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Fix Printer Producing Light or Faded Prints

It is really frustrating when the printer does not work normally, especially when you badly need a document to be printed for school or for work. Light print or faded text is one of the most common printer issues. We will talk about what you can do to help troubleshoot and diagnose the problem.


Ink or Toner Cartridges are Defective or at Low Levels

The most common reason why the printer product faded prints is because of empty or defective ink/toner cartridges, so be sure to check them from time to time. You can check the ink levels by going to the Control Panel, go to Devices and Printers, Right click on your printer, click Printer properties then Cartridge Status. Some printer software shows the ink levels when you use the printer.


Ink or Toner Saving is ON 

Printers allow you to set the print quality or print density of the document. If the printer produces light print, the setting may be set to draft mode or low print density making the print output to have light prints or faded. To fix this, go to your printer preferences and set it to normal or high print density.


Toner Powder Are Not Distributed Evenly

For laser printer users, it’s possible that the toner in the cartridge has settled and needs to be distributed evenly. Take out the toner cartridge and using both hands, shake it gently from left to right and up and down for a few seconds and install. This evenly distributes the toner powder in the cartridge giving more page yield before completely replacing it.


Problems With Fuser or Transfer Roller

The printer uses a transfer roller that uses electrical charge to get toner from the cartridge’s drum unit and to be printed onto the page. An incorrectly positioned transfer roller can cause light or faded prints. You can solve this by reinstalling it to the printer carefully. Once detached, check the surface if it has some grime or dirt carefully remove it using a dry cloth or use compressed air. Avoid touching with your bare hands as the problem will get worse After cleaning carefully put it back to the printer.


Clogged Inkjet Print Head

For inkjet printers, this is a common issue that can cause faded prints. The print head can be blocked or clogged with dirt and dry ink, another reason is that air bubbles are trapped inside the ink cartridge. The air bubbles are pushed out instead of ink droplets out of the cartridge causing missing prints on the printer.

You can fix this by removing the ink cartridge and cleaning the print head with a lightly dampened cloth. You can also use the Windex solution and place the cartridge for a few hours to remove dirt and dry ink and clean it with clean dry cloth. After cleaning cartridges, run the print head cleaning process from your printer menu, to let the air bubbles out of the cartridges. Do this 2-4 times for a 2 hour interval.


Low or High Humidity

This may not be a common issue but humidity can also cause faded prints. There’s a reason why it is recommended room temperature to store the printer in the user manual. If the humidity is too low, there is a chance that the paper will absorb moisture and will crumple creating uneven surfaces making the ink not distribute evenly causing faded prints. On the other hand if the humidity is too high this will cause the ink on the cartridges to clog the print head.

It is best to place the printer somewhere that has just right humidity between 40% to 60% depending on printer models so be sure to check the manual for the optimal humidity to properly store the printer.


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