Despite the complex technology used to print documents and images, laser printers are surprisingly easy to clean – provided you have the right tools. Unlike their inkjet cousins, laser printers don’t use liquid ink in the print process, so cleaning them isn't such a messy business. In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide to cleaning a laser printer, as well as a list of the tools required to do so safely.
What you’ll need
Due to the complex electro-static technology laser printers use to apply toner to a page, there are several specialist tools required to clean a laser machine. Below, we’ve highlighted the different tools you’ll need, and briefly outlined why each is required:
•Toner Cloth: Toner cloth is a disposable cloth that attracts and traps toner particles. Unlike standard cloth, toner cloth must be activated to make it efficient at trapping and collecting excess toner. To activate toner cloth, gently stretch the sides.
•Toner Vacuum: Unlike standard vacuum cleaners, toner vacuums are powerful enough to trap incredibly fine toner particles. Although expensive, toner vacuums are essential to attaining a clean and functional laser printer.
•Mask: Although there’s no evidence to suggest toner particles can cause any permanent damage to your lungs, it can cause irritation. To combat this, wear a mask and ventilate the room thoroughly when cleaning your laser printer.
•Isopropyl Alcohol: To clean the intricate components within a laser printer requires sensitive chemicals. Using 99% pure isopropyl alcohol will ensure no residue is left behind after cleaning.
•Latex Gloves: Although toner will not stain your hands, it can cause skin irritation; wear gloves to prevent this.
How to Clean Your Laser Printer
Once you’ve purchased the above tools and equipment, it’s time to open the bowels of your laser printer and get to work. If you’re unsure of any of the steps below, or if you feel uncomfortable cleaning the laser printer yourself, contact an experienced technician who will be able to complete the work on your behalf.
To begin, switch your printer off at the mains and wait an hour before you start cleaning; this will give the printer time to cool. Then, open the machine and carefully remove the toner cartridge and bottle. Using a toner cloth, wipe any excess toner from the components, before setting the cartridge and bottle aside on a separate toner cloth.
Next, use the toner vacuum to remove any spilled toner from inside your laser printer. When doing so, try not to let the nozzle of the vacuum come into contact with any of the printer’s internal parts, as this could cause damage.
Inside the printer, you’ll notice a series of intricate wires. These are known as corona wires, and can be costly to replace should you damage them with the toner vacuum. To clean them effectively, moisten a cotton swab with isopropyl alcohol and gently wipe them without applying any pressure.
When you’re happy you’ve removed any excess toner from inside the machine, reinsert the toner cartridge and bottle, switch the printer on and run any realignment tests recommended by the manufacturer.
To improve the efficiency of your printer and ensure it’s working at its best, Printhead have a range of high quality toner cartridges that are compatible with a selection of laser printers. To find a compatible toner cartridge for your machine, use the search function above or give us a call on 0845 5195405 and we’ll be happy to help.