How to Clean Laser Printer Streaks: Safe Way to Do It!

Are you suffering from streaks or black vertical lines at the time of print output? 

If yes then this article is the perfect stopping point for you because we are going to solve your problem by guiding you on how to clean laser printer streaks.

The print streaks are of different types which include sharp black, smeared black, fading light, vertical white, etc.

The biggest reason for printer streak is spent toner cartridge or a worn-out drum unit. Always remember that you have to change the drum units after 3 to 4 times of using.

In some printers, the drum unit is inbuilt in the toner cartridge whereas in some printers the drum unit is separate. 

Whether the drum unit is separate or connected the cleaning process is very easy, because laser printers are not only easy to use but they are also easy to clean. 

So without any further time wasting let’s move towards our main topic and have a look at those things you will require for the cleaning purpose. 

What You’ll Need:

Clean Laser Printer

Before starting the process you will need a few materials and tools. Availability of all these products creates a lot of ease during the cleaning session. 

#1. Activated Toner Cloth:

It’s better to use an activated toner cloth that is oil-free or non-oily. These toner cloths have a static charge that attracts the toner particles to themselves. These toner cloths are great for cleaning the spills of toner cartridges properly. 

If something is not picked up or get cleaned by the vacuum then toner cloth comes into use.  This activated cloth toner is best for removing dust, ink, gunk, toner, and other particles which might cause paper jams or other print problems. 

An activated toner cloth is not reusable you have to throw them away after one use. If you reuse it the dust or ink will again get inside and will cause even more problems. 

#2. Isopropyl Alcohol:

There are few spaces and very small particles that can’t be cleaned using activated toner cloth, so in that case, isopropyl alcohol comes into use.

It is a liquid so it will reach every place that is even hard to reach. It is mostly used to get rid of tiny particles. 

#3. Gas Mask:

Gas Mask

Laser printers use powder toner in them which can be really harmful to an individual if inhaled. It will not harm you that much if it comes in contact with skin but if it gets inhaled or swallowed then it will. 

If the powder gets in contact with your eyes then be ready for irritation and redness. So in order to stay away from all these hazards, all you need to do is wear a gas mask.

And do not remove it until your entire cleaning procedure is completed. 

#4. Make Sure The Area Is Well Ventilated:

As you know toner powders can be really harmful so when you are cleaning make sure the area where you are doing the cleaning procedure is properly and sufficiently ventilated.

If the area is small it will also cause suffocation, it is not just harmful to you but if you have a pet they will also get harmed. It’s better to keep your pets away when working.

The more open and ventilated area the less inhaling of ink or toner powders. 

#5. Latex Or Rubber Gloves:

If your skin comes in contact with toner in large amounts then it will be really harmful to you as it can cause irritation and in a few rare cases, it can even cause allergic reactions. 

Whether it’s your first time or not it’s safe to wear latex or rubber gloves whatever feels comfortable to you. 

With the help of gloves, you will not face any problem even if you hold the toner or toner cartridge for a long time.  Not only just these gloves will protect you but they will also keep your hands clean. 

#6. Toner Vacuum:


A toner vacuum is a device that is used to remove the toner from the inside of the laser printer deeply but very gently without causing any harm to any of its parts. 

These vacuums contain filters in them that are useful for trapping any fine toner particles.

This is not a necessary tool its completely optional. A toner vacuum is expensive so it totally depends upon your budget whether you need one or not.

#7. Paintbrush:

For brushing the dust it’s better and recommended to use a paintbrush. As the bristles of paintbrushes are very soft and smooth they will not harm your printer at any cost. 

You can also use an old makeup brush. Some people also use toothbrushes for dusting off. Do not even think about it because toothbrush bristles are very hard so they can ruin the delicate particles and they will not dust off properly.

#8. Turn Off The Printer:

Before starting the process make sure to turn off the printer and for more safety remove the plug from the electricity.

Related Post: What Does Collate Mean On Printers?

How To Do It?

Clean Laser Printer

So finally after grabbing all the materials all you need to do is follow the written below tips and steps properly

All the steps are very easy and they will guide you properly on how to clean laser printer streaks.

1. Cool Down Printer:

The first and the very crucial step before starting the exact cleaning process is cooling the printer. Laser printer gets really heated up when they are in use or connected with electricity.

So if the printer is hot then it might be possible that it can cause burn and even electric shock. 

It’s better to turn off the printer and let it cool down at least 1 hour before the cleaning procedure. If you feel slightly hot then wait until it’s properly cooled.

2. Gather Your Supplies:

Gather all your supplies, materials, and tools. Wear your mask and gloves and choose a ventilated area. 

3. Drum Cleaning:

Follow all the steps exactly as written below,

  • Start by opening your laser printer (If you dont know how to do it check your printer’s manual or guidebook).
  • After opening remove all the toners and drum assembly.
  • On the left side of the drum and toner assembly, you will see a green lock lever. Push the button And then simply pull out the toner cartridge from the drum unit.
  • Inside the drum unit, you will see a roller present. The roller and other internal equipment are very delicate so be very gentle. With a help of a cotton swab clean the surfaces of the toner. Do not use the dry cotton swab as it will not clean that much. Dip the cotton swab in Isopropyl Alcohol and then use it.
  • At this point, if you see any major physical damage on the drum surface such as geshes, nicks, stretches, etc stop the process because these problems can be fixed only by professionals.
  • But if there is no certain physical damage then you can continue your cleaning process.
  • Let the Isopropyl Alcohol get dry. Once the Isopropyl Alcohol is completely dried it will evaporate from the drum surface. Now you can continue the cleaning procedure.
  • Look for the primary corona wire clean it also and gently slide the green tab from right to left. And after cleaning put the green tab in its original place.
  • All your cleaning is done now reinstall the toner into the drum. And then assemble toner cartridge and drum assembly into the printer properly. 

4. Test It:

After cleaning and reassembling all the parts make sure to test the printer. Use 10-12 blank white pages and use them for testing. If you dont see any streaks or black lines then it means the problem is solved properly. 

But if your printer still provides you with black lines then it means you have to repeat and clean everything again. 

5. What’s If The Issue Is Not Solved:

Even after the double cleaning if the issue is not solved then you have to change the drum unit for sure. And the most important thing the drum unit issue doesn’t come under the warranty so you have to change the drum on your own.

Also read: Top 6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Laser Printer 2022

Wrapping It All Up!

Knowing everything related to how to clean laser printer streaks provides you with great comfort and benefits. As you dont have to pay again and again to the professionals in order to get rid of this problem. 

Follow all the above-mentioned points exactly the same and make sure to keep all the safety precautions while doing it. 

It will take your time and effort both but it will keep your printer working not only for the present but for future good quality printings too. 

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