Have you ever had a toner cartridge that start spilling its toner powder all over inside the printer and cause a big mess? You don't have to worry as cleaning can be easy and can be taken care of at home and only cost you a little. In this article, we are providing simple steps on how to clean up spilled toner powder safely without spending hundreds of dollars for a professional service.
What causes laser toner cartridges to leak?
If a toner cartridge is not properly installed and cracks while removing it from the machine, or quite old and you consistently refilling it the wrong way, It is most likely that toner powder can leak out causing a havoc and damages to the printer's components. If your printer starts spilling toner powder all over inside the printer, here's what you should do:
Do not use any regular vacuum cleaner. There are some substances in the toner that should not be inhaled! It only makes it airborne and you are likely to cause bigger issues than the toner dust itself by disturbing it with a vacuum. Some printer companies offer specially designed toner powder vacuums that includes a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter for cleaning up toner spills but they are usually not necessary.
Have the following things ready before you proceed:
Rubber gloves / non-surgical face mask
Compressed air sprayer
What to do when you encounter toner spills:
Step 1 - Put on protective gears such as rubber gloves and non-surgical face mask to avoid inhaling the powder and getting it into your hands.
Step 2 - Turn off the machine, disconnect all cables and unplug the power cord from the AC power outlet.
Step 3 - Open the front cover panel of the machine then pull the toner cartridge out with the paper towel underneath. If your printer uses a drum unit and the toner cartridges are assembled inside it, pull the whole drum unit completely out of the machine. Avoid tilting the cartridge unnecessarily as it will only worsen the spill. Put it aside and do not interfere with it.
Step 4 - Put down some clear plastic underneath the machine to prevent further scattering of spilled toner powder. Use the paper towel to remove large amounts of toner powder from the machine and put it in a trash bag. Avoid using any liquid solutions or even water as these can damage the printer's components and make the toner powder to stick.
Step 5 - Use compressed air, keeping it 4 inches away from the machine to remove the remaining powder. Do the same with toner cartridges. If you have a HEPA vacuum cleaner, then you're good to go.
Step 6 - Reinstall everything, reconnect all the cables, and turn on the machine.
The cleaning process is complete and you're ready to print. If you end up with toner powder in your hands, simply wash them with normal soap and tap water. For larger spills, it is obviously much more difficult to remove. Therefore, consider hiring a qualified service professional to do the job. They should take care in the clean up of your toner spill to protect your health as well as all those in your office.