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Copier News

"Why Do My Copies Have Streaks on Them?"

Posted by William Albaugh on Jul 5, 2017 9:55:00 AM

Why Do My Copies Have Streaks.jpg

There’s nothing worse than hurrying to the copier for a quick print-out and realizing your copies have ugly black streaks on them.

Streaks aren’t professional!

You (probably) paid good money for your copy machine or copy lease, so you shouldn’t have to deal with streaks. Here’s a look at why your copies may be coming out smudgy, streaky, and lined.

Dirty Components
Your copy machine is, well, a machine. It works hard to spit out copy after copy and over time it’s natural that its components get a little gross. The “corona wire,” a wire charged specifically so toner will cling to it, could need a good scrubbing or even replacement. Dirt, dust, grime can build up within the machine and a professional cleaning may be necessary to restore its performance.

Cracked or Dirty Glass
If streaks appear overnight or in an odd pattern, there may be an issue with the glass on your copier. Check for hairline cracks that might indicate your glass needs replacing. Also check for smudges, White-Out, dirt, or grime that might be stuck on the glass itself.

Toner Issues
If your toner cartridge is low, it might be trying to tell you it needs replacement by streaking all your documents. Excess toner could be spilling over from your cartridge’s reservoir, or the cartridge itself might need a thorough cleaning. Although you might be able to remedy the issue yourself with some compressed air, opening the sensitive areas of your copier might be a violation of your lease, so check with the service department first.

Malfunctioning Drum
Your copier’s drum is integral to the success of your print-outs. If your drum is malfunctioning it may not be able to transfer clear images onto the paper. If your drum is cracked or dented, it will likely need to be replaced by a technician to get things back in working order.

Paper Problems
Did you know that the paper you use can impact the quality of your copies? “Copy paper” is specially designed to accept toner; any other kind of paper may not charge correctly, rejecting the ink from your copier. Paper that’s too dry may also have a hard time charging, so be sure to store your copy paper in an area with moderate humidity.


Streaks aren’t necessarily an indication of a huge mechanical issue, but they’re not something you should have to live with, either. What’s worse than streaks? A copy company that takes two weeks to come out and clean your cartridge!

If your current copy services feel lacking, you need a better copy company.
USA Copiers can help.

Topics: Tips and Tricks, Troubleshooting