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How to Remove Static Electricity from Paper

4 min read


Updated January 08, 2024

Tackling Printer Static Electricity


Have you ever been in a situation where your printer refuses to feed paper properly, or the sheets of paper seem to stick together for no apparent reason? If so, you've likely encountered the effects of static electricity. This phenomenon can be quite frustrating and even shocking, especially when you're dealing with important documents. It’s a common winter hassle in our region. It may seem like a minor irritant in most instances, but in some cases, it can become a problem for your printers. As soon as the heat clicks on, our indoor environments become dry like the Sahara, which brings up issues with your printers and copiers.

If you've run into printing, laminating, and copying problems related to static electricity, you're not alone. Printer static electricity can bring on several issues, including paper jams, image quality defects, damage to electronic components, reduced life of parts, dust buildup, and pages that stick together. The good news is, there are several steps you can take to reduce printer static electricity in your environment and even prevent the build-up of static electricity in the dry seasonal weather. You can apply these tips whether you're working from home or in the office.

Understanding Printer Static Electricity Build Up

Before we delve into how to remove static electricity from paper, it's essential to understand what causes it. In technical terms, the buildup of static is called the triboelectric effect, or as most of us call it, static electricity. In the print environment, it's common to experience the triboelectric effect because of the friction taking place between the media and the machine. The frustration of a jammed machine or pages sticking together, along with the static itself, can lead to a hair-raising printing experience. It doesn't have to be that way, though.

Our Top 5 Tips for Reducing Printer Static Electricity


1. Increase Humidity in the Print Environment

Print shops generally try to keep things dry, but in winter that dry air may be too much of a good thing. By using a humidifier, you can create the perfect ecosystem and reduce or remove static electricity from paper. Aim for 40% to 60% relative humidity in the print shop or workspace. If the humidity drops below 30%, you'll likely experience static-related complications, especially paper jams and image quality issues.

2. Reduce Conduction

You can reduce the amount of static conductive material in your space by swapping out carpeting for rubberized floor mats. Adding non-conductive guards on work surfaces can also reduce or remove static. In addition, you may be able to reduce static by maintaining distance between your machines—even by just a couple of inches. Spreading out workstations and production printers may sound oversimplified as a solution, but it can reduce the strength of the current.

3. Get Cleaning

Another way to reduce static is by cleaning your printer's paper feed rollers. It's best to do this by wetting a cotton swab with isopropyl alcohol and wiping it over the paper rollers. Be sure to allow the feed rollers to dry before attempting your print job again.

Another fix for static with your printer can be found in an unlikely space - the laundry room. Dryer sheets can remove static electricity just as they do for our clothes. Simply wipe the media with the fabric softener sheet and proceed with your printing job.

4. Use an Anti-Static Spray

One of the most common ways of removing static electricity is by using anti-static sprays. These sprays are designed specifically for this purpose and work by neutralizing the charges that cause static cling. Simply spray a light mist onto your stack of papers before feeding them into your printer.

5. Consider a static eliminator

Static removal technology can help reduce the charged office environment. However, it's important to maintain appropriate relative humidity, or these gadgets will not be effective. Static removal devices may include brushes, static wands, and static elimination tinsel.


Preventing Printer Static Electricity

While removing static electricity from your paper is important, it's also crucial to take steps to prevent printer static electricity in the first place:

Proper Paper Storage

How you store your paper can significantly impact how much static electricity builds up on it. Keep your paper in a cool and humid environment, away from heat sources like radiators or direct sunlight, which can dry out your paper and increase static buildup.

Regular Printer Maintenance

Regularly cleaning and maintaining your printer can also help reduce printer static electricity. Dust and dirt inside your printer can contribute to friction and hence increase static buildup.

High-Quality Paper

The quality of your paper can also affect how much static builds up on it. Higher quality papers are often treated with anti-static agents during manufacturing, which helps reduce their propensity for generating static electricity.

In conclusion, static electricity may seem like a minor inconvenience, but if left unchecked, it can lead to significant issues with your printing process and output quality. By understanding what causes this phenomenon and implementing strategies such as using anti-static sprays or humidifiers, grounding yourself before handling paper, regular printer maintenance, and proper paper storage, you can effectively remove and prevent static electricity from your paper. Remember, a smooth printing process begins with static-free paper!


Still struggling with printer static electricity?

EO Johnson provides more than just printers. We are a managed print provider who can work with you to develop a comprehensive business technology strategy for your organization. Plus, we have a team of technicians with the skills and experience to respond quickly when you run into trouble. Learn more about how your business can benefit from managed print services here:



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