Answer to your Frequently Asked Question:

Printer Friendly
Description of Problem 100000023292

The printed pages have colored dots or marks on them. How can I improve the print quality?

Description of Solution 200000029695

If you are experiencing dots or marks on printed pages from your Brother machine, please complete the following steps to troubleshoot this issue:


1. Make sure the paper or media type you are printing on is within specification. Below is the media type supported by the machine.


- Use paper that is between 20 lb to 43 lb. If you are printing on paper that is over 28 lb, use the MP tray to print. The MP tray can be used for paper that is 20 lb to 43 lb.


- If you are printing on glossy paper that is 43 lb or more, print only 1 sheet at a time from the MP tray with back cover open.


Recommended Paper


Plain Paper: Xerox 4200 20lb or Hammer mill Laser Print 24 lb (90 g/m2)


Recycled Paper: No specific brand recommended


Labels: Avery Laser Labels white #5160


Envelope: No specific brand recommended


Glossy Paper: Office Depot Brand Glossy Laser Presentation Paper 65 lb* (100 g/m2)

*The machine supports paper up to 43 lb bond paper. The Office Depot Brand Glossy Laser Presentation Paper 65 lb is a "Tag" Transformation Paper Type which is equivalent to 31 lb bond paper.


Media Type and Capacity by Tray


Plain Paper (20 to 28 lb or 75g/m2 to 105g/m2): Can be printed from Tray 1, Tray 2, MP Tray, or Duplex


Recycled Paper: Can be printed from Tray 1, Tray 2, MP Tray, or Duplex


Bond Paper (16 to 43 lb or 60g/m2 to 163g/m2): MP Tray only


Thin Paper (16 to 20 lb or 60g/m2 to 75g/m2): Can be printed from Tray 1, Tray 2, MP Tray, or Duplex


Thick Paper (28 to 43 lb or 105g/m2 to 163g/m2): MP Tray only


Labels: MP Tray only


Envelopes: MP Tray only


Glossy Paper (16 to 43 lb or 60g/m2 to 163g/m2): MP Tray, Duplex*

* Only print in Duplex if Glossy paper is between 16 lb to 28 lb.


Recommended Paper Size



NOTE: Do not use paper designed for inkjet printing as it may cause damage to your machine. This damage is not covered under any Brother warranty or service agreement.


The machine is designed to work well with most types of xerographic and bond paper. However, some paper variables may have an effect on print quality and handling reliability. Always test samples of paper before purchasing large quantities to ensure desirable performance. Use neutral paper; do not use acidic or alkaline paper. Use long grain paper. Use paper with a moisture content of approximately 5%. This machine can use recycled paper that meets DIN 19309 specifications.


NOTE: Using paper heavier than 43 lb can damage the drum unit, fusing unit or other parts of the units which can result in dots or smears on printed pages.


2. The drum unit is causing the issue and will need to be cleaned by following the steps below.


a. Make sure the machine is displaying the "Date & Time".


b. Press MENU, Print Reports, DOWN ARROW to display Drum Dot Print, press Drum Dot Print, and press BLACK START or COLOR START to printout the drum dot check sheet.


c. Turn the machine off using the power switch located on the right side of the machine.


d. Press the front cover release button and then open the front cover.



e. Hold the green handle of the drum unit. Pull the drum unit out until it stops.



f. Turn the green lock lever (1) at the left of the machine counterclockwise to the release position. Holding the green handles of the drum unit, lift the front of the drum unit and remove it from the machine.




NOTE: We recommend that you place the drum unit and/or toner cartridges on a clean, flat surface with a piece of disposable paper underneath it in case you accidentally spill or scatter toner.


g. Hold the handle of the toner cartridges and slightly push it to unlock. Then pull it out of the drum unit. Repeat this for all the toner cartridges.




h. Turn the drum unit over by holding the green handles. Make sure that the drum unit gears (1) are on the left hand side.




i. Read the following information from the drum dot check sheet.


Dot color problem: The color of the printed dots is the color of the drum you should clean.


Dot location: The sheet has eight numbered columns. The number of the column with the printed dot in it is used to find the dot position on the drum unit.


j. Confirm the suspected area of the appropriate color drum by using the numbers beside the drum which relate to the numbers of column.



k. Turn the drum unit gear toward you by hand while looking at surface of the suspected area.




l. When you have found the mark on the drum that matches the drum dot check sheet, wipe the surface of the drum gently with a isopropyl alcohol pad or a soft cloth dampen in isopropyl alcohol until the mark on the surface comes off.




NOTE: Do not clean the surface of the photosensitive drum with a sharp object.


m. Repeat STEPS i - l if you are getting dots with a different color and are shown on the drum dot check sheet.


n. After cleaning the drum unit, turn the drum over to the correct position.


o. Hold the handle of the toner cartridge and slide it into the appropriate colored section of the drum unit until it clicks into place.




p. Make sure the green lock lever (1) is in the release position as shown below.




q. Match the guide ends (2) of the drum unit to the arrow marks (1) on both sides of the machine, then gently slide the drum unit until it stops at the green lock lever.



r. Turn the green lock lever clockwise to the lock position.


s. Push the drum unit in until it stops.


t. Close the front cover of the machine and power the machine back on.


3. Verify the firmware of the Brother machine.


a. Press the # (pound) and * (asterisk/star) keys at the same time. The LCD will display alphanumeric number.


- If the first letter is K  or below, continue to STEP 4.


- If the first letter is L or above, go to STEP 5.


4. Update the firmware of the machine.


A firmware update tool is available that will allow you to update your Brother machine with the most recent version firmware by downloading updates over the Internet. The updated firmware will assist in optimizing toner usage.


For instructions, refer to the solution "How do I perform a firmware update or firmware upgrade on my Brother machine?"


Once the firmware has been updated, continue to STEP 5.


5.  Print a test print.


a. Print the Test Print. Press MENU, Printer, Print Options, Test Print, and BLACK START or COLOR START to print the Test Print.


- If the test print does not have dots or marks, the issue is resolved.


- If the dots or marks still appear, please call Brother Customer Service by calling 1-877-Brother (1-877-276-8437) Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. 








Was this helpful?
Please help us to improve our services by letting us know if this information was helpful: