Barcode Scanner Maintenance – How to Improve The Lifespan of Your Device

Barcode scanners, and mobile computers, are popular devices used across various industries. Their most common uses are for inventory management and reading information. Like any piece of tech equipment, they will wear out over time. Ideally, you’ll want to schedule regular cleanings and barcode scanner maintenance to prevent malfunctions. 

We understand, however, that things don’t always go according to plan and it’s easy to let device maintenance fall to the wayside. If you start to notice a mobile computer barcode scanner is slowing down, mis-reading information, or not turning on at all, you’ll need to properly clean and service the device immediately before the damages become irreversible. There’s also the issue of knowing how to properly service the device without causing more damage. To help you out, our experienced technicians have put together five tips on how to properly clean and service your barcode scanners.

1) Invest in High-Quality Devices

One way to help alleviate barcode scanner maintenance issues and expenses are to purchase high-quality devices. Although it may cost more upfront, the reduced amount of maintenance issues will end up saving you time and money in the long run. We recommend Datalogic, Honeywell, or Zebra barcode scanners and mobile computers. We’ve found those manufacturers to be trustworthy, delivering high-quality products and providing good customer service. We still recommend, however, that you do your own research to make sure that you choose a scanner that best fits your business needs.

We also want to note that you don’t have to commit to just one manufacturer. Many companies feel pigeon-holed into purchasing all their tech equipment from the same source due to bulk deals or servicing contracts. If purchasing from the same manufacturer doesn’t make sense for your company, don’t feel pressured to make that decision. 

At TSI, we service all types of tech equipment including barcode scanners from a variety of different manufacturers. We’ve also spent years perfecting our process so that you’re able to get all your devices repaired quickly and effectively with someone on standby at all times to answer your questions and provide assistance.

2) Store Your Barcode Scanners in Proper Conditions

The way in which you store your devices when you’re not using them can help to extend their lifespan if done correctly. You’ll want to avoid direct sunlight and extreme temperatures as both can be major contributing factors to barcode scanner malfunctions. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re storing them in a dry location. Although you may not be able to feel the moisture in the air, that doesn’t mean it’s not present and can create condensation on and in your device that could cause issues. 

If you’re worried that your device may have water damage, we recommend that you remove any visible liquid from the device using a microfiber towel and set the device out to dry overnight. In the morning, once your device is fully dried, turn it on and test the scanner to see if it’s working properly. If the device won’t turn on or is experiencing issues, we recommend sending it to a repair center for maintenance.

Senior warehouse woman worker using a mobile handheld PC with barcode scanner.

3) Handle Your Barcode Scanners With Care

This tip may seem pretty obvious, but we’ve found that “handle with care” is often interpreted differently by different individuals. We recommend that you include a section in your company handbook titled “device care instructions” to ensure that all employees understand how to properly handle your tech devices. 

The most common handling issues we’ve noticed when it comes to barcode scanners specifically are dropping the device, water damage, debris buildup, or use of faulty batteries. If you feel that your scanner is malfunctioning due to any of the issues listed above, make sure to service the device or send it to a device repair center immediately.

4) Clean & Service Your Devices Regularly

This is one of the most important parts of barcode scanner maintenance. We recommend establishing a regular cleaning and service schedule to prevent device malfunctions. Even if you properly store your barcode scanners, they’re still susceptible to dust and debris buildup. Daily cleaning will help avoid this buildup that could result in a sticky trigger or other issues with the inner workings of your device. 

Daily Cleaning for Barcode Scanners:

  • Dampen a soft cloth or tissue with an approved cleaning solution (view a list of all approved cleaning solutions here).
  • Gently wipe all surfaces including the front, back, sides, and bottom of the device.
  • NEVER apply liquid directly to the scanner. Also, make sure liquid doesn’t collect. Common places liquid tends to pool on scanners are the window, trigger, and cable connector.
  • Be sure to clean the trigger. If you need to, you can use a Q-tip or other cotton-tipped applicator to clean crevices and other tight spots.

