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Anyone who uses a laser printer knows that when it comes to laser printer toner, if you don't use it, you could lose it. Toner that sits for extended periods of time can deteriorate and lead to poor printing results. Curious why that happens? Here is a short explanation.
Laser printer toner is not liquid. This is the first thing to get out of the way. As opposed to liquid ink, laser printer toner is actually a very, very fine powder. The powder is ink in a dried form so that it will react with the laser to burn the print to the paper. Because of the fine nature of the powder, elements such as moisture can lead to clumping over time of not being used. When used, the toner is mixed around inside of the cartridge. This is why toner cartridges are made with very tight seals. The clumping in the powder will eventually lead to clogs in the printing process and smeared results. If you think your laser printer toner may be starting to go bad, don't worry. You can clean out your laser toner cartridge and refill it with fresh toner. Just be sure to run it once in a while next time to mix it up… literally.