Ghosting is defined as slight images of previous print jobs that are embedded in newly printed pages. This occurs during the printing process and can be caused by several different issues. Ghosting is visually described as multiple images and text that is printed onto a page when there should have been one of each printing. There can possibly be a problem with the toner cartridge needing cleaning, a problem with the power supply connected to the printer, bad drums or imaging kits and other scenarios.
For instance, ghosted images will appear lighter than the relatively darker areas of text and images found in the newly printed page. Fortunately, there are several simple and relatively inexpensive solutions for a ghosting printer, without the need to buy a new unit. Here are several troubleshooting tips to correct ghosting on prints, which requires little to no prior technical experience.
High-humidity environments can contribute to a ghosting condition in printers that would otherwise have no such problem. It is best that printers are operated in rooms with relatively low humidity to prevent ghost images and text.
Imaging Drum/Imaging Kit Failure
Depending on how many pages were printed using the printer, limited-lifetime parts such as the drum or imaging kit could be approaching the end of their life spans. Every printer is tested and rated to print a certain amount of pages before vital components start to fail. If the printer has printed more pages than it was rated to print, the imaging drum and imaging kit may need replacing.
Cleaning Cycle Needed
Nearly all modern printers are included with software or built-in firmware that allows cleaning of the toner and fuser rollers. Excess toner that has been building up on the fuser rollers can cause ghosting. Using the cleaning cycle normally found in the printer software utility (or the printer LCD panel) can sometimes correct ghosting issues. Many printers, like the Konica-Minolta toner printers, do a self-cleaning during startup and therefore do not have the option in the software.
If cleaning the printer components using the utility isn’t effective, or if there is no cleaning utility available, try manually cleaning the printer using our best practices for cleaning your laser printer. If physically cleaning the printer does not stop the ghosting, the fuser assembly in the printer will need to be replaced. When toner is not fused properly to the paper smudging may occur while the paper passes through the fuser roller, causing ghosting and smudging of toner.
Testing the Printer
An easy test can be performed to narrow down the ghosting problem to the fuser or another culprit. First, a test print will need to be printed while paying close attention to the sound of the paper moving through the printer. Next, open the front door of the printer while pulling the page away from the printer, before the paper reaches the fuser. Afterwards, open the printer door and remove the sheet of paper. If the toner smudges on the paper after gently placing your finger across the page, the toner is not properly fusing to the paper, thus causing the ghosting effect.
Pinpointing the reason for ghosting during printing can be an easy process as long as the guidelines explained above are used diagnose and repair the problem. Regular maintenance of printer components and proper cleaning will ensure that your printer has a long life with few to no incidents of ghost printing.