Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
We would like to share some of the most frequently asked questions about Instant Ink. Check out this link: HP INSTANT INK, HP+ PLANS: INK AND TONER. .
New member
1 0 0 0
Message 1 of 2
Flag Post

Ink streaks and blurry spots

HP Recommended
HP Envy 5000 All-in-One Printer
macOS 10.15 Catalina



I don't use my printer often, but about up to a month ago, I noticed that there were many streaks and smudged on pages. There would also be areas of the paper where nothing would be printed at all (like empty spots). I did the troubleshooting methods of aligning the cartridges and paper, cleaning them, and also physically cleaning them with water and a q-tip. Basically, I did every troubleshooting method the printer could do and cleaned the ink cartridges myself. The problem still didn't stop, so I let the printer be for a week. I tried to see if it could have fixed itself somehow (magic?), but I'm still seeing smudges and smears. Should I just buy completely new ink? Despite the cartridges still being full. What can I do besides to avoid buying an entirely new printer? 


- Broke college student who's tired of paying for printing at school.

Level 12
Level 12
5,259 5,243 611 847
Message 2 of 2
Flag Post
HP Recommended

The main reason for your print quality problem is described in your first sentence.

If you don't use your inkjet printer regularly the ink inside ink cartridge gets dried and you have an example of how the print looks with the dried ink cartridge.

If you replace your black cartridge with the new one, your print quality will improve, but if you still won't use your printer often at least every 3-4 days you will have the same problem again and again.


Try soaking an ink cartridge ( bottom printhead part) in hot water, that sometimes helps to dissolve dried ink.

My profile on LinkedIn

0 Kudos
Warning Be alert for scammers posting fake support phone numbers and/or email addresses on the community. If you think you have received a fake HP Support message, please report it to us by clicking on "Flag Post".
† The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation