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Imaging Solutions Blog

Streaks on Prints and Scans? Here’s the Solution.

Posted by Zack Nimtz on 9/13/16 10:51 AM


We’ve all been pestered from time to time with random lines, specks and ink smudges on printed documents. Production work can be delayed for hours, sometimes days, missing deadlines because the materials needed could not be produced during print device down time.

Between performing your own research, looking up what might be the issue online, and finally finding someone to come to your business to service the device, you can lose important hours or even days for running your business. Perhaps, you are flooding your IT department with help emails and  service calls that are printer related. Several studies have shown an average of 40% to 60% of IT help and service calls are related to printer issues.

Imagine if you didn’t have anyone to call for help. How long would it take until the issue was resolved and your business could continue with proper production? Would the issue even get resolved?

It’s always good to have an expert service technician on your side during these types of situations that can limit your productivity.

After picking the brains of some of our experts over here at Advanced Imaging Solutions about what could be the problem with a device that is producing documents with streaks or lines on them, I’m going to share what they told me might be going on with your device …

How the lines are being created on your printed/scanned documents is actually an important piece of information to uncover what the issue may be. For example, are the lines created by leaving an excess of residue on your documents, or are the lines being created by an absence of ink/toner? 


When there is an excess of ink residue on your scanned documents


If your printer or copier is leaving a residue on printed documents you should check to see if the glass plate(s) on your device is free of any leftover ink/residue from previous scan or print jobs that used the device’s Automatic Document Feeder (ADF).

You can clean  off the glass yourself. We recommend using a non-caustic or pH neutral cleaner on a microfiber cloth to wipe the glass with. Depending on the location the ink/residue  on your glass, you can usually confirm if it’s coming from buildup being collected or if it was formed by a generous use of the device’s ADF. Which is the case if the ink/residue appears on or near the right strip of glass on the device.  

The buildup of the glass may be due to the fact that proper paper types and weights are not being used properly for the type of information that is being printed on them. (You can read more about selecting proper paper types for which information you will be printing onto them avoiding unnecessary smudges and unintended creases in your paper in a later blog.)


When there is an absence of ink on of your scanned or printed documents



If your device is printing documents that have an absence of residue (ink/toner) then you may want to first check any buildup on your printer or copier roller. Then check your cleaning unit and cartridge.


Tip: Eliminate excess ink that may be coming from any build up on your printer or copier’s roller:




Tip: Sometimes taking the toner/ink cartridge out from your device and shaking it to level out fluids/powder inside helps:



Issues printing in black vs. issues printing in color

A multifunction device functions the same way to produce both black and color prints, however the instruments used to produce them are located in different sections of the device. (One location is fairly easy to get to but the other location is trickier to get to and would require a trained technician or an expert service specialist’s help.) 

For example, if your document print/scan issues only occur when you’re printing in color (not using black) then you may have an issue with your device’s color drum or cleaning unit.


Tip: Check out the video below of our training specialist performing a demonstration of clearing a cleaning unit on a Canon device:  


However, if your prints and scans are simply not coming out right (varying gradients and darkness on documents) only when you're using the color black, then you may have an issue that requires you to contact one of our technicians to come and take a look inside your device. Without getting too technical, a more intricate piece of your device may need cleaned out or replaced. 

Advanced Imaging Solutions is a managed print services provider for small to mid-size businesses in South Bend Indiana that uses proprietary software that enables their service and technicians to access client information on their mobile device from any location. Rest assured when you’re trying to meet your business deadlines and run into a hiccup there are trained professionals who have your information at their fingertips wherever they go all in real time. An expert print technician will also run certain tests to ensure any issues you are having are isolated and properly fixed – informing you on any recommendations for preventative and proactive measures in extending the lifespan of your multifunction devices.




Topics: maintenance, Tips/Training