How to Clean My Brother Printer

Is your Brother printer overdue for a cleaning? Routine cleaning is a vital part of printer maintenance. If you’ve been putting it off, it could be impacting your print quality, ink usage, color clarity, and even keep you from printing altogether.

Over time, laser and inkjet printers are prone to dust buildup and clogging—both inside the machine and the outside. Naturally, this can lead to a host of issues that impact your printer's ability to produce the high-quality documents you need, and in a timely manner.

If your printer is on the fritz or operating at half-capacity, it might only take a quick cleaning to right the issue. Don’t worry, it’s easy. Below, this detailed Brother printer troubleshooting guide will show you everything you need to know.

How to Clean Brother Printer

Brother printers are purposefully made for your convenience and come with an automated built-in cleaning system. If your device isn’t printing properly, your first step is to check the system. To perform a routine checkup, take the following actions:

  1. Select the “Ink” button on the control panel.
  2. From there, press the “Cleaning” button. This will set off the automated cleaning cycle. While this is happening don’t touch or unplug the printer.
  3. Let it run until the printer returns to “Ready” mode.
  4. Once finished, print out a test document or run a printing test on the machine.
  5. If this doesn’t fix the issue, you may want to run the cleaning cycle multiple times. Compare and contrast each test print as you go to see whether or not the cleaning is working.

If the built-in cleaning cycle on your Brother printer fails to do the trick, there are further steps you can take.

How to Clean Brother Printer Drum

The issue with your printer may have to do with the printer drum since debris tends to build up in the drum’s slats and crevices over time. To check whether this is the source of the problem, you can run the Brother printer drum through an automatic cleaning process. Steps include:

    1. Press the “Go” button (1x) to ensure that the machine is in Ready mode. You will want to have a piece of A4 paper on hand.
    2. Open the front cover and the back cover of the Brother printer’s face-up output tray. There should be 2 green envelope levers (one on the left, one on the right) in the upright position.
    3. Press the “Go” button (5x).
    4. Close the front cover. The machine will start to enter the drum cleaning process, once it’s ready, the “Ready” LED will come on.
    5. Open the manual feed slot cover.
    6. With two hands, set the manual feed paper guides so they match the width of the A4 paper you have on hand.
    7. Slide the A4 paper into the manual feed slot until the top edge of the A4 is touching the paper feed roller, and then let go. The machine will begin the automatic drum cleaning process.
    8. Once the process is complete, conduct a test print to see whether or not that fixed the problem.

      You may need to repeat the process a few times to remove lodged debris. If that debris doesn’t come off, the drum may require replacement.

      How to Clean Brother Printer Heads

      If the problem doesn’t stem with the drum, it may be the printer head. To perform an automatic printer head cleaning take the following steps:

        1. Press the “OK” key.
        2. Press the “Ink indicator.”
        3. Press “Cleaning.” Select the head you want cleaned. Your options are black only, Cyan/Yellow/Magenta, or all four colors simultaneously.
        4. Wait as the machine performs the print head cleaning. Once it is finished, the machine will automatically return to ready.
        5. For best results, repeat the process for each color at least 4 times.

        How to Clean Brother Printer Heads Manually

        Should the automatic cleaning cycle fail to fix the problem, you might want to try a manual clean in order to get at the nozzles of the printer heads. To begin, you’ll want the following supplies:

        • Gloves
        • Cleaning solution (8 parts windex, 2 parts rubbing alcohol)
        • Windex
        • Q-tips

        To manually clean printer heads, follow these steps:

          1. Lift the upper lid of the printer.
          2. Move the printhead from the parking position into the middle position.
          3. Place a cleaning solution on Q-tip and gently clean nozzles.

              With your cleaning kit, you'll also want to wipe off the power cord, the paper tray, the drum unit, and any other areas that may have collected dust.

              How to Clean the Scanner

              If your Brother printer machine gets used regularly, over time, the scanner may get dirty and require a clean. To do so, take the following steps:

                1. Unplug the machine from the wall.
                2. Lift the machine cover.
                3. Using a moistened lint-free cloth, wipe down the scanner glass and the plastic that surrounds it.
                4. From there, move to the ADF unit and clean the glass strip and white bar.
                5. Once this is finished, run your finger over the glass to feel for debris or dirt. The glass should be smooth to the touch without any bumps.