You’ll also want to make sure to deep clean your scanner at least once a month (deep cleaning instructions can be found here). If you don’t feel comfortable doing a deep clean yourself due to the risk of liquid damage, you can send your barcode scanners to a device cleaning center that will properly deep clean the devices for you.

Hands with gloves cleaning a mobile computer with disinfectant.

5) Send Your Barcode Scanners to a Professional Repair Center

We completely understand the “do-it-yourself” mentality, but sometimes it’s easier to just leave it to the professionals. You may end up spending more time and money trying to diagnose and fix a device yourself than you would have if you simply sent it off to be repaired. At TSI, we will assess your situation and give you a fair quote for however many devices you need to be repaired. We don’t place any restrictions around a device’s make or model, we group them all together into a comprehensive service program.

We also make sure to provide complete transparency throughout the entire repair process so that you’re not left in the dark – not knowing if or when your device will be functional again. We have a customer service team that is available 24/7 to answer your questions and provide regular updates on your devices. Our goal is to make the repair process as simple and stress-free as possible so that you can have your devices back up and running right away.


Proper training for employees handling barcode scanners can significantly extend the lifespan of these devices. Make sure all team members are trained on the correct usage, cleaning procedures, and troubleshooting steps. Regularly scheduled training sessions and refresher courses can help keep everyone updated on best practices.


Keeping an eye on the performance of your barcode scanners can help you catch issues early before they turn into major problems. Implement a system where employees can report any irregularities with the devices promptly. Regular performance checks and diagnostics can help identify potential issues that might not be visible to the naked eye.


Investing in protective accessories like cases, screen protectors, and wrist straps can help reduce the wear and tear on your barcode scanners. These accessories provide an extra layer of protection against drops, spills, and other accidents. While they might add a bit to your initial costs, they can save you money in the long run by extending the lifespan of your devices.


A maintenance tracking system can help you keep track of all your barcode scanner maintenance activities. This system should log each device’s cleaning, servicing, and repair history. It can also provide reminders for scheduled maintenance and help ensure that no device is overlooked.


Proper barcode scanner maintenance is crucial for keeping your devices running efficiently and minimizing downtime. By investing in high-quality equipment, storing your devices properly, handling them with care, and maintaining a regular cleaning and servicing schedule, you can extend the lifespan of your barcode scanners. Ensuring proper training, monitoring performance, using protective accessories, and considering a service agreement are additional steps to safeguard your investment.

Don’t let device issues slow down your operations. Trust the experts at TSI to handle your barcode scanner maintenance and repairs. With our comprehensive service program, you can ensure your devices are always in top condition. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help keep your business running smoothly.

Barcode Scanner Maintenance FAQS

Q: Why Should I Invest In High-Quality Barcode Scanners?

A: Investing in high-quality barcode scanners can help to reduce maintenance issues and expenses in the long run. Quality manufacturers like Datalogic, Honeywell, and Zebra offer reliable products and good customer service.

Q: What Is The Best Way To Store Barcode Scanners?

A: Barcode scanners should be stored in a dry location away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures, as both can cause malfunctions. If there is visible liquid on the device, it should be removed and allowed to dry before testing.

Q: How Can I Ensure My Employees Handle Barcode Scanners Properly?

A: It is important to include a section in your company handbook titled “device care instructions” to ensure all employees understand how to properly handle tech devices. Common issues include dropping the device, water damage, debris buildup, and use of faulty batteries.

Q: How Often Should I Clean And Service My Barcode Scanners?

A: Establishing a regular cleaning and service schedule for barcode scanners is recommended to prevent malfunctions. Daily cleaning will help avoid dust and debris buildup, while deep cleaning should be done at least once a month.

Q: Should I Send My Barcode Scanners To A Professional Repair Center?

A: If you are uncomfortable with diagnosing and repairing your barcode scanner, sending it to a professional repair center like TSI is recommended. They offer transparent and stress-free repair services for devices from all manufacturers.

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