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Description of Problem 100000018533

The printed pages have  dots or spots. How can I improve the print quality?

Description of Solution 200000023592

Take the printed page with the dots running down the page and measure the distance between the repeating dots or group of repeating dots.


a.  If the dots are spaced every 3.7 in. (or 94mm) with about 2 - 3 dots down the page, go to STEP 1.


b.  If the dot pattern repeats every 1.5 in. (or 39mm) with about 7 - 8 dots down the page, the TONER cartridge may be causing the issue.  Go to STEP 7.


1.  Dots are typically caused by foreign material inside the machine (for example, paper dust, glue from labels or envelopes, paper clips, staples) sticking to or damaging the surface of the drum. Toner builds up on or sticks to these areas on the drum and creates black dots on the printed pages.


2.  Remove, inspect and clean the drum unit.  Typically more than one cleaning is required to fully remove material stuck to the drum surface.  Items required for cleaning the drum are clean blank white paper and the following:


a.  Alcohol Swab, such as a medical alcohol pad or wipe, which can be found at a local retail pharmacy or first aid kit.




b.  Cotton Swab lightly moistened with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. 


As a precaution please note: Isopropyl alcohol is flammable and should be kept away from fire or flame.  As stated, this cleaning process typically has to be repeated several times to remove certain kinds of foreign material from the drum unit surface.


3.  Clean the drum surface by inserting a clean sheet of blank white paper in the ADF and make 10 blank, white copies.


-   If the smudges or dots no longer appear, the issue is resolved.


-   If the smudges or dots continue with no improvement after making 10 blank copies, go to STEP 4.


-   If the smudges or dots continue after making 10 blank copies but there is an improvement, print 10 more blank copies to clean the drum further.


-   If the smudges and dots continue after making 20 blank copies, the drum surface may need to be cleaned manually. Go STEP 4.




a.  Disconnect all cables and cords and then unplug the power cord from the machine.


b.  Open the front cover of the machine.   Then, lift the drum unit up and pull it out of the machine.




NOTE: Be sure to place the drum unit on a clean, flat surface on top of a piece of disposable paper to avoid spilling and scattering toner.  If you get toner on your hands or clothes, immediately wash it off with cold water.


c.  Push down the blue lock lever and take the toner cartridge out of the drum unit.



d.  Take your print sample and put it in front of the drum (see image below) to find the area of the drum that may be causing the dots. 




e.  Turn the drum unit gear toward you by hand and look for any marks or material on the drum surface (1).  Turning the drum gear will ensure you inspect the entire drum surface. 




NOTE: The drum is photosensitive and should not be touched directly by your fingers or hand as it will apply body oils to the drum surface.




a.  When you find the area on the drum that matches the print sample, gently wipe the surface of the drum with the alcohol swab or cotton swab lightly moistened with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. 


     NOTE: DO NOT clean the surface of the drum with any sharp object.


b.  Before continuing further, allow the alcohol to evaporate or dry off the drum surface.  In some cases there may be several areas on a drum that need cleaning.


c.  In order to inspect the entire drum surface, turn the drum gear towards you.  Make sure you completely rotate the drum to fully inspect the entire surface.




a.  When you are done cleaning the drum, put the toner cartridge back into the drum unit until you hear it lock into place. If you put the cartridge in properly, the blue lock lever will lift automatically. 



b.  Put the drum unit and toner cartridge assembly back in the machine.  Close the front cover.




c.  Plug the power cord back into the machine and then reconnect all other cables and cords.


d.  To further clean the drum and remove any materials that may not have been completely wiped away when the drum surface was manually cleaned, make 10 more blank copies of a clean sheet of white paper inserted into the ADF.


e.  Print a User Settings list by pressing MENU, 6, 5, START.  After a few seconds, the User Settings List will print.


f.  Compare the Help List to previous print outs with the dots to see if the print quality has improved.


i.   If the issue is the same or the quality has improved, but the issue is still visible, you will need to repeat the cleaning process.  Performing multiple cleanings has been very successful. 


ii.   If the print quality issue continues after multiple cleanings, the drum will need to be replaced.  The part number for the drum is DR360.  If you find that your retailer does not carry the specific supplies and accessories you are looking to locate, you can purchase them by calling our toll free Accessory Line on 1-877-552-MALL (6255) or shop on-line at our website at


7.  If the dot pattern repeats every 1.5 in. (or 39mm) with about 7 � 8 dots down the page, the toner cartridge will need to be replaced.  To replace the toner follow the steps in the link below:

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