How To Fix Laser Printer Smudges: 3 Simple Steps That Work

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How To Fix Laser Printer Smudges: 3 Simple Steps That Work

If you are wondering how to fix laser printer smudges and smears, this guide will help.

How many times have you printed a document, only to find smudges all over it? It’s the most annoying thing ever (no exaggeration) especially when you are printing something very important. If you need help getting rid of those smudges, then don’t worry - you aren’t the only one.

We've been using one of the best laser printers on the market, and we can tell you that smudges are inevitable. So what's the best way to fix those smudges? We're going to show you the easiest way to get rid of those pesky smudges, and you'll be printing perfectly in no time!

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How to Fix Laser Printer Smudges?

The smudges and smears are a nuisance, but they can be fixed. Below are a few steps that you can try to fix the issue. These steps will work for any brand of printer, be it HP, Epson or Canon, and they are easy to do. Here you go.

Check the paper

First of all, check your paper. If you are using incompatible or wrinkled paper, you may see smudges or smears. To verify this is not the issue, try 8.5 x 11 sheets in your printer. If it works fine, the paper you were using originally is the problem.

Clean your printer

Clean the printer to get rid of dust, debris or leaked toner powder. You will need isopropyl alcohol and a clean cloth for this purpose. CamKix’s cleaning kit on Amazon contains everything you need to clean your printer. Assuming you have all the necessary tools, let's get into the cleaning process.

  • First, turn off the printer and let it cool down.
  • Then, remove the toner cartridge and the drum unit. Keep the drum unit in a dark place.
  • Now, moisten the clean cloth with a little water just enough that it is damp - not wet. 
  • Wipe off the toner powder (if any) and dust from the internal surfaces of the printer. Try to be as gentle as possible. Use a soft brush to clean parts that are difficult to reach.
  • Now, pour some isopropyl alcohol onto the cloth and clean the electronic contacts.
  • Finally, rub a q-tip along the corona wire to remove the built-up toner and dust.
  • Reassemble the printer and run a test to see if the smudges are gone.  
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Swap the toner

If the problems still persist, it is highly likely that the issue is hardware related. It could be caused by a defective fuser or a toner cartridge. In this case, it is best to replace the entire toner cartridge.

What Causes Laser Printer Smudges?

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Smudges on printout

There are many reasons why you might be getting smudges on your laser printer. It can be caused by:

  • Incompatible paper: Some types of paper do not work well with your printer.
  • The toner: A leaky toner spills toner powder inside the printer, and it may appear as multiple smudges and smears on the paper.
  • The cartridge: A defective or worn-out toner cartridge will cause smudges on your paper. As cartridges age, they may begin to distribute toner incorrectly. Alternatively, it could be using too much toner.
  • The fuser: A fuser is the component that makes the toner ink stick to the paper. When it is not fusing correctly, it can cause smudges on the paper.
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In conclusion, smudges or smears can occur in laser printers. It’s caused by a variety of factors, including dust, the paper itself, and/or the hardware. We have discussed a few things that you can do to fix laser printer smudges and smears all by yourself, before shelling out for expensive, high-end replacement parts.

That said, if your printer is too old, it is wise to get a new printer than try to fix the old one.