7 Steps to Cleaning the Laser Toner From Your Laser Printer

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

your printer.

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

laser toner.

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

-Wash cloth


-Cotton Swabs

-Isopropyl Alcohol (99 percent pure)

-Paint Brush (soft bristle, about a half-inch wide)

-Latex gloves (optional)

Compressed air:

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

hardware stores.

Cotton swabs:

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.

Isopropyl alcohol:

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

using toothbrushes.

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

steps below:

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

internal surfaces.

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


Happy Cleaning!

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