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Posts: 781
Member Since: ‎11-10-2008
Message 1 of 7 (11,760 Views)

Why do my printouts look washed out?

[ Edited ]
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Posts: 29,586
Member Since: ‎11-17-2008
Message 2 of 7 (11,851 Views)

Re: Why do my printouts look washed out?

[ Edited ]

In addition to the advanced printer settings there are more basic things to check when troubleshooting washed out prints:


  • Paper and quality settings. Printing in draft mode will result in fast and more economical printing, but the colors will be less pronounced.  If you are printing on photo paper make sure you have selected the proper paper type.  Printing on photo paper using settings for plain paper will result in subdued prints.
  • Ink Levels.  If your printer reports ink levels check and make sure the cartridges are not low on ink.  Most of the cartridges used in HP's consumer printers will gradually fade when they are running out of ink and the last few pages of cartridge life may be degraded.
  • Nozzle Health.  Print a diagnostic page. For many Deskjet printers the procedure can be found here. If many random nozzles are missing run a cartridge cleaning cycle from the driver toolbox.  If regular or repeating sections of nozzles are missing try cleaning the cartridge contacts as shown here.



Bob Headrick, MS MVP Printing/Imaging

Bob Headrick,  HP Expert

I am not an employee of HP, I am a volunteer posting here on my own time.

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Posts: 12
Member Since: ‎11-25-2008
Message 3 of 7 (11,305 Views)

Re: Why do my printouts look washed out?

My printouts don't look washed out, but they run if they get wet. I have a HP C7180 All-in-One which uses Vivera 02 ink. I purchased this printer to print out photos, but it makes me nervous whether or not the ink will dry permanent when it doesn't dry permanent for regular document printing. I, also, am not impressed HP's support. I have yet got any responses to any other problems I've had with this printer, and this my third and probably final.
Posts: 10
Member Since: ‎11-20-2008
Message 4 of 7 (11,265 Views)

Re: Why do my printouts look washed out?

Same here, I've literally given up on HP support. I myself have had HP printers and a Canon. But my latest an HP Photosmart C5180 All in One, the ink washes away. I contacted HP support, they have told me from adjusting my settings, which I did to finally change the ink cartridge. This I doubt will change the problem as I've change my ink cartridges before with no improvement whatsoever. Face it, Vivera 02 ink is FAULTY and HP needs to do something about it by doing a complete overhaul on the cartridge ink or recall all the printers that use the ink.
Posts: 35
Member Since: ‎12-01-2008
Message 5 of 7 (11,246 Views)

Re: Why do my printouts look washed out?

This is not a good thing. I have a C7280 which also uses the Vivera 02 ink. I've have had this all in one for about a month.  I did have problems with the installation took 4/5 time install-reinstall to get it right. Running Vista Home Premium 64bit OS on HP Touchsmart IQ504, which I bought at the same time.  All is working great now.  It prints the most awesome pics I have ever seen from any home printer.  I can pick up a pic right out of the printer and not a finger print shows on them.  Everything seems to be printing just fine including documents which I print 30/40 a day.  I HOPE like heck I don't end up with this problem.  Scares the crap out of me to even think about allowing updates with all the horror stories I am seeing on this forum. I agree with you on TECH SUPPORT, they are by far the WORST ever on the face of this earth.  After installing this all in one I had issues and did the online chat.  Was treated like I had no clue what I was doing, why ask what level of computer knowledge do you have if they are going to treat you like an IDIOT. I for one do not ever plan on using online chat again.  You would think with as large a company that HP is and all the technology out there that they could figure out a way to route USA to USA, not USA to India.  Give me a break HP you are losing valued customers with your action or lack thereof. I think it's about time you fess up to all your WRONG DOINGS and get back into the business fo keeping your customers happy or HP will be the next we see on the BANKRUPT list.
Small Business owner,  NOT A HAPPY CAMPER
Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎10-08-2013
Message 6 of 7 (5,877 Views)

Re: Why do my printouts look washed out?

My printer is an HP officejet pro 8500a.  I've replaced all of the ink cartridge's and now the color prints are severely washed out.  The self test diagnostic page indicates hat everything is good and or OK, especially the print head health (good).  So are all my color prints all washed out?


Thanks for any help.



Posts: 2,122
Member Since: ‎09-04-2013
Message 7 of 7 (5,853 Views)

Re: Why do my printouts look washed out?

[ Edited ]

Hi printit,


I understand that you are having an issue with faded print. With regards to the self test diagnostic page that you have printed out. Is it also faded and washed out, or does it come out looking properly?


I have included a document 'Fixing Ink Streaks, Faded Prints, and other Common Print Quality Problems'. This document will take you through the different steps of checking each of the hardware components to move the ink, this will help find the root cause of the problem.


Please let me know if this has resolved the issue, thank you.

I worked on behalf of HP
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