Cleaning the Internal Glass of an Epson Scanner


The glass on flatbed scanners should be as clean as you can get it if you want crisp sharp scans of your film or prints, but sometimes dust or haze can get on the internal surface of the scanner glass. For my Epson V500, cleaning it was really easy and well worth doing.

Credits: simonh82

Ever since I bought my Epson V500 I noticed a large speck of dust about 1 cm long on the internal glass of the scanner. How it got there, I don’t know and if I could have been bothered, I would have sent it back to be cleaned or replaced by Epson but it never seemed worth the trouble. The more I scanned, though, the more it bugged me. It would show up in every third frame of medium format film that I scanned and depending on the type of photos and how Lomo I was feeling, I would either leave it in or occasionally Photoshop it out.

Photos with the dust speck on the righthand side

You can also get a problem with scanners called “outgassing”. This is when fumes are released from the plastic parts over time. This can lead to a fine haze building up on the underside of your glass. The easiest way to check for this is to switch the scanner on with the lid half open. The light from the transparency unit will show up the haze quite clearly. You probably won’t notice a dramatic difference, but the effect can build up over time and soften your scans. My scanner also had this problem.

One day I decided I had had enough and found some basic instructions online for cleaning the glass. This is how I did it.

First things first, you will need the following basic tools for the job:

  • A Phillips (cross head) screwdriver
  • Some glass cleaning solution
  • Some newspaper and possibly a lint-free lens cloth
Credits: simonh82

Step 1. First, unplug the power supply and USB cable from the back of the scanner. Before you move the scanner engage the two safety locks, one on the back of the scanner and one in the lid of the scanner to stop the scan heads from moving.

Engage the locks

Step 2. Place your scanner on a space where you have some room to work; I used my bed. Wherever you do it, try to make sure it isn’t too dusty as you don’t want to introduce more dust to your scanner. Unplug the cable that joins the scanner lid to the base of the scanner, now that the lid is disconnected it can be taken off and set to one side.

Remove the scanner lid

Step 3. Gently turn the base of the scanner over and rest it glass side down. Make sure you don’t put it on anything that will scratch the glass. There are two screws at the front of the scanner on the underside of the buttons, undo these first. Carefully turn the scanner back over holding the glass section onto the base. Then look in the two recesses at the back of the scanner which held the hinge from the scanner lid. There are two more screws which you can unscrew. Don’t worry if you can’t get them out of the recess, don’t turn it over again or shake it, they will lift off with the glass

Undo the highlighted screws

Step 4. Once the screws are undone, gently lift off the glass. Clean the underside of the glass with an appropriate cleaner. I used some window cleaner and newspaper (like my mum taught me), you can finish off with a lint-free lens cloth.

Credits: simonh82

Step 5. You can also use this as an opportunity to give the inside of your scanner a quick blast with some compressed gas or a lens blower to remove any dust that may have got in there. Don’t touch anything inside your scanner with anything other than air.

Credits: simonh82

Step 6. Once this is done, give the glass a quick check over to make sure you don’t have any dust or fingerprints on it and replace the glass. Put the screws back in and reconnect everything. Then enjoy scanning with your lovely clean scanner.

Credits: simonh82


Whilst this is a really easy thing to do, opening up any piece of electrical equipment whilst it is still within the manufacturer’s warranty period can invalidate the warranty. As far as I can see you won’t be breaking any special seals or opening special screws which might give the game away, but consider this before you crack out the screwdriver.

This is a tutorial submitted by Community Member simonh82

written by simonh82 on 2012-01-10 #gear #tutorials #dust #scanning #tipster #epson #v500 #glass-cleaning


  1. lolfox
    lolfox ·

    useful article, although I wouldn't recommend newspaper to clean the glass... a soft cloth is much more reliable to avoid any minute scratching.... also be very careful of the cleaner you choose... anything with alcohol is very ill advised as it can fog the glass... ideally you should use a proper screen cleaner, although that is very expensive.

  2. simonh82
    simonh82 ·

    Thanks @lolfox I've not had any problems with the cleaner, I think the one I used is largely vinegar based. The glass is a lot cleaner since I did it and I got rid of that pesky speck of dust. I let the glass dry completely for a few minutes whilst I cleaned the scan head so hopefully any fumes had dispersed.

    As for the newspaper, I found it was actually better than a soft cloth, at least in terms of leaving the glass streak free. The first time I did it I used a soft cloth and the glass was clean, but there were still a few faint streaks. This time when I did it for the tipster, the newspaper gave a better result. I hope I won't have to do it again.

  3. eljanito
    eljanito ·

    Nice article, thanks! Still gathering some courage to mess with my scanner's guts, though.

  4. asharnanae
    asharnanae ·

    Did this to my scanner before xmas too, so worth the time and effort.

  5. danbarry
    danbarry ·

    Great tipster. I'm geting little white flex too. Will give this a whirl once i get the time.

  6. marcustegtmeier
    marcustegtmeier ·

    Great tip!

  7. luisfernandes
    luisfernandes ·

    MAN!!!! PIGGIES FOR YOU! Really. My glass was all stainy... from what looked like water stains... humidity perhaps? Anyways... Just 4 screws and glass cleaner made it. Now it's crystal clear! Thanks!

  8. tristandotphoto
    tristandotphoto ·

    Can't believe I've never done this before now. Thanks!

  9. thomblairiii
    thomblairiii ·

    Hi! Thank you very much for these directions. The one thing I would suggest is that blowing into any kind of printer or scanner with compressed air or anything else risks blowing dust onto sensitive areas, such as the scanner's optical lenses where you cannot see the dust and cannot easily reach to clean it.

    I worked for a computer repair company and they learned this the hard way when trying to clean excess dust & toner out of a printer: they were using compressed air to blow the dust & toner out of the inside, and a lot of the dust did get blown out, but a large amount of it was blown deep into every tiny nook and cranny inside the printer. Most places inside the printer were not effected, but unbeknownst to the person cleaning the very expensive printer, there was an optical sensor hidden deep inside the printer whose job it was to sense if a piece of paper had cleared the paper path or not--if the eye could not see anything, the printer assumed there was a piece of paper blocking it's vision. If the eye stayed obstructed, the printer assumed there was a paper jam, displayed an "Paper Jam" error code and refused to work again until the paper jam was cleared. Removing a piece of paper would have been easy, but since the obstruction was dust on the eye, the tech had to COMPLETELY disassemble the entire printer (without disassembly instructions), clean the eye, then reassemble the whole machine (again without instructions!) It took the experienced printer repair tech over a full day of work to clean up that whole mess.

    This experience was so disastrous that even the manager decided to give up using the air compressor to clean printers and instead spend a large amount of money to buy a professional toner vacuum, which is what professional printer/copier repair techs use.

    I left the company before they ever got a vacuum, so I don't know any of the instructions for safely vacuuming around printer heads, optical sensors or optical scanners, but I do know that blowing does have a very serious risk. Vacuuming might be a lot safer.

  10. essgeephoto
    essgeephoto ·

    A terrific tutorial - worked perfectly - thank you!

  11. charrysalce
    charrysalce ·

    I tried cleaning the bottom and upper glass of my epson v600. After assembling it, i tried to scan some negatives and the red light keeps on blinking after plugging in into my laptop and even keeps on blinking when i unplugged. I reinstalled the software but still same problem. I'm worried if i had touched some fragile wires and things in the scanner that causes this problem. I'll be glad if someone can help.

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