How to Clean Up Copier Toner Spills


Toner cartridges are used in copiers to produce large quantities of hard copies. Before installing toner, it must be shaken well to allow it to flow properly into the copier, and then its tab must be released. This shaking process also allows the toner to expand, which can cause it to shoot out as the tab is removed. When toner spills, black or colored soot is left on surfaces. Toner spills should be cleaned up promptly, as the fine dust particles may cause allergy and respiratory discomfort.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum
  • HEPA-filter-equipped vacuum (if necessary)
  • 2 cotton towels
  • Dry cloth
  • Washing machine
  • Determine the size of the spill. If the spill is no bigger than a half dollar, vacuum up the toner particles with a regular vacuum.

  • Call a copier technician to rent a HEPA-filter-equipped vacuum to clean up toner spills larger than a half dollar. Do not use a regular vacuum to clean up large spills, as the fine dust particles can damage the vacuum.

  • Wipe up the toner spill from inside the copier with a cotton towel. Failure to clean up the toner from the copier may cause damage to the copier.

  • Inspect your clothes to see whether any toner rubbed off on you. If toner is on your clothes, hit the stain with a cotton towel to release the dust particles from the garment. Wipe the remaining toner stain off with a dry cloth.

  • Wash the garment in a washing machine as you usually would.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use liquids to clean up copier toner spills, as the toner particles will become smeared and more difficult to remove.

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