How to Remove a Label Stuck in a Printer

By Melissa King

A label's sticky adhesive makes it difficult to remove.
i George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

You might use your business' printer to create envelope address labels or product price stickers. The printer enables you to quickly create high-quality, professional-looking labels at a low cost. Sometimes, though, a label may detach from its paper backing and get stuck inside the printer. If the label gets stuck to the print head, scratching and scraping it off may damage the printer. Applying a bit of solvent such as rubbing alcohol to the label will help you peel it off easily without causing damage.

Power off the printer before attempting to remove the label to avoid the risk of electric shock.

Slide out the paper tray and open the printer lid and then look for the stuck label. In a laser printer, the drum and toner unit may block access to the label. Slide them out of the way if you can't find the stuck label. You may need to turn the printer back on temporarily to move the drum and toner unit.

Lift up one corner of the label and peel it off slowly. If the label rips, lift it up from another corner. Don't try to scrape the label off with a sharp object, such as a knife. Doing so may damage your printer, especially if the label is stuck to the print head or a roller.

Moisten a paper towel or cloth with a small amount of rubbing alcohol. Hold the cloth over the remaining label residue and press down for about 30 seconds to one minute to allow the alcohol to soften the residue.

Wipe away the rest of the label residue. It should come off easily after soaking it with alcohol.

Dry the area with a clean cloth or paper towel. Allow the printer to dry completely before attempting to power it back on.

Reinsert the paper tray, shut the printer door and then turn the machine back on.

Items you will need

  • Labels

  • Cloth

  • Rubbing alcohol


Don't try to print labels with your printer unless the manufacturer has approved it for that purpose. Using the wrong type of paper in a printer often causes paper jams.

Avoid running a sheet of labels through the printer multiple times. Always try to print a full sheet of labels the first time you run the paper through.

If rubbing alcohol doesn't get rid of the entire label, try a stronger household solvent designed for removing sticky residue. Ensure that you use a cleaner that's approved for use on electronics. Some chemicals and solvents, such as ammonia-based products or bleach, may damage the printer.