You are running late for a very important meeting and absolutely have to print the agenda for all twenty attendees. You click "Print" and rush off to the printer, only to find the pages messed up and the papers sticking together. Read on to learn what steps to take in order to prevent this.
Fan the Papers - or Don’t
There are two schools of thought regarding the practice of fanning out a ream of paper prior to inserting the pages into a printer. If you normally do not fan the papers and they are sticking together, try doing so to see if it helps. Hold the paper in one hand and use the other hand to fan the papers like you would the pages of a flipbook. This may help separate papers that are sticking together due to humidity or other factors
However, if you routinely fan the papers yet they are still sticking together, the act of fanning them could possibly be the culprit. When you fan the papers, especially if you are in an arid environment, it could actually generate static between the papers. Just as static can cause a sock to cling to a pair of slacks in the laundry, staticky papers will be prone to sticking together. Fanning the papers can also cause pieces to become crooked or stick out of the ream, which may bring about a paper jam.
Photo Credit: sxc.hu/LotusHead
Clean the Printer
The printer papers may be sticking together due to a buildup of ink on the printer's rollers, or small bits of paper and dust inside of the machine. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to properly and safely clean the printer. For help on cleaning a printer, read How to Clean your Home Office Laser Printer, Printer Combo Care, and Solving Common Printer Problems.
Along with cleaning the ink jets or print heads and rollers, remove all of the papers from the printer tray to make sure there is not a jam. Turn the printer off and unplug it, and then use canned air to see if any bits of paper, crumbs, dustbunnies or other potential offenders fall out. If you find small pieces of torn paper, use tweezers to pull them gently out, and always remove any torn paper in the direction of the rollers. Rotating the rollers in the wrong direction can cause the printer to stop working altogether.
Photo Credit: sxc.hu/sundeip arora
Store Paper Properly
How and where you store printer paper can keep it from sticking together, as well. Make sure that you keep printer paper in a cool, dry place. Humidity is one of the main reasons papers stick together in the printer (consider how sticky you feel on a particularly humid day!). This is especially true for smaller, less expensive printers, such as desktop models. If you live in a particularly humid environment and are experiencing printer paper sticking together, consider running a dehumidifier in the room where the printer and paper are stored.
Finally, make sure you use the best quality of printer paper that you can afford. Cheaper paper may be thin, flimsy and more likely to end up sticking together. Use the right paper size for your printer and print job, as well. If you are uncertain about different sizes of printer papers, read List of Different Printer Paper Sizes and Their Uses.