                This process may need to be repeated up to 4 times to ensure that the sterilization worked. Each time, you can run a test by making a copy. If there is dirt or correction fluid on the strip, the sample will have a vertical line. Once the scanner is fully cleaned, the vertical line will disappear.

                How to Fix a Brother Printer Not Printing Properly

                If your Brother printer is not printing properly, the first step to take is to look and see whether your printer is giving an “error message.” If it is, this can help you narrow down the issue and then take the proper steps to fix it. Common error messages include:

                • E50 – Temperature malfunction on the fuser unit
                • E51 – Laser malfunction, beam no longer detected
                • E52 – Spinning mirror malfunction on the laser motor
                • E54 – Main motor malfunction
                • E60 – Fan malfunction
                • E20 – Laser diode failure
                • E30 – Density sensor is faulty
                • E32 – Density sensor shutter is defective
                • E50 – Drum unit needs to be replaced
                • E51 – Printer feed roller and separating pad needs replacement
                • E57 – Paper jam has occurred

                If an error does pop up, you can visit the Brother Printers error code troubleshooting page. If there is no error message, you may have to do some more digging.

                Brother Printer Offline

                A common printing issue that might keep you from going about your business is when the Brother printer says it’s offline, which is particularly irksome when all of your other devices are online. To troubleshoot this offline message, take the following steps:

                • Examine the printer – Check to see whether the printer is plugged in, turned on, and connected to the internet. If it is, you may want to see if a reboot fixes the issue.
                • Check your drivers – Printer drivers need to be updated regularly. According to Brother, a driver is:

                “A device driver is a piece of software designed to help your machine communicate with your mobile device or computer. Brother drivers allow your Brother printer, label maker, or sewing machine to talk directly with your device. This allows the machinery to understand data sent from a device (such as a picture you want to print or a document you want to scan), and perform the necessary actions. Think of your Brother printer driver as the translator who helps your technology to communicate more effectively.”

                If the driver isn’t updated, your computer might have trouble locating the printer. So, be sure to check the link above to see whether you have the most recent version of the printer’s driver.

                Should these steps fail to solve the problem, make sure that your Brother printer is set to default on your computer or laptop. To look, go to “Printers & Scanners” (Mac) or “Devices and Printers” (Windows).

                How Do I Get My Brother Printer to Print in Color?

                If you want to get your Brother printer to print in color, there are a few steps you need to follow. Typically, color issues happen for one of three reasons:

                • Ink color cartridges have run out – If you’re not printing any color, the most obvious reason is that you’ve already used all of your color ink and it needs to be replaced. Dried ink can also happen if you have not used your machine in a long time. You can either check the ink status on the printer or simply remove and replace the cartridges.
                • Printhead is blocked or jammed – If the printhead is jammed, that can impact its ability to operate normally. To fix this, remove the ink cartridges and carefully give the printhead a manual cleaning. Or, you can run the printer through the automated printhead cleaning cycle.
                • Ink cartridges are improperly installed – Should the ink cartridges be installed improperly, your machine won’t work. Typically this results in an error code, but if it doesn’t, it may be worth taking them out and then reinstalling them to see.

                In the vast majority of cases, taking these steps should alleviate your color issues.

                How to Reset Brother Ink Cartridge Chips

                Wondering how to reset Brother ink cartridge chips? That’s easy to fix, just follow these steps:

                1. Take out the ink cartridge
                2. Reinstall it
                3. Switch your printer off, wait a few minutes, then restart
                4. Open the printer’s cover
                5. Press both the “Cancel” and “Print” buttons simultaneously
                6. Select the ink cartridge you want to reset
                7. Press “Enter”

                Supplies Outlet - Your Brother Printer Supplier

                That’s it. You’re all set.

                Cleaning a Brothers printer is fast and easy. So, if you have any other troubleshooting questions, just visit Brother’s support page for detailed infographics.

                If you need supplies for your Brother printer, or want to upgrade to a new machine, Tianse cartridge is your trusted printing expert. We carry a wide array of printers and print supplies from all the top manufacturers, including Brother, HP,  Cannon, Dell, Oki, Samsung, Xerox and much, much more.

                At Supplies Outlet, we proudly offer affordable, high-quality printing solutions for all of your business needs.

                If you have further questions on the printer cleaning process or you are unable to clean your machine properly, feel free to give our experts a call today.


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