What Would Cause the Back of the Page to Come Out of a Laser Printer Dirty?

Laser printers create a permanently bonded image by fusing a powdered mixture of granulated plastic and pigment to the surface of sheets of paper using intense heat. When the pages you print come out of the printer with what appears to be dirt on the back of the sheets, the resulting output makes a bad impression on your company’s clients. Before seeking professional assistance with your printer, look for symptoms that you can correct yourself. 

Paper Problems

If you use paper with a rough surface texture, sheets that are too thin or thick, or media that has been exposed to excessive heat or humidity, your stock may not feed properly through the printer. Similarly, materials with only one image able surface may print poorly if placed wrong side up in the input tray. Output symptoms that disappear when you replace the printer’s paper supply or orient it correctly for your intended use indicate a problem with the media rather than the printer or its toner supply. 

Printer Contamination

A leaking cartridge can cause stray toner to be distributed throughout the interior of your printer. Extraneous toner clings to the sheets and appears as dirt on the back of each page as it passes through the imaging path. If you open the printer and remove the toner cartridge for closer inspection, you should be able to detect any leaks. To clear the contamination, consult your user guide for a cleaning-page procedure. Create a testing and cleaning page by creating a word processing document with only carriage returns and printing it ten times. If you get toner on your hands, keep them away from your face until you can thoroughly clean them. 

Duplex Unit

When printing two-sided sheets, you either print one side and feed the page back through to print content on the back in a second pass, or you use automatic duplexing features on a printer that can print on both sides automatically. Examine the paper specifications for your hardware to see if the stock you’re using is suitable for duplexing and, if not, substitute suitable paper. If the problem disappears when you use two-sided printing media, you can rule out your printer as the source of your output symptoms. 

Other Considerations

Although most new toner cartridges produce flawless output when used with the appropriate paper, some new and remanufactured consumables may exhibit output flaws. If you test your printer with a new cartridge before spending time researching its symptoms, you can quickly rule out simple, user-resolvable issues and get back to work. If the output problem persists, seek professional assistance from a technician.

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