Streaky prints? Time to clean your rollers! No worries, we’ll show you how to clean your printer rollers!

Uh…What Are Printer Rollers?

Printer rollers are the tiny rubber wheels inside your printer that move sheets of paper through the printer. 

The roller that lifts the paper from the paper tray is called the paper uptake roller. The output rollers deliver the final printout. Depending on your printer, there may be internal rollers inside your machine

It’s important to keep your printer rollers clean. If your rollers get ink or toner on them, your prints will be streaked or splotchy. 

Fortunately, cleaning your printer rollers is a quick, easy job! Give your printer some love! Print is important! We love our printers as much as we love cute cats!

paper uptake rollers w watermark

The paper uptake roller pulls a fresh sheet from the paper tray and feeds it through the printer. 

Cleaning Shortcut Fail

We tried a shortcut for cleaning our printer rollers, but it didn’t work. According to our research (thanks, YouTube!), you can moisten the center of a sheet of paper with isopropyl alcohol and run it through the printer. In theory, the moist sheet will scrub excess ink or toner off your paper feed roller and your output roller. 

We gave it a shot, moistening the center of a sheet of paper with isopropyl alcohol front and back. We ran our “shortcut cleaning sheet” through both our laser printer (Samsung Color Xpress) and our inkjet printer (Canon MX922). Unfortunately, this method had little effect on our printer rollers. The sheets came out of both printers as clean as it went in. Failure! It was time to roll up our sleeves and give our printer rollers a good, old fashioned manual cleaning. 

roller cleaning shortcut w watermark

Failed shortcut — Running a sheet of paper dampened with isopropyl alcohol through the printer should have cleaned our rollers…but it didn’t. 

Cleaning The Laser Printer Rollers 

We opened the flap near the output tray of our laser printer (Samsung Xpress Color) and cleaned the output rollers with a cloth moistened with isopropyl alcohol. 

Next, we removed the paper tray and lifted the printer up so we could reach the paper uptake roller. (This is the big roller that pulls a sheet of paper from the paper tray and feeds it into the printer.) We wiped the paper uptake roller down and replaced the paper tray. 

That’s it! Laser printer rollers cleaned!

isopropyl alcohol w watermark

Isopropyl alcohol and a clean cloth — simple tools get the cleaning job done!

Cleaning The Inkjet Printer Rollers 

Moving over to our Canon MX 922 inkjet printer, we removed the lower paper tray and tilted the printer back so we could reach the paper uptake roller underneath and wipe it down. 

Next, we wiped down the series of rollers that deliver the final printers. 

Finally, we opened up the printer, moved the ink carriage aside, and discovered a set of internal rollers. These were the only truly dirty rollers we encountered. The cloth dampened with isopropyl alcohol took care of the job, no problem. We were left with a grimy rag and sparkling clean printer rollers. Hooray!

dirty roller rag w watermark

Dirty printer rollers get clean with a bit of elbow grease!