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Tackling Blurry Prints: 7 DIY Solutions for Printer Issues

When the “print” button is pressed, the expectation is a sharp, clear reproduction of the document on the computer screen. Yet, when the printer delivers a page marred by blurriness, streaks, or faded colors, frustration can quickly set in. Fortunately, many printer errors can be addressed with a bit of do-it-yourself (DIY) know-how. Here are seven quick fixes to try when facing blurry prints:

1. Clean the Platen Glass

If black streaks mar your copied documents, the culprit might be a dirty platen glass on your multifunctional printer. Ensure the device is powered down and unplugged before cleaning. Use a lint-free cloth sprayed with glass cleaner to wipe the glass. Allow surfaces to dry completely before plugging the device back in.

2. Check the Level of Toner or Ink

When the ink coverage fades unevenly across the page, low toner or ink levels may be the issue. Check the cartridge levels, and if they are low, consider replacing them.

3. Print Only High-Resolution Image Files

Blurry images amidst clear text could be due to low-resolution image files. Ensure images have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi for optimal print quality.

4. Use Paper Without Texture

While textured paper may have its applications, it carries the risk of toner flaking off or ink smudging. Refer to your printer’s manual for recommended paper specifications, especially when using textured or thicker paper like cardstock.

5. Control the Temperature and Humidity of the Room

Extreme heat or humidity can adversely affect your printer, causing malfunctions or paper-related issues. Maintain a room temperature of 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity between 30 to 50 percent for optimal printing conditions.

6. Check for Driver Updates

Printing gibberish may indicate a need for a print driver update. Outdated, incompatible, or corrupt drivers can lead to misinterpretation of print data. Regularly check for and install driver updates to ensure smooth printing.

7. Replace a Leaky Toner Cartridge

Excess toner smears on printed pages may signal a leaky toner cartridge. If so, remove the cartridge, wipe away any dust or toner with a dry cloth, and replace it with a new one. If you encounter excess toner inside the printer, consider using a vacuum designed for fine dust particles like toner powder, or contact your Managed Print Services (MPS) provider for professional assistance.

What Else Could It Be?

Other potential causes of blurry prints include a damaged print head, fuser problems, or dirty rollers within the printer. The intricacies of a multifunction printer’s internal components are best left to professionals to avoid inadvertent damage. In such cases, contacting an experienced repair technician or your MPS provider for a service call is advisable.

The Advantage of Managed Print Services

For those under a Managed Print Services (MPS) agreement, reaching out to the MPS provider for a service call is a reliable option. Trusted providers like Gordon Flesch Company (GFC) not only address specific issues but also include preventive maintenance checks for quality assurance. These checks assess all elements of the equipment, ensuring optimal performance. Working with GFC guarantees maximum equipment uptime and minimizes extended downtime associated with scheduled preventive maintenance. Each service call by a GFC Technician also includes a thorough cleaning of the equipment.

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