How to Clean a Printer Drum

By Meg Jernigan

If your printed pages have blotches, lines or excess toner, your laser printer drum may need cleaning. Printer drums are very sensitive, so don't attempt to clean yours unless you're willing to risk damaging it. Printers differ, so consult your owner's manual for the procedure first. If that doesn't provide answers, use this method to clean a printer drum.

Things You'll Need

  • Lint-free cloth90 percent rubbing alcoholNeedle-nosed pliers or tweezersCotton swabs

Step 1

Open the printer and remove the toner cartridge.

Step 2

Inspect the drum for obvious damage. If it's damaged, don't try to clean it; replace it.

Step 3

Remove any large spots of toner on the drum with tweezers or pliers. Be careful not to scratch the surface.

Step 4

Dip a cotton swab in a rubbing alcohol. Gently swipe any visible soil.

Step 5

Put a couple of drops of alcohol on a soft, lint-free cloth if the entire drum looks dirty. Carefully wipe the drum.

Step 6

Check the other parts for dirt while you have the cartridge out. Carefully clean them.

Step 7

Reinstall the cartridge and print a couple of test pages. If the problem persists, you probably need a new drum.

Tips & Warnings

  • Read the manual for specific instructions for your printer.
  • Be careful--it's easy to damage a printer drum.