How to refurbish a laser printer drum

Written by jane mcdonaugh
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How to refurbish a laser printer drum
Refurbish your printer drum if your prints appear blotchy or distorted. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

If the images printed with your laser printer are spotty, have streaks or other distortions, a dirty or faulty printer drum may be the culprit. Instead of replacing your entire printer, you may only need to simply refurbish, clean or replace the printer drum to have a properly operating printer again. Often, however, the toner cartridge may simply need to be replaced, so it is recommended to check the toner cartridge before proceeding with the drum.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Latex gloves
  • Screwdriver
  • Cotton swabs

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  1. 1

    Turn off the printer. Put on latex gloves for extra safety when handling toner inks. Replace the toner cartridge. Print a test page with the new cartridge installed. If the quality of the print is improved, then the drum does not need to be cleaned or replaced. Otherwise, leave the printer off for at least an hour before proceeding with the drum.

  2. 2

    Open the printer lid and inspect the drum for marks, debris, scratches or lines. Often, if such ink marks or debris exist, these marks will reflect the marks on the printed paper. If such marks do not exist on the drum, you may also need to check the fuser for marks or signs of deterioration. The fuser may need to be sent back to your lender for replacement.

  3. 3

    Remove the three adjacent rollers before removing the drum. Use a screwdriver to pry out the E-clips next to the drum. The drum is photosensitive, so be cautious upon removal and make sure the drum is not exposed to light for long periods of time. Put the rollers on a piece of paper to avoid surface stains.

  4. 4

    Use cotton swabs to wipe away excess toner on the drum. Reinstall the drum in the reverse order in which it was removed. If printing is still problematic, the drum may be in disrepair and must be replaced. Contact your lender on instructions as to how to return it. Do not discard the drum.

Tips and warnings

  • Follow any specific instructions in your laser printer's user manual.

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