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Environmental Issues[edit]

I know that manufacturers provide shipping for spent cartridges to protect the environment. What kind of harm do spent cartridges cause? Louis waweru 22:01, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Manufacturers provide return shipping for spent cartridges because customers expect it, because in some cases the manufacturers can refill the cartridges (thus reusing them) or at least keep them from third-party refillers, or because doing so is a regulatory requirement of some jurisdictions. The environmental impact of not doing so is mostly the additional load on landfill capacity. Pzavon 02:05, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

(Should be) older comments[edit]

According to the main page, it has been suggested that the toner cartridge article be merged with the article on toner. I would be against this, as I specifically wanted an article on the powder itself, and I found the article on the toner powder very helpful. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:22, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

I would like to know who invented the toner cartidge bag.


What is a "cartridge bag?" You either have a cartridge (a rigid container, usually easilly removed and replaced) or you have a bag (a flexible container). Pzavon 02:57, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

  • I would like to know why it is called Toner -Towel401 21:49, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
Because it tones (i.e. 'changes the colour of') the paper.--Jeffro77 12:19, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

What I want to know is why the article is a hardware stub, despite the fact that toner is not hardware, and Wikipedia articles for other consumables such as Ink and Paper are not listed as computer hardware stubs.--Jeffro77 12:19, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Toner generally comes in a cartridge, thereby qualifying it as hardware. wikipediatrix 13:26, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Toner is also used as a term for a skin care product. -- Littlefaith 06:25, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Um... yeah, I know. But I didn't think it was relevant.--Jeffro77 08:19, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
FYI- Your statement above reflects your opinion. What you think is relevant vs. what is relevant are two separate things- remember "neutrality". I would place a reference to it into the article. Thanks. -- 05:33, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
But I was actually looking for an article about that subject. 10:20, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Feel free to jump in and start an article for Skin Toner. wikipediatrix 13:26, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

How long can unopened/unused toner remain in storage for whatever reason and still be usable? Does it ever go bad?

The shelf life of toners varies from product to product. However the typical shelf life is somewhere in the area of 24 months if properly stored.
It goes "bad" if exposed to high enough temperatures. Time does not make it go bad.
Pzavon 17:15, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

It depends. Toner in and of itself is quite stable. A classic one piece "toner" cartridge consists of toner, an OPC (organic photo-conductor drum) and a doctor blade (used to scrape off waste toner), thus the life of the cartridge depends on the life of the components. Typically the adhesives that hold the doctor blade or the surface of the OPC will begin to degrade at some period, typically around 24 months. Again, the exact time depends on the manufacture of the cartridge and storage environment conditions. --Gadget850 ( Ed) 20:42, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Toner is very stable however the drums that come with some toner are very delicate damaged by light and contact. --CAJ 14:49, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Toner Waste[edit]

Does anyone know what the difference is in composition, between toner and waste toner?

Except that some regulations treat anything declared to be "waste" in a different manner than the virgin material, there is usually no difference in composition between virgin toner and waste toner. In a color machine, of course, the waste toner will be an unseparable mixture of the various colored toners used in the machine. There is also the possibility of trace amounts of the photoreceptor surface layers finding their way into the waste toner collector. Pzavon 17:06, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Waste toner contains contaminants in excessive amounts for it to be reused. The most common are dust and paper firers. --CAJ 14:49, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

I think you mean "paper fines" but there is not going to be much, if any, of that in the waste toner sump, since the toner is applied to the photoreceptor, and cleaned from it into the waste, at locations distant from the paper path. What you do get in waste toner sumps is toner that has aglomerated, toner fines, carrier particles, and color mixtures (when you have a machine that handles more than one color). Pzavon 00:38, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Toner waste is sometimes filtered and reused. Tabby (talk) 19:26, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

"Waste toner" that is found within a 'waste tank' of a copier or MFP is normally incorrect tribocharge (i.e., surface electrostatic charge) toner. OEM toner that is incorrect in tribocharge is often an incorrect size (such as from toner fines), absent of a additive(s), or a couple other scenarios may be at work. Non-OEM toner can have a slew of other reasons causing the toner to empty into the waste tank.

And it is true that sometimes the content of a waste tank can include micro-carrier (for monocomponent systems) or carrier (for dualcomponent systems). Carrier is a metalic compound having magnetic and/or electrostatic properties and is used to help transfer toner particles to and from the organic photoconductor.

I have never heard of waste toner (dry powder toner) being filtered and re-used, nor would I recommend this process. A toner manufacturer has methods of recycling out of specification toner that is much more effective and efficient. [Andrew Kim, February 21, 2008] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Andrewckim (talkcontribs) 19:51, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Waste toner can be reused today using special techniques to condition the waste toner. Anew Green Inc does such for many very large laser print shops today using patent pending technologies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:06, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

External Links inappropriate?[edit]

It appears that all the external links listed in this article point to web sites that exist primarily to sell a product or service and are thus "usually to be avoided" in the Wikipedia. (See External_links) I invite anyone to show me why these are appropriate links adding to an article on what toner is. Failing that, I propose to remove those links in about 5 days. Pzavon 01:50, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Vs. Ink[edit]

Are there any advantages of using toner? It seems kind of a primitive thing to me, but perhaps it has something ink doesn't...

