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Fixing Washed-Out Colour On HP Color LaserJet 2605 – Worth The Trouble!

My HP Color LaserJet 2605dn

Today, I cleaned our HP Color LaserJet 2605dn printer. By the way, it is spelled “Color” and not “Colour”, even though it was sold here in the UK!

HP 2605dn: Washed-out colours before cleaned mirrors

HP 2605dn: Beautiful colours after cleaning the mirrors inside the printer

The printouts from it were getting more and more washed-out and tending towards green.

I found a solution to the problem on FixYa and, in case you have the same printer, I have written a page describing each step of the process to fix the printer. Just be sure its out of warranty as you have to disassemble it!

The results are worth it, though!

38 comments to Fixing Washed-Out Colour On HP Color LaserJet 2605 – Worth The Trouble!

  • Bob Vokey

    My 2605dn had been sitting unused for over 3 years as I thought it was done
    too costly to repair……and I was about to throw it out….until I stumbled across this tutorial

    Printer is like new now…thank you so much!!

  • Chris

    Thank you for your excellent instructions. We were recently given a 2605 which was only printing very faintly in black and blue, and now it seems to be working perfectly. I have noticed one or two comments where following reassembly the printer only puts through blank pages. This happened to me and I discovered that you need to engage the optical box shutter lever carefully when replacing the box on the backplate, otherwise the shutter doesn’t open (presumably the laser diodes remain covered, hence no charge on the drums and no print). I solved this by sliding the optical box back in from the right (looking at the back of the printer) so that the lever engaged in the slot in the backplate from the right hand side (again looking from the back). Hope that this might help anyone with the same problem.

  • Kyle

    Outstanding post! Worked perfectly for my printer. I agree with all the other wonderful compliments about clear, step-by-step instructions. Thank you so much for this posting. You ROCK!!!

  • MikeB

    Thank you! You’ve saved yet another printer from the landfill. Your instructions were pretty much right on. I have one suggestion though, on the step to remove the wiring harness brackets, you might add a bit more detail instead of just “slide the brackets off”. I believe the top bracket slides to the left to remove, and the smaller bracket on the right just popped off.

    Thanks again for sharing this valuable information with everyone on the Internet.

  • Hiya

    Thanks so much for the posts and info. I had a 2605DN that I through was about to to die and your info has breathed new life!

    Thanks again.


  • Michael S

    What a difference 24 steps make! My 2605dn is well out of warranty but thanks to your clear instructions I’ve brought the colour back and no longer have that frustration which, for so long, has been just below the level of “I really must do something” as there was no issue with black print. I had a lot of dust on the two upward facing mirrors – the printer must be about five years old. It took about two hours in total, including the paranoia of photographing all my own steps, and provided some welcome distraction at the end of a ‘just back from holidays’ Friday work afternoon. Many thanks.

  • Salvatore

    First of all thank you for your advices.
    Instructions are excellent but i have a problem:
    Before starting I had a fading magenta (like most of us).
    When I reached the mirrors, the lower one was very dirthy; good sign I tought! Cleaned everything, re-mounted my 2605dn but….
    Opened again, checked all again, tested again… ONLY BLACK (after calibration, obviously)…

  • Saw your instructions last year but didn’t have the courage to try them out but my husband is now printing off a lot of colour journals of our various trips and they were looking flat and colourless, so had to take the plunge. Printed off your excellent instructions and photos and the job took me about three hours this afternoon and WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! When printing the ‘Supplies status page’ before doing ‘your fix’, the magenta was showing as a pale pastel pink. Now, after the ‘fix’, it is printing a deep solid colour, just like the other colours – same cartridge, but now with a clean mirror!! Thank you so much for making it possible.

  • Stephen

    Fantastically useful. Worked perfectly for me. Not too difficult as long as you are patient and methodical. After being next to useless the printer is restored to as good as new. Thank you so much for posting this.

  • angie

    hi thanx for the fix i have now done this on numerous occassions and always worked fine, i have just fitted new cartridges and red fade happened again but this time the cleaning process has not worked everything is still the same and i also have a faint blue line appearing on every print and also leaving a a line on the etb and the roller on thge cartridge too, any ideas pleas e


  • Hi, I just completed the cleaning process and test print is BEAUTIFUL! Just like day one. Thanks for these wonderful instructions.

