If you have been keeping up with our blog, you have read about laser printers and gained a basic understanding of toner. But what do you do if you spill toner in your printer? Or even worse, spilled toner on your clothes or skin?
If toner spills into your laser printer or copier, a special type of vacuum cleaner with an electrically conductive hose and a HEPA filter is needed for safe and effective cleaning. These are called electrostatic discharge-safe (ESD-safe) or toner vacuums. Toner particles have electrostatic properties by design and can develop static-electric charges when they rub against other particles, or the interiors of transport systems and vacuum cleaner hoses. Because of this and the small particle size, toner should not be vacuumed with a conventional home vacuum cleaner. Static discharge from charged toner particles can ignite dust in the vacuum cleaner bag or create a small explosion if sufficient toner is airborne. This could possibly damage the vacuum cleaner or start a fire. In addition, toner particles are so fine that they are poorly filtered by regular household vacuum cleaners and can blow through the vacuum motor and into the room. At this point you would have taken what was a small spill and created a larger mess by spreading the toner particles across the entire room.
If you shook your toner, or spilled toner in your printer, there is a strong chance that some of it got onto your clothing. Unfused toner is easily removed from most clothing, as long as you are capable of cleaning it in a washing machine. Because toner is a wax or plastic powder with a low melting temperature, it must be kept as cool as possible until you are able to wash it. It is best to remove the article of clothing to avoid the transfer of toner onto other surfaces and your skin. The water temperature of the wash cycle must be set to cold only. Do not wash anything else with the affected garment. Using multiple wash cycles will improve your chance of success at removing the toner. For the first cycle, you may want to use dishwasher detergent. For the additional cycles you should use regular laundry detergent. Residual toner floating in the rinse water of the first cycle may remain and necessitate multiple wash cycles. If it was a large amount of toner spilled on the garment, you may want to remove it from the washing machine and run a second cycle to remove any excess toner from the washing machine basin. Avoid using the clothes dryer or an iron until all of the toner has been removed.
If you have toner on your clothing, you may have also gotten some of it on your skin. You are going to need to follow the same principles as removing it from your clothes, avoiding heat at all costs. Your first reaction is going to be to try and brush the toner off your skin, but you don’t want to do this. The act of brushing the loose toner off of your skin will result in friction, which can create heat, which could fuse the toner to your skin. Shake as much of the loose toner off as possible. Next you will want to use soap and cold water. Once again you are going to have to assure that you turn the water to cold.
If you have spilled ink instead of toner on your clothes, check out this article on How to remove the ink from your clothes.
By following these steps you should have the mess cleaned up without any permanent reminders of the spill. Now that you have accomplished that task, go ahead and order your next toner cartridge from Clickinks.com. With the purchase of our remanufactured toner cartridges, you can save yourself money and stop shaking that toner.