How to repair your Polaroid Pogo printer

Got my Polaroid Pogo instant pocket printer just Polaroid Pogo - Portable sticker factory!a couple of weeks ago. Thought it was a neat little gadget, not bigger than a camera and rechargeable. Cheap paper too and no ink needed. I surprised my friends with prints on the fly and realised that I now owned my own sticker factory. Then problems started: The prints started to get bright stripes and streaks from short end to short end, in strange repetative patterns.I googled this and many had reported the same problem.

Polaroid Pogo print with stripe problems

Very annoying stripes on all prints.

Tricks like cutting three layers of paper and force them trough for cleaning was one. I was hoping if I just run paper trough enough times, it would eventually clean it. I even glued a lens cleaning cloth to the standard blue paper that comes in the Pogo paper 10-pack. Still no effect, I tried cleaning the gate with spray-on contact cleaner. The result was only getting wet and almost breaking the unit by dissovling glue.

I called the store, Pixmania. They offered a quick return-and replacement. The drawback was I had to put all parts nicely back into the original box, print 5 documents, 2 of wich should be in a plastic folder on top of package and one inside then contact UPS bla bla. I decided to give a last try on repairing the printer myself instead. It was risky but then again the printer is cheap, about 45 EUR.

Polaroid Pogo repair: Remove print gate shield

Step 2. Remove the plastic printer gate to see the gearwheels

Polaroid Pogo repair gearwheels

Step 4. Clean the gearwheels after removing top shield

Removing the 5 screws and the two flat cables

Step 7. Gently remove the 5 screws and the two flat cables

If you are having the same problem: Try this:

1. Open paper door and remove paper.
2. Gently un-clip the plastic gate by bending the plastic a little with fingers or screwdrivers
3. Inspect the gears. Look for dirt, sand etc
4. If any, remove it with toothpick and try a new print
5. Still problem, remove the 2 screws on the upper metal shield with “Zink” logo” and lift up the shield. You can now see most of the gearwheels that need to be cleaned. Remove dirt with toothpick. Screwdriver could damage gears.
6. Still problem: Try printing while the shield is still off and watch the gears. Clean again.
7. Still no luck you can go all the way and disassemble the whole print compartment. Remove battery and cables, then lower shield with two screws, then remove 3 blank screws and 2 black ones. Gently remove the two flatcables by pulling the grey plastic lock on the sides. Pull out the compartment. Now you have better access to all gears. You can even use air-spray or vacuum cleaner. The only reason I can see this doesn’t fix the streaks is if some of the gearwheel’s tooths are broken.

I have to give Pixmania credit for great service and being one of very few vendors in Norway that offers the Pogo. I think their return-service is good but a little too complicated.

Ps. Be careful! I take no responsibility for damaged printers :)

Polaroid Pogo printer compartment finally removed for cleaning

Finally getting the printer compartment out, cleaning it with a toothpick

Before and after: Cleaning the Polaroid Pogo

Before and after cleaning

21 responses to “How to repair your Polaroid Pogo printer

  1. Hello there! So there may be hope for my pogo. i really like this thing a lot but can’t get the streaking to stop. Can you please explain further how you removed the plastic printer gate? I was afraid of forcing it too much and breaking the plastic. Where do you apply pressure? Or where do you pry it open from? Thanks so much!

    • Thanks for your comment. In the picture of step 2, look exactly in the middle of the image. That gray plastic “lip” holds a hook in the end of the plastic gate in the left of the picture. That must be bent a little with a flat screwdriver. Some experience with disassembly and re-assembly is recommended. Good luck.

  2. Thank you very much for such a useful article:) After spliting my printer into many parts I managed to gather all of them togeather without nothing left outside :)) and the stripes left my printed photos at last:)
    I wanted to ask you also about printing b/w photos. I see one in your first photo, though my b/w s are more likely to be Blue and White instead of Black and White:) Don’t you have that problem?

    • I’m very happy to see you managed to fix the problem. There might be a blue color cast when printing black and white. The printer is far from great when it comes to photographic quality. The best is not to expect perfect tones, but appriciate the high contrast and lo-fi look.

    • Hi and thanks for sharing your project. Anything that could promote the Pogo is good. What I personally would want from Pogo gear is extended battery and paper bag. Without it the printer must be re-inserted quite often. Pogo is a great ice-breaker. I wish you luck with your project :D

  3. Hey Retro,

    thanks for your guide. It helped…at first. When i opened the case the second time it went worse. The gearwheels are completely dust free but the rubber wheels are somewhat dusty, how do i clean them? Can use water dipped cotton sticks?

    Appreciate your help!
    cheers

    • Thanks for the comment! You can use the blue paper run trough it several times, or perhaps better, the humid cotton sticks. You need to be able to rotate the rollers some how so you get to clean them all around.

  4. my problem with the pogo is that it wont charge and when plugged in is not accepting photos. I have a permenant orange light. Can you help with my problem

      • Thankyou so much I have my pogo back. Took out battery and prints perfectly well from direct power. Trying now to see if battery charges as I now have a flashing orange light showing its charging again. Hope it works as I like taking it with me camping etc., But sooooo happy I can use it again. Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou. :)

  5. Hi. My pogo printer is having this streak problem and I’m trying to open the place where the “zink” logo is on. However, I can’t find the screw mentioned on the metal shield? In fact, I don’t see any screws at all? So how do I open that part of the printer?

  6. Thankyou for your advice so far. im having problems sending the image from camera to printer, the blue paper is going through, so assuming the printer is working but the camera is saying ‘connect to printer’. Any suggestions?

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