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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
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
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!
While organizing my living area and entryway, I came across an idea that worked for me. In the past I had trouble shredding my documents because my shredder was not in a handy place. I don't like it sitting out since it looks messy, so 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. Now it can sit where it is handy but it is also in an attractive hiding place and no one needs to know it's there.
By Susan from Elkhart, IN
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.
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".
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.
Please remember you unplug your shredder after each use. There have been reports of curious children and animals injuring their fingers (paws) and tongues because they inadvertently turned on the shredder. Even adults who forgot to unplug have been injured. Be safe!
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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
My feedback got lost, but it was do not allow husband to continually run the address labels you get in the mail through a shredder. His became so gummed up even Liquid Wrench could not dissolve enough of the gunk to resuscitate the machine. I have cleaned many a shredder at work and home and had never had to deal with that. Very expensive lesson.
The two shredders I have owned both had a timer to keep the shredder from overheating. It just stops in mid-shred. When it cools down (about five minutes), it starts working again.
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
Spread out a couple sheets of newspaper where your shredder will sit.
Before you take it out, try running the shredder backwards. the paper inside should then back out.Turn it upside down and shake into the container. I use a small waste paper basket to mount my shredder on. It is a lot bigger than the container it came with.
You could set it inside a large opened trash bag lying on the floor, so that when you're done all you need to do is move the shredder, pick up the bag - no mess! Good luck!
Does your shredder have a reverse? If so, reverse it before taking off of collector basket.
Is it okay to line the waste basket area of a shredder with a small trash bag to make emptying easier, or does this create a problem with operation of the machine?
Depending on the switch on your shredder, this should work just fine. We started doing this at work to avoid the huge mess. Good luck!
i cannot see where this should cause a problem as the shredder mechanism should not be near the plastic bag. I use a small trash bag in mine all the time and have never had a problem.
Of course, there are different styles/types of shredders so please be sure to check that your bag is fully down in the holder/container.
I do this all the time. I then compost the shredded paper.
I've done this before but then I found that it was just as easy to empty the basket by putting the garbage bag over the basket and turning it upside down into the garbage bag. Using one a little larger makes less mess.
You can always prop the shredder on top of any receptacle, like a tall plastic pail. If you already use a receptacle for recycling of other paper you could prop the shredder on half of the top and have room to still toss in other paper. You may need to fashion something to hold the shredder on top or it may just fit already.
I think the blades of my paper shredder are getting dull. Has anyone ever sharpened theirs?
Yes I have!!! send one sheet of fine sand paper through the shredder. wwaaaalllaaaaaaa works great!
We oil ours regularly. The sales clerk at Office Depot said most of them wear out because people don't know to oil them. They have a special oil, probably like sewing machine oil, a fine machine oil that you put on a piece of paper or just squirt a little over the blades every 100 sheets or so. This keeps the workings from drying out and the blades sharp.
The sandpaper idea sounds like a good one, too if the blades are already dull.
Susan from ThriftyFun
Just recently started having problems with my shredder. It painfully shreds thin paper, but when I put in regular A size all I hear is the motor churning and the paper doesnt get sucked in to be shredded. I opened the darn thing and couldnt quite figure it out. Any help is appreciated.
I think it has something to do with the gear assembly but dont know what to look at. The company is Royal, shreds 9 pages at times(never really did that though)
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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