When you order a new or remanufactured toner cartridge from a major manufacturer or a third-party vendor, the cartridge might arrive with a shipping seal. The shipping seal is important for protecting the most sensitive elements of the cartridge, such as the drum, and toner compartment.
The box the toner cartridge is shipped in provides some protection for the cartridge during shipping, and the bag protects it from dust and other elements, as well as containing any leaked toner powder from spilling out of the box. A standard shipping seal is wrapped around one of the main rollers within the cartridge. Its purpose is to fill the space that is in between the developer and application rollers as well as the spaces around the doctor blade. With the gaps filled, no toner can be released, thus protecting the cartridge from springing a leak. Sometimes the shipping seal can get jammed, so regardless of how hard you pull, it will not come out. This would be considered defective and will warrant a replacement as well.
The type of shipping seal used can vary from model to model. Generally, the seal is a very thin material similar to tape, that is mostly inside the cartridge, but has an end sticking out that has a pull tab. For other models, the seal may be a larger piece of plastic that must be pulled slightly in one direction to loosen and remove it. In most cases, you will be given instructions on the box or inside the box as to how to remove the shipping seal. After you have removed the shipping seal, it is a good idea to gently shake the cartridge to distribute the toner evenly. Then, you can insert the cartridge and print a test page.
The shipping seal is an important part of shipping a toner cartridge, and it is just as important that you remove it. If you are unsure how to remove it properly, or you are experiencing a problem with the cartridge, be sure to contact the vendor where you purchased it for help.
Here is an example of how to remove the packaging and shipping materials from a toner cartridge for the HP LaserJet 1020 printer as an example: