Although this particular technology was first brought to life in 1986 and marketed in 1991, it is still uncommon for residential uses. Yet, this technology generates up to 90% less waste than their laser counterparts, in addition to being much more economical. That is due to fact that solid ink printers do not use bulky cartridges, fusers, or imaging units. Resulting in a significant decrease of the elements that eventually need to be changed. Furthermore, they are quite practical, as they do not leak, do not stain, and are made from a non-toxic, resin-based polymer.

The following video shows the beginnings of solid ink at Xerox as well as its functioning.

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Since it is highly volatile, toner powder dans leak from an old laser printer cartridge when it is taken out of the machine. This powder can get on your hands and clothes. These spills are easy to clean if you proceed correctly.
Never use hot water to clean toner. The heat could cause the toner tu fuse with the surface and make the stain permanent.

Removing toner from the skin

If toner has just leaked on your hands, simply rinsing them with cold or lukewarm water is enough. If this isn’t enough, a little soap wiil do the job.
If the toner powder has been heated or has stained the skin, one cleaning might not be enough. In this case, clean your hands a few times and use a slightlty abrasive soap such as an oat based one. The stain will eventually disappear.

laser toner spillRemoving toner powder from non-absorbant surfaces

Toner car be easily removed from flat non-absorbant surfaces such as wood, metal, plastic or tiles. Desks and office floors should thus be easy to clean.
If there is only a little powder, use a paper towel moistened with cold water to remove it. If the spill is more important than that (e.g. a full cartridge or a waste toner container), you will need a vacuum cleaner designed for copiers and equipped with an HEPA filter. Since toner is electrically charged, its movement through a regular vacuum cleaner tube can cause it to build an electric charge and shock you. The copier vacuum cleaner is grounded to protect you from this.

Removing toner from clothes

First, use a clean dry cloth to hit the stain and then lightly rub it in order to remove as much powder as possible. You can then clean it in the washin machine on a cold water cycle. It is very important not to iron or put the garment through the dryer as long as there is toner on it. This would cause the toner to melt and fuse, renderin the stain permanent.

Removing toner from carpeted floors

First, using a spoon or similar tool, remove as much toner powder as you can. If there is very little toner left, you can use a regular vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter. If there is still a large quantity of powder, you will need a vacuum cleaner specially designed for copiers in order to do this safely. If vacuuming doesn’t remove all of the spilled toner, rub the stain with dry cleaning liquid and a clean dry cloth. This liquid is available in most grocery and drug stores. You can also mix 3 drops of dishwashing soad in a cup of water and apply this with a clean cloth to remove the stain.

Remember to avoid heat when cleaning up a toner disaster. If you follow the tips, no one will be able to tell that anything happened in the first place

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how laser printing works
If you own a laser printer or have used one at work, you might have noticed that pages come out warm to the touch. If you’ve wondered why that is, it’s due to the fuser that, fittingly, fuses the toner into the page. This is only the last step in the process though. This video explains how laser printing works in detail.


Now that you know how laser printing works, you might also be intersted in learning how inkjet printing works. If you’ve seen both and are not sure if you should buy a laser or an inkjet printer, check out our printer buying guide.

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how inkjet printing works

A. Pump, B. Ink Sensor, C. Ink Cartridges, D. Print Head, E. Vent Chamber

Ever wondered how your printer works? This short video explains how inkjet printing works. The ink is moved form the cartridge into the printhead which then distributes it in the thousands of nozzle. These nozzle then heat the ink in order to very precisely spray tons of tiny droplets on the paper. These droplets then make up the image or text you wanted.

Now that you understand your printer and know how inkjet printing works, check out how to do printhead cleanings to increase your print quality and keep your printer in top shape.

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