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How To Clean Up Printer Ink Toner After A Spill

2010-08-25

Sometimes, during the regular use of your printer, the printer ink cartridges will spring a leak or become broken and spill printer ink all over your workstation. If you have certain types of laser printers, you may find yourself with a toner clean up situation. Having high quality printer ink cartridges and toner cartridges can make these situations less likely, as will knowing how to properly install the cartridges for your particular brand of printer, fax machine or copier. But even the most careful installation and proper usage can result in a leak or spill. Knowing how to contain the ink or toner for a speedy clean up is crucial to both the life of your printer and the general cleanliness of your work area.

Dried ink can ruin the head of your printer. Time is the biggest element working against you when you experience an ink spill. The longer the spilled ink has to sit in one spot, the more damage and clean up you will have. The first thing you want is some absorbent material to soak up the excess ink. This can be paper, which is likely to be close at hand, or paper towels, which are more absorbent, but probably further away. Next you want to move everything you can away from the printer except the damaged printer ink cartridges. Using a hand vacuum will remove the bigger spots of ink without moving it around to damage more of your things. To remove ink that has set into fabric or carpet, treat the spot with WD-40 and water as hot as you can make it. Finally remove the printer ink cartridges with a paper towel to catch any further leaks and clean the print heads with rubbing alcohol.

A toner clean up has some of the same challenges as a printer ink spill except toner is a powder. You still want to contain the spill as quickly as possible. Toner is harmful if inhaled, so it is best to ventilate the area as best you can without spreading the powder. The first step in toner clean up is to lay down some paper -newspaper would be sufficient -to catch the extra toner that may spill out of the printer or cartridge as you move along. Next, use the smallest attachments for your vacuum to suck up the toner that you can get. Next, you remove all parts except the toner cartridges. Using compressed air, blow away the spilled toner from the removed components. Do the same for the toner cartridges still in your printer. Using q-tips dipped in rubbing alcohol, clean off all wheels and rollers in your printer.