Office tip: 10 Things You Should Know About Printer Toner
Here are some important things you should know about printer toner cartridges…
- When your printed documents are getting lighter, you can remove the cartridge or cartridges and shake them to loosen up the remaining toner. This will often give you many more pages before replacement is necessary.
- Just because the replace toner light or message is on, this does not necessarily mean it is time to replace the toner. Wait until the print gets lighter than normal, then try #1 above.
- Clean your rollers and the area around the cartridge to keep printer performance strong. Use an alcohol wipe or similar agent to clean up in and around the cartridge.
- Open the cartridge roller cover (slide) and wipe off the inside roller. These often become coated with toner and may smear your documents. A dry paper towel will work well for this. Rotate the roller slowly by hand and wipe it all around.
- The cheapest cartridge is not going to work as well as the manufacturer replacement. There are some aftermarket replacements that work as well as the OEM. However it is trial and error here. Do not use refilled cartridges if you can economically avoid them, they do not last as long as new ones and often stop working while still containing a lot of toner. This is not “green”, however see #6.
- Recycle your cartridges where you can get credit for doing so. You can find retailers that will buy your used toner cartridges. Many manufacturers will take them back and pay the shipping to their location while also giving you credit towards new items. At the very least you should use a recycler and not trash the empties.
- Set your printer to the lightest level of print you can live with. This is an economy mode setting. It may print perfectly for your needs, and will save a lot of toner.
- If you use a laser printer with reset options, reset the memory occasionally to improve performance.
- Toner powder from cartridges is not harmful if you happen to breathe it in. Try to avoid doing this, but if you accidently inhale some toner powder you will not get cancer, but may get some minor irritation in your throat.
- If you use networked printers, you can input the IP addresses of the printers into your internet browser, and pull up a settings and information page for the printers. This will often let you troubleshoot problems, as well as check the supplies status for toner, without having to touch each machine.