LINE ON COPIES – How To Troubleshoot


There’s been an uptick in service calls for lines on copies made. We wanted to give you a quick guide on how to troubleshoot this problem and see if a service call is warranted, or if you can save yourself the expense by handling the problem quickly yourself.

First, let’s talk about how copies are made. If you use the document feeder, the scanner doesn’t move, the paper does. When you open the lid, you’ll see a large glass and then a small tiny glass next to the large glass. This is called the “Slit Glass” and when you use the automatic document feeder this is where documents are scanned. It’s only when you manually open the lid and place a document there, that it uses the larger glass area and the scanner then moves to the paper and creates a scan.


With that said, most will open the lid and view the larger glass, but never look at the small glass on the side. Also, remember, the scanner can see about 100 times more detail than your human eye; so even the smallest speck of dust or debris becomes a blockage of the image your scanner needs to see to create a copy. Since the document moves and not the scanner, that “blockage” becomes a line.

Cleaning Your Copier’s glass surfaces – First, always use a non-abrasive, non-lint cloth. Many will use standard hard paper towels like in public restrooms or hand dispensers, these are very abrasive. Remember, glass is still in a “liquid state” even though you think it’s in a solid state. Actually, it’s in what is called an “amorphous solid” state, but I don’t want to get into scientific specifics here. Basically, that just means glass is in a state between liquid and solid where the atoms move too slow to recognize it’s liquid state… Let’s just leave it at that.

With that said, it can be “damaged” easier than most solids at the microscopic level. So always take care when cleaning the glass. Here’s why. Those microscopic abrasions that you create on the glass become “abrasive” themselves and as your original document passes over that spot, the damaged glass area will scrape off chunks of toner, white-out and other foreign objects on your document and now you end up with a speck on your glass that causes lines in your copies.  Bringing us to this article’s main reason for existence.


Perfect Cleaning Solution – Once you have a good lint-free and non-abrasive cloth, I wanted to share with you a secret formula I use for maintaining the best possible cleaner/protector for your copier’s glass, and for other electronic screen surfaces throughout your office. Use a non-ammonia-based glass cleaner without any fragrance or extras in the cleaner. With a 5 to 1 parts ratio, add in “RainX”. This magical formula will coat and protect those damaged dried out areas on the glass and provide them with a coating that helps make sure the paper glides smoothly over the glass’ surface without scraping any residue off the document. Secondly, for the copier and other electronic devices in your office, like computer monitors, etc this formula will repel dust and make your intervals between cleaning your monitor, longer.


The way RainX does that is it neutralizes the static charge dry and damaged glasses and screen monitors accumulate and last it coats and reconditions them so that outside elements glide over that damaged spot. That’s why RainX works on your windshield so well. You have millions upon millions of small tiny scratches and abrasions on your windshield from outside elements and debris hitting it during driving. The RainX coats those microscopic abrasions and repels anything getting to the surface of the glass. I know, sounds like I’m getting paid by RainX don’t it? Truthfully, I’m just a fan! While other drivers have their windshield wipers on high and driving at lower speeds to see, I’m cruising along with my wipers on normal speed. 😊

Anyway, back on point and my final thoughts as we move to the conclusion here. Before calling a service company, always gather as much information as you possibly can about your machine and the problems you’re having. It could save you time and a service expense. In most cases if you can give a clear description of what’s happening, a simple call to your copier support company can have you fixing your own problems within a few short minutes, and not paying for a service technician onsite.

Information you should gather – Error codes, any noises, anomalies, print errors, etc. Be as descriptive as possible. Make both a print and a copy to see if they come out differently. Not paper jams or crinkling noises where paper sounds like it’s not traveling correctly through the machine. The more you gather up front before you call the better transition the call will have between you and your service provider.

I hope this information helps you. Make it a GREAT DAY!!

Supportscreen tag