made for shredders is necessary to avoid gummy residue. For example, using WD-40 on a shredder isn’t a good idea, and will eventually jam up the machine. 

Using Google to search which type of oil works best for a shredder might lead you astray, too. Some sites recommend canola or baby oil as alternatives to shredder lubricant, but canola, vegetable, or baby oil will also eventually jam up your shredder.

Finding a product that’s specifically labeled “paper shredder oil” will be your best bet!

Make it a habit

You should clean and lubricate your shredder regularly, but the frequency really depends on how often you use your shredder, and how much. 

If you only use your shredder every so often, you can probably get away with only oiling it when the bin fills up. But if you find yourself using the shredder on a daily basis, you should lubricate it much more frequently.

Use your best judgment when determining how often to lubricate your shredder. Setting a recurring reminder on your preferred calendar app can be a very helpful way to help you remember.

Choose the right shredder for your needs

Proper maintenance will get you pretty far, but making the correct equipment choice will ensure that your company’s shredder enjoys a long, efficient life. 

At Central Business Equipment, we’re here to help you choose a shredder that’s perfectly suited to your office’s needs. To get started, give us a call today!