How to Fix Printer Streaks [Detailed Guide]

Is your printer leaving streaks on your print jobs? If that is the case, allow us to guide you on how to fix printer streaks within minutes.

HP ENVY Pro 6455 Wireless All-in-One Printer, Mobile Print, Scan & Copy, Auto Document Feeder, Works with Alexa (5SE45A)

What Causes Streaks in Printing and Solutions

The following are what causes streaks when printing and how you can solve these issues…

1. Used Up Toner Cartridge

Once the ink within your toner cartridge is used up, you will begin to experience streaks on your print jobs. So this printer part needs to be replaced over time.

How to check if your Toner Cartridge is Used Up

To check if your toner is used up do the following…

Step 1: Open the printer cover.

Step 2: Take out the toner cartridge from your printer.

Check your user manual on how to do i and ii.

Step 3: Shake the cartridge from side to side severally to rearrange the toner within the cartridge.

Do this with a trashcan underneath to capture any toner that might spill out.

Step 4: Reinsert the cartridge into the printer.

Step 5: Make a test print to see if the streaks are no longer appearing.

Step 6: If the problem persists, consult your printer’s manual for a built-in cartridge cleaning function.

If you don’t have a manual, then you can check your manufacturer’s website for it. For example, if you are using a Brother printer, you can find your printer’s manual here.

Step 7: Run the cartridge cleaning function.

Step 8: Make another test print.

If the problem remains, then you need to replace the toner cartridge. Doing this should give solution to this problem: “Why is my printer printing black streaks?”

Brother TN-850 DCP-L5500 L5600 L5650 HL-L5000 L5100 L5200 L6200 L650 L6300 L6400 MFC-L5700 L5750 L5800 L5850 L5900 L6700 L6750 L6800 L6900 Toner Cartridge (Black) in Retail Packaging

2. Your Drum Unit is Worn Out

The drum unit in your laser printer can get worn out over time especially if you remove it from the printer frequently. Furthermore, being a consumable item, it is required that you replace it after using 3 to 4 toners.

How to check if your Drum Unit is Worn Out

Do the following to check if your drum unit is worn out…

Step 1: Open your printer cover.

Step 2: Take out the drum unit by holding it at the handle.

Ensure you consult your user manual on how to do i and ii. This is because printer models vary.

Step3: Examine the drum unit carefully to see if there is any wear on the body of the item.

Step 4: If you find any wear, then it needs to be replaced.

If you have already used 4 toners, we recommend you replace the drum unit instead of using it again.

And if there is no observable wear, then you can reinsert the drum unit into the printer.

And before you ask again “Why is my printer streaking ink”, check the next item below.

3. Dirty Drum

“Why is my printer leaving streaks” can also be caused by a dirty drum. If this is the case, all you need to do is clean the dirty drum.

How to Clean Printer Drum

Follow the steps below to clean your printer drum:

Step 1: Open the printer cover.

Step 2: Take out the drum.

We recommend you check how to do i and ii on your printer manual.

Step 3: Locate the corona wire within the drum.

Step 4: Then slide the green tab gently from its original position at the right to the left to clean the corona wire.

Repeat this process severally.

Step 5: Then move the tab back to its original position.

Step 6: Take a dry, lint-free cloth and clean the drum roller gently.

Ensure that your fingers don’t touch the drum roller while cleaning.

The 3 reasons discussed above are only applicable to laser printers.

Check out the video below…

4.  Blocked Print Head

A blocked print head can cause your printer to have horizontal streaks on your print jobs. This can be corrected by cleaning the print head.

You can learn how to clean print head in this article.

5. Cartridge Seals are not Fully Removed

This could be another reason you are complaining “why does my printer leave streaks?”. When the protective seals covering the cartridge are not removed, you will get missing lines with streaks and even faint print.

To correct this issue, simply take out your cartridge and peel off the seals completely.

6. Out of Ink – How to Fix Printer Streaks

Is your printer leaving yellow streaks? Then it could be your colored ink cartridge has run out.

You can correct this issue by getting a new cartridge to replace the old one. When doing this, make sure you get genuine ink that is compatible with your printer.

HP 63XL | Ink Cartridge | Works with HP Deskjet 1112, 2100 Series, 3600 Series, HP ENVY 4500 Series, HP OfficeJet 3800 Series, 4600 Series, 5200 Series | Black | F6U64AN

7. You have not printed in a Long Time

The issue of Why does my printer leave streaks” could also be a result of not printing in a long time. When you leave your printer for a while without printing, the print head can likely dry out.

So, to correct this issue, use your printer at least once a week. This will cause the print head not to dry out. This, in turn, will prevent you from complaining: “Why is my printer printing streaks?”.

8.  Print Head is Out of Alignment

“Why is my printer printing with streaks” could also be due to your print head being out of alignment. You can correct it by using your printer’s alignment function to put it back in place.

If you don’t know how to do this, consult your user manual.

Issues 4 to 8 are only applicable to inkjet printers.

9. Debris Build Up within the Printer

“Why is printer streaking?” complaint could be due to build-up of dust, fibers, hair, and other kinds of debris within your printer.

This can be corrected by careful yet thorough cleaning of the internal parts of the printer.

10. Paper Block

Pieces of paper could block the print job leading to vertical lines on your print job. How to fix printer with vertical lines can be solved by checking for any paper causing this jam.

Issues 9 and 10 apply to both laser printers and inkjet printers.

After trying the solutions above and you still can’t fix your printer streaking problem, then you need to consider getting a new printer.

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