How to Unclog a Paper Shredder

by Tricia Goss ; Updated September 26, 2017
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Shredders are important business machines. They can be used to prevent identity theft, as well as to protect sensitive client information. They are also beneficial to the environment, making it possible to recycle paper containing confidential information. If too many papers are put through a shredder at once, or if the machine has not been properly maintained, the shredder can become clogged and jammed. Clearing the paper out of it without damaging the machine requires care.

Items you will need

  • Paper shredder lubricant
  • Thin piece of cardboard or unneeded CD
  • Tweezers
Step 1

Unplug the paper shredder. An overheated shredder may stop midway through a job and appear to be jammed. Allow it to cool completely, sitting unplugged and unused for an hour or so, and then turn it back on. If it still does not work, proceed to the next step.

Step 2

Spray a line of shredder lubricant straight and evenly across the shredder blades. Run the shredder in reverse for ten to fifteen seconds. This will distribute the oil and aid in unclogging paper from the blades.

Step 3

Run the shredder in the forward position for several seconds to see if the clogged paper is released.

Step 4

Use the tweezers to carefully pull out small bits of paper. Run the shredder in reverse for a few seconds, and pull out more paper.

Step 5

Run a thin piece of cardboard or an old CD through the shredder to remove any residual clogs.

Resources

About the Author

Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for OfficeUsers.org. She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.

Photo Credits

  • http://www.sxc.hu/photo/543148