Unlike printers that use liquid ink, copy machines use toner cartridges that contain a large amount of colored powder. If a toner cartridge cracks while you’re removing or installing it, the powder can leak out, causing a daunting mess. Fortunately, your business doesn’t need to hire a professional cleaning company to remove the spill. When wiped up quickly, the powder won’t have a chance to stain your clothes, floor or desk.
- Put on a paper face mask and disposable gloves before cleaning up the spilled toner. Open a window, if possible, to provide ventilation.
- Scoop up large quantities of toner powder with a spoon. Deposit the powder in a plastic bag. Seal the bag tightly and label it “Toner.” You can safely dispose of toner powder in the trash, but your city or state may have regulations for the disposal of chemicals. Check with the environmental services department for your area before placing toner in the garbage.
- Wet a paper towel with cool water. Wipe solid surfaces, such as the floor or your desk, with the towel to pick up loose toner powder.
- Take soiled clothing or other fabric materials outside. Hold the garment over a trash can, then shake the item several times to knock off loose powder. If any toner remains, launder the garment with cold water in the washing machine. Don’t use warm or hot water, as it will cause the stain to set.
- Moisten a clean towel with dry-cleaning solvent. Dab stained carpets with the damp towel. The dry-cleaning solvent will attract stray toner particles, removing them from the carpet.
- Pick up remaining powder particles on the floor or other surface with a toner vacuum cleaner. This type of vacuum is designed specifically to clean up toner spills.
- Run the copier’s cleaning cycle, if the machine has this feature, to remove loose particles that may have spilled inside. If a large amount of powder spilled inside the copier, request cleaning from a copier-repair technician. If you try to clean inside the copier yourself, you may get injured or damage the machine.