How to fix smudged, lined, or distorted printer printouts

How to fix smudged, lined, or distorted printer printouts

17/11/2022 Information 0

The cause for a printout having smudged or distorted text and images, and random meaningless characters can be due to multiple possible reasons. To troubleshoot the problem, we recommend reading each of the following sections in order. They’re written systematically to troubleshoot the problem in the most efficient manner possible


Paper issues

If you are using anything other than standard printer paper, you may see smudges, uneven or crooked text, or text that runs off the paper’s edges. To verify this is not the issue, try 8.5 x 11 sheets in your printer. If your printer works fine with standard paper, you may have a sizing or texture issue. If not, move on to the next section.


Select sizes of paper may require users to move a slider or feed the paper into the printer in a non-traditional manner. See your printer documentation for steps on loading different sizes of paper into the printer. Additionally, some varieties of paper have different textures on the surface that cause smudging, streaks, or lines to occur. As a result, some types of paper won’t be compatible with your machine.


If you live in an area where the air is often humid, the moisture in the air can be absorbed by the printer paper. When printing on paper that is even slightly moist from humidity, ink can become smudged on the paper, colors can run together, and text or images can be distorted. Check if the paper is moist and try replacing the paper in the printer to see if print quality improves.


Driver related issue

If a printer is printing unreadable text or strange characters, you may be experiencing a driver related issue. Download the latest drivers for your printer and install them. For a list of printer manufacturers and links to the driver sections on their websites, see our printer drivers index.


Dirty or misaligned print heads

Because of unclean print heads, your printer may be printing fuzzy, blurry, or other faint text. All current printers have a self-cleaning option that cleans the print heads as well as other internal printing equipment. We recommend using the printer’s cleaning feature if you use it frequently or have had it for more than a year. Consult your printer’s handbook for specific instructions on how to use the cleaning feature, as it varies by printer type and model.


Ink cartridge issues

If you’ve been using the same cartridge for a while, you should check the ink or toner levels. On most current printers, you may monitor these levels using software or a light indicator on the front of the machine (for more information on indicator lights, visit the owner’s manual).


If you use the same ink cartridge for more than a year, it may dry out or the print heads may become clogged with ink residue. While cleaning the print head is an option, we recommend replacing the ink cartridge for the best results.


Laser printer hardware issues

A laser printer contains various hardware components that may cause print quality difficulties. The toner cartridge and drum assembly are two pieces of hardware to inspect. The drum is usually included with the toner cartridge in laser printers. The drum itself can be defective, resulting in toner misapplied to paper or smudged toner from applying too much toner to the paper. A faulty drum can also result in print lines appearing on paper, often in the same location on each piece of paper. Multiple print lines can appear on paper, evenly spaced apart.


Toner may “leak” from the toner cartridge, causing extra toner to get on the paper and other parts of the laser printer. In general, leaking toner can cause havoc on the paper and within the printer.


The fuser is another piece of hardware in a laser printer that causes problems. It is the component responsible for fusing or adhering the toner to the paper. Toner can become smudged on the paper if it is not fused properly if it sticks to the rollers.


When a drum fails or toner leaks, it is best to replace the entire toner cartridge. If you suspect a faulty fuser, you should have the laser printer serviced at a repair shop.


Other printer hardware issue

Finally, if you’ve tried all of the above suggestions and are still having problems, your printer may be experiencing a hardware problem. Contact the printer manufacturer for additional recommendations and repair or replacement options.

*Other Model Available
RICOH MPC3503/ MPC5503 | RICOH MPC3504/ MPC5504

CONTACT US: 03-3341 6296 | 018-788 6296 | 018-228 6296

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