For one, it does not dry out and clog its distribution channels to anyhting like the degree ink is capable of. It is also immediately dry upon exit from the machine. Pzavon 01:43, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
You get more pages for your money out of toner. Ink is now much more expensive per page than toner —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:58, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
"laser" printers (whether true laser or LED) have serveral big advantages over inkjets (they have disadvanges too, for example inkjets generally print better photos but for normal office use lasers win big time)
1: They tolerate periods without use much better. If an inkjet is left unused for long periods it is almost certain to develop clogging problems. At best this means wasted ink trying to clear the clogs out. At worst it can render the printer uneconomical to bring back into service (replaing printheads on epsons is generally uneconomical in my experiance).
2: They are generally cheaper to run though this varies with how expensive a particular manufacturers consumables are.
3: They can be made faster both because of the lack of drying time (make an inkjet too fast and you will have problems with pages stacking up before the previous page is dry)and because they don't have to move a printhead across the page (there are fullwidth inkjets but they are very expensive). Inkjets are particually slow and duplex printing because they have to wait for the page to dry before pulling it through the duplex path.
4: Toner does not smudge if the paper gets wet (admittedly some oil/solvent based inks dont either). Plugwash (talk) 22:54, 16 October 2010 (UTC)


I fixed a POV statement [1]. Yuser31415 (Editor review two!) 03:39, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

My compliments. Very well done. Pzavon 01:44, 31 January 2007 (UTC)


The article specifies "pyrol" as a contaminant. However I am not aware of any such compound. Can it be pyrrole instead? --Shaddack 03:01, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

I just wondered the same thing and then found your question. As no one has answered you in 16 months, I tried a Google search for pyrol+toner and found 467 entries, but most of the initial ones are Wiki-based sites likes Pyrrole+toner which gave 9770, including patents and technical papers which explain that pyrrole polymers are used in toner. So I will assume we are right and change the article. Dirac66 (talk) 17:42, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

It may also be that the editor who wrote pyrol was familiar with the German word de: pyrrol. Dirac66 (talk) 17:48, 25 September 2008 (UTC)


Carbon is used as the black pigment what is used for the three colour pigments? --CAJ 14:49, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Iron oxide is also used for blakc toner, especially when magnetic, machine-readible text is to be produced. It is my understanding that color toners get their colors from organo-metallic compounds. But what the specific compounds are is usually proprietary and will not be revealed by their manufacturers. Pzavon 00:44, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Servicing practices[edit]

A new section?

  • Any old toner is sometimes used to test machines, but the correct toner is needed for ongoing service to avoid the risk of issues that affect print quality
  • Waste toner is sometimes filtered and reused

Tabby (talk) 19:31, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

ink category[edit]

Since toner is essentially dry ink, should it be included in the Inks category? Frotz (talk) 12:59, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

I would think not. The article on Ink defines ink as a liquid. Dry ink is therefore something quite different. Besides, the term "dry ink" seems to have been invented as a marketing device to help people who could not relate to the more correct technical term, "toner." Oh, and toner is not "essentially dry ink," it is dry ink. Pzavon (talk) 02:50, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm not saying that the reference to liquid in the Ink article shouldn't be changed. Frotz (talk) 03:48, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I am, but that is a conversation for that article. Pzavon (talk) 02:09, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I posted that question to Talk:Ink. Now to wait for some answers. Frotz (talk) 05:51, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Some whiny namby-pambies at the Advanced Squad Leader forums at who deserve to have their faces eaten off by wolverines keep whining that books printed on demand suffer from greater deterioration than book printed with traditional ink. Is there really a scientific difference between the longevity of "dried ink" and traditional inks used in the printing process? (talk) 19:30, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

There can be, depending on the quality of paper, toner and machinery used. Pzavon (talk) 00:54, 9 July 2008 (UTC)


The reference provided for the recently added section titled Availability seems to be improperly structured and I wonder about its relevance, in particular, to the claim that one partucular copnay is the "acknowledged" leader. Is anyone familiar enough with this source to a) ensure that the structure of the reference is correct, and b) to confirm or refute this addition as being relevant to the assertion? Pzavon (talk) 02:39, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Clean Up[edit]

It appears there are conflicting statements in the clean up section. Toner can or cannot be cleaned/removed from clothing? JPP355 (talk) 20:08, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

My reading of that section is it can be removed if and only if it hasn't been fused to the clothing. Because toner is designed to be fused at relatively low temperatures it is easy to fuse it by accident during cleanup attempts making it nearly impossible to remove. Plugwash (talk) 11:16, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

Toner kills vacuum cleaners? (not by static charge)[edit]

Fact is that fine dust can pass filters and enter the motor. But the claim that the "special" electrostatic property of toner will make it charge itself inside vacuum cleaners until arcing causes self-ignition is at least very controversal, if not an urban legend. (Household vacuum cleaners are not strong enough to cause that much friction by air flow.)

Others claim the opposite is true, namely that the carbon black (soot) and iron in toner is electrically conductive. It is only coated with a thin layer of insulating wax or polymer that will melt inside the motor and so short out the commutator. The resulting short circuit may ignite the wax and toner dust and so start a fire. Melting toner may also completely clog the motor filter or jam bearings and so make the motor overheat.


The ESD risk is rather that ICs (e.g. of the printer's electonics) may get damaged by touching them with a charged vacuum cleaner nozzle while vacuuming toner spills inside the printer or copier. (talk) 05:11, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

"Dust Explosion" by PV Vacuum Engineering Pte Ltd:

quote page 4: "To be considered explosion proof, portable vacuums "must have a "dirty side" volume less than eight cubic feet too," otherwise the vacuum must be equipped with explosion venting or chemical suppression as per NFPA standards..."

This equals 226.5 liters, which is far beyond the capacity of any household or shop-vac type vacuum cleaners. So a toner dust explosion inside normal vacuum cleaners not only in real life never has been documented (at leat not on the internet), but is also considered unlikely by the Technical Research Centre of Finland. (talk) 01:22, 13 August 2016 (UTC)