Can a Laser printer drum be cleaned?

Posted on 2013-12-29
Last Modified: 2014-01-04
Here is the problem - We are getting a yellow smudge down the left side of every page we print.  The drum for the yellow is especially encrusted with toner on the left side  - the culprit I suppose.  The Magenta has a string of toner encrusted on it as well.  It's a new Brother Multifunction printer MFC-9970CDW.  We returned one to Staples already as three or four of the drums were gummed up on it.  Is it possible to clean these drums ourselves?  

We did the simple routine slider swipe that is built in but that must be for dust. Sometimes we print 100 prints off at a time?  Maybe the unit is getting too hot that this is happening?  My thought is that for our purposes we are giving the printer a work out.  We print two monthly bulletins (300 pages perhaps maximum).  What do you advise?
Thank you
Question by:rjlillis
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Accepted Solution

John Hurst earned 100 total points
ID: 39745528
If you are using the printer beyond its apparent duty cycle, and the heat is causing the drum to crust, then the drums are probably beyond cleaning except by scraping which would probably damage the drum (not then covered by warranty).

I think you need a printer with higher duty cycle.

I have a client with a Xerox Phaser 8800 (I know, not comparable to the Brother) that can print a large volume of colour prints. I think it has had one (maybe two) significant service calls in its 3 year life so far.

.... Thinkpads_User
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nobus earned 200 total points
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by:Herman D'Hondt
Herman D'Hondt earned 200 total points
ID: 39745750
Printers normally clean the drum as needed. If it doesn't and especially if the printer is new, get Brother to replace the consumables and/or the printer. It's under warranty.

How old id it, and how many pages has it printed?

@Thinkpads_User I assume you mean the Phaser 8860 or 8870. These are not laser printers, and do not have drums. They are "solid ink" printers that use blocks of wax which is jetted onto the paper. They are fast, very reliable, and will print on just about anything. And, do not buy one unless you want to use it a lot.
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Author Closing Comment

ID: 39754658
Thank you. Every bit of knowledge helps.  I am so glad for your service.  Pertinent links are very helpful. I cleaned the printer. Although the toner come off smoothly with the cotton swab, the drum is marred underneath and collects toner easily again.  There are plastic tabs that press on the drum for whatever reason and perhaps dispose the edges to heat up first and collect toner.  We may send the printer in and figure out if we need one that can handle greater demands.   If we distribute the printing tasks it could be fine.  We were printing everything on two days really - what can we expect?
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39754775
Thank you and I was happy to help. You probably can expect more of the same because you are expecting more of the printer than it can do,

... Thinkpads_User
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ID: 39755739
tx for feedback !
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Expert Comment

by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 39755851
Thanks for the points, rjlillis.

It's usually best to buy a printer that is a bit "overengineered" for the task. Running a printer at its maximumratings is never a good idea - of course, we don't know how heavy a load you gave it. 2 bulletins of 300 pages each is nothing - but how many of those do you print, and how often?

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