A common occurrence when printing with thermal transfer and direct thermal printers is dirt and residue build-up on the printhead and plate rollers over time, along with adhesive from your labels.
Regular cleaning and maintenance stops the residue creating a permanent barrier between the printhead and substrate, which would inevitably cause reduced print quality and eventually printhead failure.
How often should printheads be cleaned?
Regardless of which method is used, you should clean the printhead each time you change 2 or 3 label rolls or ribbons. Regular cleaning ensures you continue to receive consistent print quality while also preserving the life of your printhead.