|Cleaning a laser printer, fax, or copier of laser toner can|
be easy, provided you know what you're doing and use the
right tools. This article will share with you some simple
tips to help you clean your laser printers of laser toner
like a pro.
A word to the wise: Before I begin, I'd like to stress that
this article is intended only to assist you with basic
cleaning of the laser toner from your laser printer. If
you're unsure of your ability to perform any sort of printer
maintenance, or if performing such maintenance will void the
printer's warranty, you should contact a qualified service
Some safety issues: Though laser printers come in various
shapes and sizes, they all use laser toner (that messy black
powder). While cleaning your laser printer, the last thing
you want is to have laser toner in your lungs or on your
skin. The tips provided in this article should help reduce
the chance of you being bathed in laser toner while cleaning
Laser toner particles are so fine that they
can take more than fifteen minutes to settle if they become
airborne, make that hours if you have fans or air-
conditioners circulating them through an office. To avoid
inhaling laser toner particles, try to keep the air in the
cleaning area stable and leave the printer area for several
minutes after cleaning. When you return, move slowly, open
all windows, and begin vacuuming any laser toner from the
floor, tabletops, and so forth.
Another dangerous area common to all laser printers is the
fuser-roller compartment. The fuser roller gets extremely
hot during the printing process and is usually covered for
safety. Burns can occur, however, if you accidentally
uncover and touch the roller. I recommend that you leave
your printer off for at least one hour before cleaning it of
As with all electrical equipment, make sure that the power
cable is unplugged before you begin any work.
Here are the basic tools you need to clean the laser toner
from the laser printer:
-Compressed can of air
-Isopropyl Alcohol (99 percent pure)
-Paint Brush (soft bristle, about a half-inch wide)
-Latex gloves (optional)
You can buy this in any department store or
office supply store. Ranges in price from $3.00 to $10.00
per 10 oz. bottle. Use adequate ventilation please.
You'll want to prevent laser toner particles from
entering your throat and lungs. While laser toner inhalation
has not been proven to cause serious health problems,
respiratory tract irritation can occur with exposure to
large amounts of laser toner dust. Laser toner can also
contain potentially hazardous compounds, such as styrene,
ethyl benzene, and xylene isomers. Use a mask that filters
both odors and fine particles, such as the ones used for
painting and sanding. You can usually find these at local
You can use the regular cotton swabs found in your local
drugstore or those made especially for cleaning printers.
The printer swabs come with six-inch-long sticks.
Do not use regular rubbing alcohol. Either use chemicals
that are specifically designed to clean the heads of VCRs,
cassette tapes, tape drives, and the like or use 99 percent
pure isopropyl alcohol, which evaporates without leaving any
Paint brush (soft bristle, about a half-inch wide):
This is used to brush out toner from tight crevices. Since
bristles may fall out during the cleaning process, pull out
any loose ones before you use the brush. I don't recommend
Latex gloves (optional):
These must fit tightly on your hands since you want to
maintain skin sensitivity. Drugstores usually sell them in
boxes of 100. This is to keep your hands clean but if you
don't have them you can just wash up with soap and water
Okay, let's begin cleaning that laser printer of the laser
toner. Now that you have the tools, it's time to unplug the
laser printer, let it sit for one hour, and then follow the
1. Put on your mask and latex gloves if you have them.
2. Open the printer and gently remove the laser toner
cartridge or laser toner bottle.
3. Use your wash cloth and wipe the laser toner cartridge.
Place the laser toner cartridge aside.
4. Use your vacuum to remove spilled laser toner from within
the printer's internal compartment. Try to prevent the
vacuum's nozzle from actually touching any of the printer's
5. Use your paintbrush to remove laser toner from any
crevices. Use gentle motions and vacuum as necessary.
6. Many laser printers use very fine wires (called 'corona
wires') that are often exposed. If your printer has such
wires, take care to avoid vacuuming or brushing them.
Breaking a corona wire can be a costly mistake. Dip a cotton
swab into isopropyl alcohol and gently run it along the
length of the wire. Also be sure to clean the underside of
the wires. Never apply pressure.
7.Reinsert the laser toner cartridge, close the printer,
reconnect the power cord, and you are done.
Avoid using the wash cloth inside the printer. Though you
can use the wash cloth to clean the inside, I do not
recommend it. There are many sharp points that can tear the
cloth's fiber and leave loose strands inside the printer.
OEM vs. Remanufactured Laser Toner Cartridges Although many
people buy OEM Name Brand laser toner cartridges, little do
they know, they really are remanufactured! Can you believe
it? Seriously folks, why spend many more dollars on OEM's
when you can get THE SAME quality laser toner cartridges for
half or less than half the price? When you buy an OEM laser
toner cartridge, just look at the box! It says "Made of new
and recycled materials". The OEM companies want you to send
your laser toner cartridge back to them , so they can
remanufacture it , and sell it back to you as new! Buying
remanufactured laser toner cartridges saves the environment.
Millions of laser toner cartridges get dumped in landfills
every year. So, please, save the environment,and save your
About the Author
Rafael Nunez is responsible for all product quality at Alchemy Toners, Inc.
Find out how to get money for your empty laser toner cartridges while saving money and the environment by visiting: http://www.alchemytoners.com
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