How to Fix Ink Cartridge Leaks in a Printer


Whether you own an inexpensive personal inkjet printer or a high-priced color laser printer, you need to keep the unit clean and well maintained. If an ink cartridge or toner cartridge leaks inside the printer, it can contaminate the entire paper path, so it is important to look for dark spots, streaks and other telltale signs of trouble on a regular basis. If you suspect a leaking ink cartridge, you should take immediate steps to remove that cartridge and deal with any contamination inside the printer.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton swabs
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Soft cloth
  • Open the printer and carefully remove the leaking ink or toner cartridge. Discard the leaking cartridge.

  • Use a small vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool to suck up any spilled toner powder inside the printer, just under where the toner cartridge was. Use a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol or warm water to clean around the ink cartridge carrier in an inkjet printer. Continue cleaning the areas around the ink cartridge or toner until no more toner powder or ink residue remains.

  • Vacuum all accessible areas of the printer, using as small a crevice tool as you can find. Open all of the doors on the printer and clean all surfaces thoroughly, using first the vacuum and then a soft cloth and cotton swabs.

  • Run several printer cleaning sheets through the printer. These sheets have a sticky surface, and they are designed to grab toner powder, ink residue and other contaminants in the paper path. Continue running cleaning sheets through the printer until you do not see any ink residue on the sheets.

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