How to Replace Waste Toner

Written by elton dunn
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How to Replace Waste Toner
Take care not to spill toner when refilling your cartridge. (ink stain image by Dmitri MIkitenko from

Get more out of your toner by refilling it when you run out, rather than using a new toner cartridge each time. You can find inexpensive toner refill kits for every type of toner cartridge. Replacing waste toner not only costs less over the long run (since a refill kit is cheaper than a new cartridge), but it cuts down on plastic waste produced. Replacing waste toner may be intimidating the first time you try it, but after a couple of times, you'll be able to do this task efficiently.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Toner refill kit
  • Newspaper
  • Waste-paper basket
  • Latex gloves

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  1. 1

    Browse the basic toner refill instructions from Toner Refills Now (see Resources) to determine how to take apart your toner cartridge. There are four basic strategies: unplug to refill, unscrew to refill, melt hole to refill and twist to refill.

  2. 2

    Read the instructions in your toner refill kit, which contain model-specific tips and hints. For example, if you need to melt a hole to refill your toner, the manual will tell you where to place the hole melting tool against the cartridge. If you need to twist the cartridge to open, you'll learn where (and in what direction) to twist.

  3. 3

    Lay a flat sheet of newspaper on a table and set an empty waste bin nearby. Fit latex gloves onto your hands to prevent staining while you handle the toner. Plug in your hole melting tool (included in the kit), if one is necessary, and allow it to heat up before continuing.

  4. 4

    Open up your printer, and grasp the toner cartridge by its ridged handle. Pull the cartridge up and out of the printer. Lay it on the newspaper with the label facing you.

  5. 5

    Open up the cartridge, following the preferred method, then empty the old toner into your waste-paper basket. For an unplug to refill, grasp the toner plug with pliers and pull it out. For an unscrew to refill, undo the screws on the end of your toner cartridge to expose the plug. Then pull out the plug with pliers, and dump the waste toner.

  6. 6

    Pour your bottle of refill toner into the cartridge.

  7. 7

    Seal your cartridge back up. Twist it back into place or insert the toner plug by hand (then screw on the end cap if needed). Cartridges needing the melt hole method can be resealed with foil tape (included in the kit).

  8. 8

    Wipe the outside of the toner cartridge to clean up any spilt toner. Then insert the cartridge back into your printer.

  9. 9

    Carry the waste-paper basket containing the old toner to a disposal area, since the toner does have an odour.

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