How to Remove Toner from Plastic


Tim asked: How do I clean cured toner from printer exterior plastics? Where I work, toner is all over the outside of the printer, and the people who take care of the printers have not cleaned it. Now, the toner is cured and will not wipe off with conventional laser printer cleaning. I have rubbed the toner hard with a coffee filter (works great for loose toner) to no avail.

Toner can be tricky to remove once it has cured. However, Xerox offers some cleaning tips that are easy and effective. Here are the steps.

You Will Need:

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Soft cloths

Steps to Remove the Toner:

  1. Moisten a soft cloth with the isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol.
  2. Wipe it over the toner-stained area.
  3. For more severe stains, it may take several repeated applications.
  4. Once the stain is removed, allow the surface to dry.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • There are also special cleaners, such as Xerox Formula A, that are designed to clean the exterior of machines.
  • Avoid any method that introduces heat. Toner has a plastic in with the dye and if the plastic melts, the dye adheres to the surface, making it much more difficult to remove.
  • Use caution when changing toner cartridges to avoid spills and other mishaps that may lead to spreading loose toner.


  1. Get some 409 and a Scotch brite pad. 409 is similar to Formula A and can be found anywhere.

  2. If the toner is semi-fused to the plastic, such as the printout of a map or text from a laser printer when placed into a vinyl plastic transparency over time. I discovered, after lots of trying, that the Mother’s Plastic Polish used for car lenses works great without scratching as much.

  3. I am frequently cleaning copiers and what I have seen is that if Xerox formula A does not work, use a Mr. Clean Extra Strength Magic Eraser.
    I have heard that moistening the eraser with a small amount of formula A, after moistening with water as directed, causes a stronger cleaning effect. Mind your hands.
    Formula A is in fact the original, higher strength 409 with extra phosphorus.

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