When you click the “print” button, the expectation is that the printed page will look exactly like the one on your computer screen. But, when the page coming out of your printer is blurry, has streaks or color that fades across the page – frustrations can run high.
Sometimes printer errors can be fixed with a little DIY know-how. [If not, then we suggest that you contact your Managed Print Services (MPS) provider for expert assistance.]
Here’s seven quick fixes for blurry printing, to try on your own:
1. Clean the Platen Glass
Are there black streaks across your printed document when using the copier function? You may need to clean the platen glass on your multifunctional printer.
First, make sure your device is powered down and unplugged before cleaning. Then, spray glass cleaner on a lint free cloth and wipe the glass. Be sure to wait until surfaces are dry before plugging the device back in.
2. Check the Level of Toner or Ink
Does the ink coverage on your document fade away from one side of the page to the other? Low toner (or ink) levels may be to blame. Check the level of your cartridges, it might be time for a replacement.
3. Print Only High-Resolution Image Files
Images on your printed page look blurry, but words on the same page look clear? Take a closer look at your image files. If the resolution is low for an image file, it may give the appearance of being blurry or pixelated. Use image files with at least 300 dpi for better print quality.
4. Use Paper Without Texture
Sometimes a print job calls for specialty paper, such as paper with a textured pattern. While there are applications where textured paper would be a good choice, be selective. The more texture your paper has, the larger the risk of the toner flaking off or the ink smudging. Check the user’s manual of your printer to verify recommended paper specifications before using highly textured paper or thicker paper such as cardstock.
5. Control the Temperature and Humidity of the Room
Excessive heat or humidity could cause your printer to malfunction. In addition, excessive humidity can make your paper curl and cause the paper fibers to expand from the moisture. This change in paper moisture content could also cause ink to smear or cause problems with toner not adhering properly to the paper. We recommend that your print room temperature be between 68 to 72 degrees and the humidity of the room be between 30 to 50 percent relative humidity. Controlling your print environment will present better printing results and reduce the chance for machine malfunction.
6. Check for Driver Updates
Is your printer printing gibberish? This often happens when a printer is unable to interpret the data that you are sending it to print. When this occurs, the page coming out of your printer will be filled with random letters and symbols.
This is an indication that your machine may need a print driver update as your current print driver is probably outdated, incompatible or corrupt. It is important to regularly check for driver updates.
7. Replace a Leaky Toner Cartridge
If you see smears of excess toner on your printed paper, you may have a leaky toner cartridge. If this happens, the leak could make a big mess not only on your paper, but inside of your printer. Check the inside of the machine. If you find a leaky toner cartridge, remove it. Then, gently wipe to remove any dust or toner underneath with a dry cloth. If you notice excess toner inside the print device, it may be possible to remove it using a vacuum that is specifically designed to capture fine dust particles like toner powder. These vacuums can be costly, however. Once clean, replace with a new toner cartridge. Another method is to contact your MPS provider for a service call. They are experts in cleaning printers and ensuring your machine is in tip-top working shape.
What else could it be?
Other possibilities of why your printer is printing blurry could include a damaged print head, fuser problems, a dirty roller within the machine or a combination of multiple issues. The inside of a multifunction printer contains sensitive electronics – it’s best not to dig too deeply. You might inadvertently scratch the drum or break something that may lead to costly repairs.
This would be a good time to contact an experienced repair technician or your MPS provider for a service call.
Working with a Managed Print Services Provider
Relying on the expertise of a Managed Print Services provider, like Folo Tech, can assist you in streamlining your print fleet. And we’re got the tips and tricks to share with you to make sure your printing and copying projects run smoothly.
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