Light print or faint text is one of the most common printer issues we may encounter from time to time with our printers. Usually, many of us would assume that it’s only caused by low ink/toner levels. So we might need to replace new ink or toner cartridges. However, there could be something else causing faint prints or faded text for your printer actually.
If your printer has ink but prints have faded. Here’s some tips that can help you to find out the reason for the problem and solution to fix your printer without buying a new printer or new ink/toner.
1. Printer low ink/toner levels
As we just mentioned above, your cartridges could simply be empty or running low. So that’s where you should give it a check first. To do an ink or toner level checking. It can simply done on your PC by going to the control panel, and checking at your printer properties / cartridge status.
This will tell you exactly how much ink or toner is left in the cartridges, and if there is a problem with it.
For laser printers, you may want to give your toner cartridge a shake. Since it will help to redistribute the toner powder around the cartridge, and allow you to print a couple more pages before you replace it for a new cartridge. All you need to do is to shake the cartridge gently. Shake it with both hands from side to side. Up and down, for about 10 to 20 seconds each direction. Then put it back into your printer and try printing. You need to make sure you don’t do this with an ink cartridge otherwise you might end up spilling ink on yourself and everywhere.
For inkjet printers, you also need to check if the nozzles on the cartridges aren’t blocked. Or if there is any dried material preventing the flow of ink. If they do, clean the nozzles with a lightly dampened cloth and remove the dried material. Make sure when you are cleaning the nozzles, your printer has to be turned off and unplugged. And the cartridges removed before doing the cleaning.
2. A low ink/toner density setting
Some printers allow you to change the density settings of ink and toner by your own. In this case, your printer’s default setting could be low, which causes those faint prints afterwards. Make sure to check if your printer has ink/toner density settings. Simply go on your PC and you should be able to find them by going on your printer in “Devices & Printers”. If the setting of your printer has a low density, try to increase it slightly and then try printing.
3. Problems with fuser roller and transfer roller
Problems with the fuser roller or toner sticking to the fuser roller is another common issue we encounter with printers.
For laser printers, the fuser is the part which heats the toner powder. And helps it to stick and seal the paper to create a print. Sometimes a toner can stick to a fuser’s upper roller, which results in a ghosted image in the printouts. This happens because the last thing that’s printed out leaves toner particles that aren’t completely melted stuck to the fuser. When the next thing is printed, those toner particles transfer onto the paper and give the effect of a faint ghostly picture over the top of the new printout.
If you see ghosting print. It’s a certain sign of a problem caused by the fuser. What you can do is to try to remove your fuser unit, And check if the upper roller has toner stuck on to it. Just make sure your printer unplugged when you do this checking. If your printer indeed has a fuser roller problem, then it’s probably time to replace it with a new one.
For the problems with the transfer roller, the incorrectly positioned in your printer and causing those faded prints. The transfer roller uses its electrical charge to get the toner from the cartridge’s drum unit onto the page. You can try to remove the transfer roller using the hooks it comes with and try inserting it again carefully. If you have a problem removing it, just be careful don’t break out the tools. When the roller inserted properly, it should look flat. And you should not have a problem removing or inserting it. Ask a technician for assistance for checking this problem if you cannot remove the roller. And you think it caused by an inappropriate insert.
In some cases, the transfer roller could have something on its surface that’s having a detrimental effect on the electrical charge; therefore, it affects the capability to transfer toner properly onto the printing pages and causes a faint print. If that’s the case, use a dry cloth or use a can of compressed air to blow it for cleaning. Keep in mind that you should not touch the surface of the transfer roller with your hands, otherwise this could make the problem even getting worse.
4. Blocked Inkjet print heads or air bubbles are trapped in the inkwell
For inkjet printers, it’s very common that over a period of consistent use. The mechanism that transfers the droplets of ink onto the paper called the print head. Becomes blocked or clogged and then causes missing areas of print on the paper or faded text. Also, air bubbles trapped in the ink cartridge well can cause similar problems like faded areas. It’s because the air bubbles pushed out of the ink cartridge instead of the ink droplet then causing missing areas of print on the paper.
To fix these problems, use a very light dampened cloth to clean the ink cartridges. Carefully remove the ink cartridges and clean the print head with a dampened clot. After you have finished cleaning the cartridges, run the print head cleaning process from your printer menu or from your PC. Make sure to do this cleaning carefully and not get any ink on your skin or clothing since it can be very difficult to remove.
For clearing out any air bubbles trapped inside the inkwell, perform a print head clean process, then after the print head clean process. Wait around 2 hours then run another clean process again. You may need to repeat this process every 1 to 2 hours until at least 3 to 4 cleaning processes have been done. It’s very important to wait a few hours in between the cleaning process, or you could make the clogging of the print head worse.
5. Location of your printer
Sometimes we may unknowingly place the printer in an area with too low or too high humidity where it should not be located.
Actually, the humidity in the room can affect the performance of printers. In fact, the ink or toner cartridge and also the printing papers all have an optimum operating humidity rating. If the humidity is too low or too high, some problems can quickly occur with the printer. For example, if your printer is in a room that’s got a low humidity level, ink could be difficult to set and dry properly on the print page, which causes printouts to look faint and light.
On the other hand, a high humidity level in your office causes the printing paper to get damp since it absorbs water in the air around. The humidity causing the paper to slightly ripple and even become uneven. Then when you try to print, the ink or toner is distributed unevenly across the page. And you get poor quality like light text and faded printouts. In this case, you may want to keep any spare printing papers in a dry or low humidity area where you know it can be kept in good condition.
In general, the best place for your printer to be is somewhere that’s neither too humid or not humid enough. But also remember that humidity levels in the same area could differ depending on the time of year. Finally, to resolve this problem and prevent a potential detrimental issue for your printer. It may be worth it to put a hygrometer in your office to monitor the humidity level. And see if it causes problems for your printer and prevent it.