Why is my printer printing streaks?

Printer ink

Printer use different types of ink depending on what type of paper they print onto. Different colors of ink have different viscosities, which mean that some colors may flow easier than others. If you notice that your printer is printing streaks, then it could mean that the ink is not flowing properly. You should check the ink cartridge and make sure that it is full. If it still does not work, try changing the cartridge.

Paper jam

If you notice that your printer prints out only half of a page, then it could mean a paper jam. Make sure that you remove any sheets of paper that are stuck inside the printer. If this doesn’t help, then you should contact your local service center.

Dust build-up

Dust builds up over time in printer, causing them to malfunction. To prevent this, clean the rollers regularly. Also, if you notice that the print quality is getting worse, you should replace the rollers.

Dirty nozzle

The nozzles of your printer get dirty over time, making it harder for the ink to flow smoothly. Clean the nozzles using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Ink cartridge

Ink cartridges dry out over time, causing them to clog. When this happens, the printer won’t be able to print anything. Replace the cartridge when necessary.

Print head

Your printer print head can become damaged over time. Check the print head for cracks and chips. If you find any, then replace the entire print head. If you notice that the printer prints out pages of a different size than usual, then it could mean the paper tray is empty. In this case, you should refill the tray.

Printer ink

Printer use different types of inks depending on what they’re printing. Inks are composed of pigments suspended in solvents (or binders) that allow them to adhere to paper. There are two primary types of inks: pigment-based and dye-based. Pigment-based inks have a higher concentration of pigment than dye-based inks. Both types of inks may contain additives to help prevent clogging of the print head and improve flow characteristics.

Paper type

Paper type refers to the quality of paper being printed on. If the paper is not compatible with the ink, then the ink will not stick properly. Most printer offer several options for paper type. These include plain paper, coated paper, glossy paper, and special papers designed for photo printing.


Print speed

Print speed refers to how fast the printer prints pages. Higher print speeds mean faster page turns. However, if the printer does not have enough memory to store images, then print speeds will slow down.


Dots per inch determine the sharpness of text and graphics. A high resolution means crisp text and graphics.

Print mode

The print mode determines whether the printer prints black text on white background or vice versa. Black text on white background is called reverse printing.

Color management

Color management refers to the way colors are displayed on a computer monitor versus the way they appear on paper. When color management is enabled, the printer automatically converts colors to match the display device. Without color management, the printer uses its own settings to convert colors to match the display.

Media size

Media size refers to the size of the paper being printed on. Larger sizes require more time to print. Smaller sizes take less time to print.

Prints are not always what they seem

When you print something, you expect to get a clear image. However, sometimes prints have streaks of ink that run down the page. These streaks are caused by the paper being unevenly coated with ink. When the paper is rolled out, the coating may not be even across the entire surface. If the paper is unevenly coated, then the ink will bleed together and create streaks.


Ink smears easily

Ink smears easily if the paper is not evenly coated. You can prevent this problem by using a roller that is perfectly smooth. A roller with grooves or ridges will cause the ink to smear.

Inks fade over time

The color of ink fades over time. To avoid this problem, use archival-quality inkjet cartridges. Archival quality inkjet cartridges last much longer than standard inkjet cartridges.

Ink dries slowly

If you want to ensure that your ink does not dry before you’re finished printing, wait until the job is completely done before removing the cartridge.

Ink is expensive

You should only buy inkjet cartridges that are designed specifically for professional printers. Professional inkjet cartridges cost more than regular ones.


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