One of the most important home and office supplies today is printing cartridges. However, the toner cartridges are really expensive, and the cost can shoot up even further if you have to replace them frequently because of damages. Indeed, a faulty cartridge can even cause damages to your printer, making you incur additional costs. The good thing is that caring your toner cartridges is easy. Here are some useful tips to help you take care of your toner cartridge.
1. Handling Your Toner Cartridge before Installation
Prior to installing your toner cartridge, it is very important to inspect it well. The goal is to ensure that you use the right toner cartridge designed for your printer. Even if you had given the right specifications for the toner cartridge when placing your order, give it a final check because installing the wrong model might damage your printer.
When the toner cartridge was in the seller’s store and during shipment, the toner might have settled on one side. So, gently shake the toner cartridge so that the toner is distributed well on the reservoir before installation.
Another important thing is that you should be extra cautious with the gold contacts of the toner cartridge because they are very delicate and can easily get scratched. If you notice that these contacts have gathered dust, make sure to gently clean then first.
2. Taking Care of Your Toner Cartridge during installation
When installing your toner cartridge, the first thing is checking the instructions on the user manual. Notably, every printer is different, and installing a toner cartridge wrongly can easily damage the printer. If you have lost the printer manual or the printer never came with one, Mrdepot explains that you get another one from the manufacturer’s site.
For users who do not fancy following PDF manuals, it is also easy to get tutorial videos on installing the toner cartridges on the manufacturer’s website or YouTube.
When placing the toner cartridge into your printer, make sure to go it slow and be extra careful. Once you turn off the power button, wait for some moment to allow the printer to cool off before removing the old toner cartridge and replacing it with a new one.
3. Protecting Your Toner Cartridge in Storage
For people who do a lot of printing, the chances are that they buy several toner cartridges to avoid getting stuck in the middle of a printing job, especially when they cannot promptly acquire a replacement. So, how do you store these additional toner cartridges correctly?
The good thing about toner cartridges is that manufacturers give easy-to-follow instructions about their storage. The best way to store a toner cartridge is by leaving it in its airtight seals. If you break the seal, there is a risk of the toner getting exposed to dust that might finally affect the quality of your prints.
When storing the toner cartridge, it is important to keep them in a horizontal position. Unlike inkjets, which should be stored in upright positions, the toner cartridge should be stored horizontally. If you store them vertically, the toner shifts to one side and might stick to the walls.
4. Refilling Your Toner Cartridge
When your toner cartridge is finally over, you can opt to buy a new one or refill it. To extend the utility of the toner cartridge and cut the overall cost of printing with a huge margin, refilling the toner cartridge is a great option. Most toner cartridges can be refiled three or four times before disposal. So, how do you refill your toner cartridge correctly? Here are the two main methods that you can use:
- Full-service Method: This method is lengthy and involves disassembling the toner cartridge to access the toner reservoir. You need to be extra cautious to avoid breaking the delicate parts. To get high-quality prints, you should empty remnants of the old toner before pouring the new one into the reservoir.
- Quick Puncture Method: If you find the process of disassembling the toner cartridge though, you can also use the quick puncture method. The method involves making a small hole on the rear end of the cartridge where the reservoir is located. Then, you pour the toner into the reservoir and seal the hole tightly with a plug.
- Seek Help from an Expert: If you are not confident to refill the toner cartridge on your owner, consider working with a technician. Preferably, go for an expert who specializes in handling your type of printer.
5. Cleaning Your Toner Cartridge
Another important tip for caring for your toner cartridge is cleaning it. Although a simple process, it is very important for improving the performance and life of the toner cartridge. So, here are the steps to follow:
- Turn the laser printer about an hour before starting to clean it so that it can cool down.
- Put on a protective face mask and gloves to help protect your skin and nose from toner.
- Follow the printer manual to open the laser printer and expose the inner parts.
- Remove the detachable components, including toner cartridge and the drum unit. Make sure to avoid touching the surface of the drum because it can alter the charges of the system and affect the quality of printouts.
- Wipe the toner cartridge carefully using an activated toner cartridge cloth.
- Use a toner vacuum to clear any spilled toner in the printer. Ensure that the vacuum does not touch the sensitive parts of the printer, especially the golden contacts.
- Clean the corona wires using cotton swabs dipped in isopropyl alcohol. Note that the corona wires are very delicate, and you should avoid putting pressure on them.
- Using cotton swabs dipped in isopropyl alcohol, carefully wash the paper feed roller.
- Reinsert all the components in your printer correctly and print a test page.
If you have a laser printer, there is no doubt that your primary goal is getting high-quality prints all the time. However, this is only possible if you take care of the printer properly, and the five strategies we have listed above are all that you need to keep your toner cartridge in top condition and make it last longer.