Don' t Cry Over Spilt Toner!

Feb 27 19:38 2007 Bill Tucker Print This Article

Have you ever had a toner spill?  This article will give you some ways to clean up and prevent toner spills.

Toner Spills,Guest Posting Clean Up and Prevention  

Nothing is more aggravating then pulling the tab off of a toner cartridge and having it spill everywhere!  In this article, you will learn what to do after a toner spill and what not to do.  Also, we talk about prevention.  This is really the object of the lesson.  Preventing toner spills. 

Using the Chicopee Stretch and Dust Towel

These amazing yellow towels have a multitude of uses and can be used over and over again.  Just stretch it and wipe up the toner spill.  Use it to clean dust off of your copier, fax machine or printer, even your computer screen. Note: I am not trying to sell these towels, they just work so well! You can use a regular cotton towel if you would like.


When a business buys a piece of equipment it is an investment.  This investment should be cared for and maintained and it will give you many years of trouble-free use.  In addition to having a qualified technician perform preventative maintenance on your equipment, I believe that the customer can play a key role in helping a machine run smooth and have a more trouble-free existence.  Keeping your equipment clean on the outside and the inside can go a long way in doing this. 

Big Spills

Big spills may require that you call your service repair person.  Some people try to vacuum the spill up but I warn against this.  This is because of the small particle size of the toner.  This will just blow through a standard vacuum bag and really cause a mess.  A good technician carries a 3m vacuum designed for the small powder and traps it in the filter.

Toner Spills

Toner on the cover

If you spill a small amount of toner on your cover and you think it’s a bit much for your Towel then I would do this.  Get a piece of paper and use it like a dust pan.  Use a small brush and you can just sweep it on to the paper and fold it up and throw it away in a trash can with a good liner.  Afterward clean the rest with your towel.

Clean up the spill with a good towel

Toner on your clothes

If you get some toner on your clothes, don’t panic!  DO NOT use any type of liquid to try and wipe it off.  This will only make it smear and ruin your clothes.  First, get your towel and hit the stain like you used to hit people with your towel at camp.  Wipe the rest with a clean dry cloth and when you get home, throw it in the washer.  The stain will come out.

On the Carpet

If you get a small amount on the carpet go ahead and use your standard vacuum cleaner.  This small amount won’t hurt anything. 

Inside your Machine

Use your towel to clean the paper path inside of your machine.  Be careful not to break a sensor lever.  You should use a flashlight to see if there are any that stick up.  If you break one of these then you will need to call a repair person.  Cleaning the inside is a good preventative measure.  In a laser printer, paper dust and contaminates will get caught up inside the toner cartridge and lesson the life of the drum blade.  This causes streaks and other problems.


Opening Toner

This is when a lot of spills occur.  The manufacturers of all toners recommend that you shake it well before installation.  (I am not saying not to shake it.  In fact if you don’t shake it on some models it is possible that you might break the augers inside of the cartridge.)  This loosens up the toner so that it flows well into your machine, but it also causes the toner to expand.  When you release the tab (Only on some models) the toner will shoot out.  Next time try to hold the cartridge over the trash can with a good liner.  Then if any shoots out it will be in the trash can. 

Remove toner with a towel underneath.

Another spill I see a lot of is toner spilt on the front cover of copiers and other office equipment.  What I recommend is putting your towel down on your cover where the spill occurs.  This is likely right under the area that the toner slides in.  Then, after you’re done, take the towel away and it’s nice and clean.  Something about toner, if you leave it on covers and don’t clean it, it then gets embedded in the cover because of the heat of the machine. The toner actually fuses to the cover and you can’t get it off.


 Just taking a little preventative action can really keep your machine looking and running like new.

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About Article Author

Bill Tucker
Bill Tucker

Bill Tucker has been in the office equipment and supply industry for over 20 years and has several published industry related articles that help the end-user as well as the technician.  

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