How to Solve Smudged, Lined or Distorted Printouts?

There may be many reasons why printed text and images appear smudged or distorted, and meaningless characters appear randomly. To solve this problem, we recommend that you read the following sections in order. They are written systematically to solve the problem as efficiently as possible.

  • Paper & Driver Related Issues

If you are not using standard printing paper, you may see smudges, uneven or curved text, or text overflowing from the edges of the paper. To verify that this is not a problem, try putting A4 sheets in your printer. If your printer is working properly on A4 sized paper, there may be a size or texture problem. Selecting the paper size may require the user to move a slider in the paper cassette. Refer to your printer documentation for the steps to load paper of different sizes into the printer. In addition, some types of paper have different textures on the surface, which may cause smudges, streaks, or lines. Therefore, certain types of paper will not be compatible with your printer. If the printer continues to print unreadable text or strange characters, there may be a problem with your driver. Download the latest drivers for your printer and install them through each manufacturer’s website.

  • Print Head & Ink Cartridge related issues

Due to a dirty print head, your printout may be dirty, smudged or otherwise blurred text. All modern inkjet printers have a self-cleaning mode that can clean the print head and other internal equipment used in the printing process. If you use the printer frequently or did not use for a period, the print head may become stuck with ink residue. We recommend to operate the printer’s printhead cleaning function. If you have used the same ink cartridge for more than a few months, you may need to check the ink or toner level. On most modern printers, you can use the software or the control panel to check the ink levels.

  • Laser Printer Hardware problems

Laser printers have multiple hardware components, which may cause print quality issues. One of the hardware to be checked is the toner cartridge and drum assembly. The photosensitive drum itself may be defective, which may cause toner to be applied to the paper by mistake, or to contaminate the toner due to too much toner on the paper. A defective toner cartridge can also cause print lines to appear on the paper, usually in the same position on each sheet. Multiple printing lines can appear on the paper, evenly distributed among each other.

The toner cartridge itself may have toner “leakage”, causing excess toner to enter the paper and other parts of the laser printer. Usually, the leaked toner can stain the paper and the inside of the printer. The other piece of hardware in the laser printer that caused the problem was the fuser. It is a component that melts or adheres toner to paper. If the fixing is not correct, if the unfixed toner sticks to the roller, the toner may stain the paper. If the toner cartridge is damaged or leaks toner, it is best to replace the entire toner cartridge. If you suspect that there is a problem with the faulty fuser, it is best request assistance from your service provider.


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