Shredding documents is a good way to keep your personal information from getting in the wrong hands. This guide contains paper shredding tips.
Do you use a paper shredder for disposing of sensitive documents like I do? After a while, the blades need a little lubrication; seeing as how I won't buy an expensive little tube of lubricant, I just do this: Run a piece of waxed paper through the shredder to make it work like new again!
By Brianna from Dutch Harbor, AK
If your paper shredder has slowed down from when new, try lubricating the teeth. First clear out as much chewed up paper as possible, then use olive oil. Run the shredder without paper a couple of times, and hey presto! It now works like new again. Well, mine did! Good luck!
I was shredding paper, and my home paper shredder just quit on me. No noise, no sparks, no anything. It's held together by phillips screws, and being a former electronics tech, I decided to take it apart. (Who can afford a new shredder, employed or not.)
Make sure it is unplugged when you do this! I don't know how many times I took the phillips screws out from the cover. Immediately I was aghast at all the paper dust and paper shreds that were all over the inside of the paper shredder. I immediately cleaned all of that out, wishing I had a brush, but using tweezers, a modified paper clip (just making one side of the paper clip long), and a couple of q-tips, then carefully oiling the fan drive shaft.
I put the Paper Shredder back together, screwed in all the screws, plugged it in, and reverse worked, but the paper part wouldn't work. After more examination, I realized that there is a secondary switch and lever that can't be seen when the whole unit is put together. This is what allows the paper to shred. I lined up the lever with the secondary switch, and using a small screwdriver, (instead of using paper at this point), listened to it, then put the unit back together. It worked. I truly hope this helps other people keep their paper shredders working.
If you use q-tips, or such, don't ever leave the hairs, or whatever they are called on the electronics - ever! Those hairs will just mess everything up.
By Carol L. from SouthBend, IN
I'm not handy enough to disassemble my shredder, but I betcha my son-in-law could. He's the genius who taught me how to "de-clog" my shredder right after we bought it. :D
What helps me avoid jams and such is not to send too much paper through at once, and to remove all paper clips first. If a jam happens anyway, I use the tip of small scissors to gently pry free the worst of the jam. I work from both sides of the shredding mechanism without disassembling. Then if necessary, I hit the reverse a time or two.
Any suggestion on how to solve the paper shredding mess on the floor? When I take out the shredder container to empty it there is always a good deal of paper left in the teeth of the shredder that falls on the floor. No matter how much I dig it out some still falls to the floor. I always dread emptying the thing because of the mess. Someone recently suggested placing their shredder in a picnic basket. Mine is too large for that. I feel fairly sure someone will have a good suggestion because this group of people is smart as a whip.
By weinerdog41 from Ft. Worth, TX
I put my shedder on a cookie sheet. After emptying the big bucket, the scattered scraps are easy to slide off cookie sheet into trash.
Save time and money by not shredding mail. The shredder costs money and the shredding can take quite a bit of time. But I don't want anyone to be able to get bank account numbers, etc, from my trash. So here's what I do. Take a bunch of the papers and tear in a few pieces. Soak in hot water until mushy and the water is cool enough to put your hands in. Squash the "mush" and roll into a ball. Let it dry and throw into trash. In case this sounds familiar, it's the same as making papier mache. Only I squeeze it into a ball. It's easy, fast, and the info on those pages is gone!
By pam2cats from RI
I try to shred my junk mail and papers that have any ID information. I was putting the shredding into a Walmart bag, but that is not very green for the land fill, so now I put it into paper bags and staple the top. I would rather find a way to recycle it, but this is better than the plastic bag.
By Lee from OH
Beware of shredding those free address labels you get in the mail. I had a shredder that previously handled (quite nicely) the address labels - and then it didn't. I'll have to replace the unit. I spent an hour pulling out bits of labels with needle nose pliers and asked DH to check it out, too, after a long day at work. Expensive lesson.
So how do you get rid of addy labels in this day and age of identity theft? I am thinking of getting rid of the shredder top and keeping it as a trash can (just to recycle). It'll be known as my "$100 trash can".
In the past I had trouble shredding my documents because my shredder was not in a handy place. I grabbed an old picnic basket and put the shredder inside, closed the lid, and ran the electrical cord through an existing hole in the weave.
Spray the sheet of sticker labels with WD-40, then shred. The labels won't stick and your shredder gets lubricated at the same time.
Here is a tip for your home office. I place the head of my shredder on top of a small garbage pail, with a bag ready to catch the strips. I have eliminated one step to make clean up easy.
I think the blades of my paper shredder are getting dull. Has anyone ever sharpened theirs?
I run a piece of aluminum foil through mine monthly & have never had problems.
How do I clean shredder cutters? The paper is bunched up around the cutters so badly I can't even see the blades. I tried oiling it, hot soapy water, nothing works. I spent 4 hours already literally picking the pieces out with tweezers. The shredder works, but new paper keeps getting stuck around the same area.
By Roberta L. from Boca Raton, FL
Try operating the shredder in reverse and forward motions a few times. Then shred some wax paper through. This should clear out the teeth. (10/12/2009)
I have inherited an Aurora Cross Cut AS700X paper shredder without a manual. I searched the manufacturers web site for information. This model is no longer listed. I e-mailed the manufacturer and never received an answer. I would like to know, how do I maintain this shredder? I do believe it should be oiled and sharpened. What type of oil is used, and does it get sharpened? I will use it weekly for light to medium shredding. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks to all.
Mike from NE PA
Office Depot sells special sheets that you put through the shredder, and the sheets oil it as they go through. (11/14/2008)
Here is something I found on the web to oil the cutters. I didn't look for a way to sharpen the cutters. Maybe you just buy a new shredder when it gets dull. I have had a shredder for a number of years and don't do anything for maintenance except empty the bucket.
How often should I oil cutting head and how do I do it?
It is recommended that you oil the cutters more regularly for Cross-Cut Machines than for Strip Cut. We suggest oiling the cutters once a day before the machine is first used. This can easily be done by taking a sheet of paper and covering it with oil. Then simply shred the paper as you normally would. Alternatively you can spray the oil into the entry throat as directed on the can. It is important to use a non-flammable oil. (11/14/2008)
Try shredding a sized piece of aluminum foil. I use it to sharpen scissors by cutting through a sheet several times. I haven't tried this with a paper shredder, but I suppose it could not hurt trying. (12/06/2008)
By LeAnn from Tampa, Fla