Friday, December 15, 2006

Cleaning Laser Toners & Laser Printer

By: Bobby Hudson

Using laser printers has multiple advantages. You must have invested quite an
amount in buying a top-rated laser toner printer. You will obviously want the
best performance from it throughout the year. In this case, you will also want
to know how to do a basic cleaning of the laser toner and your printer. This can
be a particularly risky task as exposure to large amounts of laser toner
particles can cause serious irritations to the respiratory tract. Also, the
laser toner is a black powder, which can dirty the room and your skin
considerably. However, you need to be sure that cleaning your laser printer
yourself will not void the printer's warranty (ask your vendor or a qualified
person).

Listed below are some of the basic steps to clean the laser toner from your
laser printer:
  1. Most importantly, unplug the power cable before starting your work.
  2. Switch off the laser printer at least an hour before cleaning. The
    fuser-roller section gets heated up during the printing process and can burn
    you if you accidentally touch it.
  3. Switch off the fans and air-conditioners before cleaning as the fine laser
    toner particles takes more than a quarter of an hour to settle once airborne.
    This will also prevent you from inhaling the laser toner particles.
  4. Arrange for the tools required for the task - vacuum cleaner, cloth to
    wash, cotton balls, soft paint brush, mask, compressed can of air - available
    at office supply stores or departmental stores, Isopropyl (do not use regular
    alcohol; you can use any chemical that is used to clean heads of cassette
    tapes or VCDs or tape drives), latex gloves (to keep your hands clean, but
    this is optional).
  5. Put on the mask and gloves and then open the printer.
  6. Remove the laser toner bottle or laser toner printer cartridge gently.
  7. Wipe the laser toner cartridge with the washcloth and then place it aside.
  8. Clean the spilled laser toner from inside the printer with the vacuum
    cleaner. Try not to touch the surface inside the printer with the nozzle. Do
    not use the washcloth to clean the inside of the printer.
  9. Gently remove all traces of laser toner with the paintbrush.
  10. Avoid brushing and vacuuming the exposed fine wires (corona wires) as
    repairing them can be an expensive affair. Gently clean the wires (under as
    well as the top) with cotton swabs dipped in isopropyl.
  11. Replace the toner cartridge, close and reconnect the printer.
  12. Do not switch on the fans and air-conditioners immediately after cleaning.
    Leave the toner to settle and then slowly open the windows and vacuum the
    remaining laser toner from the table, floor and the like. Wash your hands with
    soap and cold water.

About the Author:
Bobby Hudson writes articles for guide sites like laser-toner-guide.com,ink-cartridge-guide.com and flash-memory-guide.biz, related to the imaging and information supplies industry.

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