asked Jan 5, 2006 at 9:06am
Hp HP LaserJet 4M

HP 4M Toner Excess

My problem is sudden excess toner in my HP 4M. My HP cartridge began streaking paper output, but when I changed to a [new] refilled cartridge, the streaks vanished, but the excess toner is still a problem, and it's dusting both front and back pages. The front pages are darker and any printing has a medium-dark background. Density changes don't appear to make a difference.

We ran a couple of cleaners from Staples through the printer and they were dirty, but it didn't change the output. So now I'm not sure whether the machine needs servicing, or whether it would do with another cleaning and a new cartridge.

Any ideas?

It's kind of hard not being able to actually see the output, so have to give you best guess scenario. 2 things can affect the back of the paper. One is the charge roller that sits below the toner cartridge. Toner can collect on it and transfer to the paper. You don't want to handle it with your fingers. Either blow it with some air or clean with a lint free cloth. The other place that will do both front and back is the fuser assy. at the rear of the printer. You can open the back door and lower the rear part down and visually inspect the rollers. We have a chemical called Dull-it that we sell in the Specials Section of the site that is real good at cleaning off toner on both the teflon roller and the rubber roller. I'd recommend you let the fuser cool off before touching it.
by moe on Jan 5, 2006 at 9:42am Add comment
You may want to do a half test by putting a sheet on the manual feeder, running a test page and lifting the toner door when the sheet is almost all the way in. Now remove the toner cartridge and look at the image on the paper. Remove the paper and look at the back. If toner on the back or you see a lot of excess toner by that roller Moe mentioned it may be a case of loose toner left over from the first cartridge. I have noticed many times that refill cartridges sometimes print with a much darker density, then OEM HP ones. I would use a lint free cloth to pick up the excess toner. For all places with the exception of that roller you can dampen the cloth to attract more of the loose toner.
by dmzcompute on Jan 5, 2006 at 12:26pm Add comment
Since I've seen few postings here describing the problem, I really don't know if I have a dirty roller or it's a problem with the cartridge. If I have to clean the cartridge would I have to clean the green plastic or leave it alone?

Also, how good are printer cleaning sheets? The first one I ran through was filthy; the second one much less so. Neither went all the way through without jamming, yet it was supposed to be a universal cleaner.

I suspect I'll have to open the back and clean everything I can get to. Since I have no cleaner, will mineral spirits work? Denatured alcohol? Should I use canned air or will that make things worse?

Thanks, again!

by unknown on Jan 5, 2006 at 1:02pm Add comment
You can not clean the drum of the toner cartridge as it will only fail again. Replace the toner with a good OEM toner and see what happens. Clean the excess toner by the transfer roller as described above. I would not use canned air as some of the toner may seep into the laser/scanner and effect print quality.
by dmzcompute on Jan 5, 2006 at 2:07pm Add comment
Great, thanks. How about mineral spirits or denatured alcohol to clean the rollers? Is that okay?

by unknown on Jan 5, 2006 at 6:15pm Add comment
No. Never use alcohol to clean rollers. If they are rubber it will destroy them in the long run. As I said before cleaning the roller in the toner cartridge does no good. It is not the roller which is bad but a wipper blade inside which removes the toner. It is like when your windshield wippers go bad. You can clean and clean the windshield but the streaks will always return. If you want to clean the pickup rollers which are rubber just use plain warm soapy water. Do not clean the transfer roller with any solution. You can wipe it with a lint free cloth, but never touch the surface of the roller with your fingers as that will degrade print quality. Just so you know and understand how the printer works, the transfer roller provides an oposite charge from the drum in the toner cartridge and that charge is higher then the charge on the drum and causes the toner image to move from the drum to the paper. The transfer roller is on the backside of the paper and the only way it gets toner on it is if the cartrige leaks.
by dmzcompute on Jan 5, 2006 at 6:31pm Add comment