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Frequently Asked Questions about Toner

The introduction of any office equipment, such as Copiers, Printers, scanners, Multifunctional Devices, shredders and other office supply items brings in customers questions regarding its usage and maintenance. The use of toner is no different.

Toner is a powder mixture used in laser printers and photocopiers to form the printed text and images on the paper and other media. Toner itself does not possess pigment, but instead creates areas of heat which react with the paper’s pigmentation and form the desired outcome (images and words). This process is called xerography, coined from the Greek words for “dry writing”.

At DEC Office Solutions, Inc., we understand the importance of working with laser printers and copiers, and we’ve compiled a collection of questions that we commonly hear regarding the use and maintenance of toner cartridges.

Q: What is the difference between original and compatible toner cartridges?

Original toner cartridges are those that the printer or copier manufacturer produces. These cartridges will fit your specific model of device and give you the highest quality of prints. Compatible toner cartridges are produced by third-party firms and are designed to be compatible with specific models of printers and copiers.

In comparison to the original toner cartridges, compatible cartridges are generally more affordable but not of the same quality. Most compatible cartridges do not contain as much toner as an original cartridge, and therefore the print outs will not last as long as those made with an original cartridge.

Q: How do I know which toner cartridge will work with my device?

At DEC Office Solutions, Inc., our associates will be able to help you find the right toner cartridge for your device. We provide original manufacturer toner cartridges for all major brands of printers and copiers. We can also provide third-party compatible cartridges if a cost savings is desired.

If you attempt to purchase and install a toner cartridge that is not compatible with your device, it may cause damage to your printer or copier that may not be covered under warranty. It is recommended that you get in contact with an office supplies expert at DEC Office Solutions, Inc. to ensure you get the proper cartridge for your device.

Q: How do I know if my toner cartridge is running low?

Most laser printers and copiers will display a message on the LCD or LED screen when a toner cartridge is running low. If you see this message on your device, it’s time to replace the cartridge.

Other telltale signs that you may need to replace your toner cartridge include light prints, blotchy prints, and streaks on the page. If the printer is having difficulty picking up paper or the printing is distorted, this could be an indication that your toner cartridge needs to be replaced.

Q: What is the best way to store a toner cartridge?

It’s always best to store toner cartridges in an area that is dark, dry, and between 40°F–77°F (5°C–25°C). Humidity should also stay below 50%.

Make sure to keep the toner cartridge in its sealed package until you are ready to install it. Toner cartridges should not be exposed to direct sunlight or artificial light for longer than 30 minutes. If the toner cartridge is exposed to light for too long, the toner powder can dry out and cause issues such as banding or streaks in the print.

Q: How do I clean a toner cartridge?

It is not generally recommended that you try to clean the toner cartridge itself. If there is debris on the toner cartridge, please contact DEC Office Solutions, Inc. for assistance.

However, you may be able to clean the printer head, which is the part of the printer or copier that actually secures the toner cartridge and holds it in place. Depending on the type of printer you have, the printer head may be able to be cleaned with a lint-free cloth and a dampened cotton swab with alcohol.

Q: What should I do when I replace the toner cartridge?

Once you have installed the toner cartridge, it’s important to reset the page count for your device. This will ensure that the toner cartridge produces the correct number of prints for the life of the cartridge.

Check the user manual that came with your printer or copier to determine the steps for resetting the page count. It’s also important to remember to close the toner cartridge cover after the install is complete.


Toner, Printer Maintenance, Compatible Toner Cartridge

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