Arrgh! That #$% leaky toner cartridge has made a mess of your laser printer, and now it’s on your clothes, and — eek! — the carpet! How do you remove toner stains on your clothes and carpet?
Removing Toner Stains From Clothing
- Stay Dry — Water is not your friend when it comes to toner spills and stains, especially as a first line of treatment. Toner is pigmented dust and getting it wet will only set the stain in deeper. The hotter the water, the worse you’ll make it.
- Strip Down — First, remove the article of clothing you spilled toner on. Toner won’t set in right away, so the sooner you treat it, the less chance the toner has to stain.
- Shake It Off — Shake your clothing vigorously to get as much of the loose toner out as possible.
- Suck It Up — Use a vacuum attachment to vacuum loose particles out of the clothing. The more toner powder you can get out via dry methods, the less likely the stain will set.
- Let’s Get Wet — Fill a sink basin with cold water. Swish your clothing around in the cold water to loosen and remove more toner particles. Drain the sink and rinse your clothes with cold water.
- Laundry Time — Wash your clothing in a washing machine. Use cold water (only) with regular, mild detergent.
- Hung Out To Dry — Air dry the article of clothing in the shade or indoors. You must not use an automated dryer or dry the item in the sun in case any toner particles remain. Once your toner heats up, it’s on there for good!
What About The Carpet?
Removing toner stains from carpet follows many of the same principles as removing toner stains from clothing. The problem is that toner spills on carpet tend to get stepped on and ground in, which makes them more difficult to remedy.
You’ll need to lift the spilled toner directly out of the carpet. A vacuum is the tool to use here, and you may want to consider a specialized toner vacuum which can handle sucking up the charged toner dust without short circuiting. Don’t rub the vacuum around and spread the toner, but position the nozzle directly over the stain and try to lift the excess toner up and out.
See Spot Lift
Once all of the loose particles are removed from the carpet, it’s time to break out the wet cleaning solutions. Many swear by cotton balls and rubbing alcohol. Others make a solution combining one teaspoon of oxygen bleach and one teaspoon of dish soap in a half-gallon of cold water. Either way, the stain lifting process involves lightly rubbing or blotting the wet carpet stain. Use paper towels, which can be discarded and replaced, rather than a cloth or rag, which could spread your stain to another location.
Good, Or Good Enough?
Allow the carpet to dry and repeat the process. You may need to do this several times, depending on how stubborn the stain is, and, even then, you may want to opt for a professional carpet cleaning.
Toner spills are a drag, and toner stains a headache, but they’re not the end of the world. You can avoid them going forward by sticking with genuine, brand name toner cartridges. Cloned and third-party toner cartridges have a higher likelihood of malfunctioning and leaking. As long as you remove as much of the dry spilled toner as possible before getting it wet, your stain should be removable with basic cleaning solutions and a bit of elbow grease. The problem is even clean spots stand out on carpet, so you may ending up shampooing the entire rug to deal with a tiny toner spill. But hey, your office carpet has never looked better! Now pick up genuine, OEM replacement toner cartridges here!
Many of the ink removal tips in the video below will also work for toner stains!