  • jean


    Exclent your article a customer had the same problem and thanks to you, I could solve, are the maximum. Thank you very much.


  • Leroy

    Worked awesome! Thanks…. Saved me the price of a new printer.
    My only hitch was a “Jam in tray 2” error. I took the back of and reseated all the cables, and it works perfect now.
    Thanks again. I too was stunned that the box wasn’t sealed, and it didn’t look like it would be possible or feasible to seal it. I did put on the filter to stall another repair for awhile.

    • Susan

      Leroy – Just put it back together, plugged it in and I’m getting a “jam in tray 2” message – so would you recommend opening it back up and reseating the cables? Did you do anything else to get yours working?

  • >> Christo… can you give that email for HP uk customer services again, as i’ve tried the one you gave and it bounced! Cheers!

  • Rolando

    Hi! and more power to this website, your a big help to me, more power to you



  • Christo

    Persevere with HP service department (, my machine is well out of warranty but they have agreed today to replace it. Be nice to them and they will be nice back but do mention that is it magenta fade, seems it really is a design fault.

  • Cid

    Im from Brazil! Funcionou perfeitamente! Muito obrigado por suas dicas, apesar da minha impressora ser a 2600n, funcionou tudo certo com as outras cores até melhor do que antes!


  • Tim

    I tried this fix today, and it didn’t seem to solve the problem. My printer isn’t printing any magenta at all. Now, the printer still doesn’t print magenta, and the Magneta cartrige is dumping toner on the belt leaves a red stipe along the edge of the paper. Any one have any ideas. Thanks.

  • Man.. I starting getting scared when I was pulling out the cables thinking I would never ba able: 1- not to break any, 2- put them back together.. but following everything, I reached the box, cleaned the mirrors (which didn’t look dirty by the way..), and put back everything together pretty quickly.. It’s printing perfectly!! Awesome! totally worth it..

    Took about 1h30+..
    Thanks for this amazing post.

  • Maria

    So I’m ready for my second cleaning – how’d the vacumn cleaner filter work? Still have clean out your laser every year?

  • Sean

    My second 2605n has just started with the magenta fade just like its predecessor which suffered at the time when staples were selling off the new printers for £90
    So for less than the cost of a set of carts It was a no brainer to replace it , now 18 months latter with a stock of new or nearly new carts I was setting myself up for a bigg loss till i found your instructions .
    So I guess I now have another job for the Xmas Hols plus i think the old printer is still in the weee bin at work so If successfull i might give that one a go as well
    Surprisingly the 2605dn at work apart from making a noise like its self destructing itself still prints fine and gets much mor use than the home ones have had

  • vince


    Maybe my poor color printing is not as a result of dirty mirrors etc., as the test prints look OK. The problem comes with all doc. prints. Color is very poor and washed out. BUT – the test prints seem OK, is there a way to manipulate colors via software? Maybe I’m missing something here – esp. as I use recommended paper?

    Hope you can help


    • @vince: I thought the same, as I test printed the block test page, etc. I, too, tried fiddling with the colour settings in whatever way I could (I tried searching the Internet for an add-on tool which would boost the colour levels, without success).

      I really couldn’t bring myself to believe it could be the mirrors — more like, I didn’t want to believe it (because it is a fair bit of work and requires fiddling with the innards of a printer I rely on!).

      Eventually, I bit the bullet and opened it all up, cleaned the mirrors, and the rest is history (or at least until I had to clean them again!). You can see from the photos in the main article that the amount of dust didn’t appear to be all that much — but it was certainly enough to fade the colours, especially the red, to a noticeable extent in photo prints.


  • Hi rufman,

    I’m sorry to hear you had calibration issues — perhaps also check the comments (now reenabled!) on the main article page, rather than this blog page:


  • I search all over the web for a fix on my 2600n printer and was very excited to run across your blog. I followed all the directions and everything seems to be working except the printer won’t print on the last 1/3 of the right side of the page and the allignment seems to be all screwed up, shadows etc.. I did recalibrate a few times and still the same issue, any ideas??

  • Phil Jewett

    Thank you for your instructions. Even though I could see no toner in the optical box, I followed your instructions, and am now printing color correctly with my HP 2605 dn printer. I had previously looked for HP to help with the issue, It cost me $40 US, and HP gave no solution other than to buy another printer. The HP service bulletin about color fading is apparently no longer in effect.

  • Roger A. Krupski

    Sir, you are THE MAN!

