Toner Spilled Inside My Copier. How Do I Clean It Out?

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Copy machines use toner cartridges, which contain large amounts of colored powder. Many people assume that copier cartridges are similar to inkjet and laser printer cartridges, but the copier powder is quite different. When someone installs or removes a toner cartridge, there is always a risk of powder leaking, which can result in a big mess. Toner can also spread if it spills in the machine and becomes airborne via a ceiling fan or if the waste compartment fills up and toner backs up in the machine.

How do I clean toner out of my copier or printer?

While spilled toner may seem like an overwhelming problem, it is something that you can take care of in-house without professional assistance. As long as you deal with the issue properly in a timely manner, there is minimal risk of the powder staining clothing, floors, or desks or damaging the machine.

If you find yourself facing a toner spill, locate the following items: plastic bag, spoon, paper mask, paper towels, disposable gloves, dry-cleaning solvent, and toner vacuum. Then take the following steps to get rid of the powder.

1) Before you enter the area with the mess, put on the gloves and face mask. Is there a window in the area that you can open? If so, open it to maximize ventilation.

2) Scoop up the toner powder with the spoon. Deposit it into the plastic bag. Make sure that the seal on the bag is secure. Label the bag accordingly. Check the disposal regulations in your region before you get rid of the toner. Some cities and states allow disposal in the regular garbage system while others have special rules for getting rid of chemicals.

3) Wet the paper towel without soaking it. Wipe down any solid surfaces that have loose toner power including tables and plastic chairs.

4) If any clothing or other fabric items were exposed to the toner, collect them. Hold each piece over a trash can and shake it a few times to release the powder. Do not brush off the powder, as this process can create a dust cloud. If there are any remaining bits, wash the items in cold water or take them to a dry cleaner.

5) Did the toner stain the carpet? Take a clean towel and apply the dry-cleaning solvent.

6) Take the toner vacuum to pick up any final powder particles remaining on the floor and other surfaces in close proximity to the spill. Do not use a regular vacuum cleaner, as it can upset the toner particles, causing an explosion or a fire.

7) Do you have a copy machine with a cleaning cycle? If so, run the cycle to remove any loose particles that spilled on the inside of the machine. If there are large amounts of spilled toner in the interior, it is best practice to call in a technician so that you do not break the machine or hurt yourself.

Who repairs copiers in Amarillo?

Amarillo copier company UCI has been assisting all types of businesses in the greater Amarillo area with their copier needs for the past two decades. Whether you are looking for a new machine or you simply need help with troubleshooting, UCI is here to help. UCI is known for our fast, efficient, and professional responses to every type of copier need. Contact us today to learn more about our offerings.


Photo Credit: Aaron Landry via Compfight cc