    My LaserJet 2600n is about 2 years old and the colors were beginning to fade. I started at 1:00 AM and finished just before 3:00 AM. Your directions were perfect, the photos were a great help, my mirrors were dusty (especially one), I found a place to put EVERY screw back and best of all, the printer is back to 100 percent quality prints!

    Thank you so much… I was beginning to think the printer was just getting old and was about to scrap it… but now with only 2 hours work and a few Q-Tips, I have a new printer again.


    — Roger

  • John

    Andrew … thanks a bunch. Called HP (in California) … got the warranty run-around … but, they were willing to ship a $300 rehab printer to me … no thanks I said. Decided to take on the task myself. Followed your wonderful instructions (although decided to make a PDF of the steps), as I was banished to the garage for repairs. Scotch tape helped to keep the wires separate and everything was just as in your photos and the very clear instructions … thanks.

    After a couple of calibrations, I was back in business. Also, discovered the over-ride command along the way. This is an added surprise, as I always hate to spend $100 bucks on a cartridge. Thanks to HP, my printer stops when it ‘runs out of ink’ … although, as I discovered, it really didn’t run out at all, but merely reached its page count maximum. (hint: follow instructions to find the Print Quality>Override command on the printer).

    Thanks alot for your detailed instructions … too bad, I had one screw left over, but so far that hasn’t caused me problems. I’ll find it next time I clean the machine MYSELF.

  • Moosa Bismillah

    Hi and thank you very much for your instructions.

    I rang HP (UK) but they told me that my printer was out of warranty by two years and they could not really help me!

    So I got my tools ready and set about taking the printer apart. It took me about one and half hour to take it apart and put back together.

    However upon completion, I had the same problem as so many people have had and that was with the calibration. No matter what I did and how many time I run the calibration it did not work.

    So off I went with my tools and again… and again….and again….and again (I took the printer apart 5 times, yes 5 times).

    Fianlly, it all fell into place and I have perfect prints. Needless to say it takes me about 20 minutes now to take the printer apart and put it back together.

    Thank you very much for your instructions and brilliant photos.

    All the best for the future.

    Moosa Bismillah (UK)

  • […] There is one post on this website that gets read more than any other, and it was one year ago today that I put it up – how to clean an HP Color Laserjet 2605 printer. […]

  • Bea

    Thank you very much for the information. !!! It was very useful .

    My experience, first I called to HP service in Spain, but they told me about the warranty iwas out of ; I told them about the fading fix, problem to report in the hp web.
    They said that if I want to repair my printer I have to pay a 300 Euros…( the printer costs, 150 Euros…)

    So I followed your instructions, and now
    my hp is OK, only the align. it’s not correct.

    I hope to solve it calibrating several times. !!!

  • Hi john,

    The instructions are still on this site, but the link from this blog entry was broken — thank you for pointing this out, I have fixed it.


  • john

    the step-by-step instructions are no longer on your site. when i click on the link i get a 404 error page. can you please repost the instructions? thanks

  • René

    From the Netherlands a huge THANKS. I was able to save € 250 in following your instructions. HP in the Netherlands weren’t very helpful in solving my problem with the fading magenta. My 2600n was only 1½ years old, just out of warranty. But HP did not show any mercy. Pay for the repair or else buy a new one, was their “service”-reply.
    So once again thank you very much!

  • My printer is calibrating as I write this. I was also amazed that there was very little dirt on the mirrors. If I were to do this again, I may try cleaning the windows via the slots at the back of the toner cartridge bay first, as they seemed the dirtiest and they are part of that assembly and I assume the mirrors shoot the image through them. Also, you don’t really need to label the connectors except the 2 ribbon cables that go to the mirror box because none of them are the same, so you cannot plug them back into the wrong sockets.

    Unfortunately now I’ve got the magenta does not seem to want to line up after recalibrating 3 or 4 times. So it looks like I solved one problem but created another in the process.

    Thanks for the great step by step.

  • Remember – details, with photo step-by-step instructions on the separate page: HP Colour LaserJet Fading Fix

  • Ray

    Very nice job! I did mine this evening and what a difference a little dust makes! I couldn’t even see much more than a little dark spot on the Q-Tips, but that dust really makes a mess of the prints. Thank you so much for posting this! I highly recommend that anyone with a little mechanical ability and a problem with their 2600n attempt this!

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