Why is my sublimation printer printing lines? How to solve?

Are you noticing annoying lines appearing in your sublimation prints and wondering “why is my sublimation printer printing lines?” I’ve been through the same frustrating situation, and after extensive research, I discovered that the majority of these line issues stem from incorrect print settings or clogged printer heads.

In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll dive deep into why your printer might be producing such blemishes and more crucially, how to fix them. Get ready for cleaner prints as we journey together down a road of fewer streaks and stronger colors!

Why is my sublimation printer printing lines?

The most common causes of printing lines in sublimation printers include clogged printer head nozzles, incorrect print settings, dried ink or dust in the printer heads, and movement during the transfer process.

1. Clogged printer head nozzles

Clogged printer head nozzles are a frequent culprit behind why your sublimation printer is printing lines. This happens when ink dries up or dust accumulates within the tiny passages of the printheads, obstructing smooth ink flow and creating undesirable streaks or bands on your printed images.

It’s much like a garden hose with dirt inside; water will either come out in uneven spurts or not at all. Just as you’d remove the dirt to restore proper water flow, it’s critical to take time regularly to clean these pivotal components of your sublimation printer using its cleaning function or by manually washing them with specific solutions designed for this purpose.

2. Incorrect print settings

I’ve noticed that sometimes sublimation printers can produce lines in prints due to incorrect print settings. This is a common issue that can easily be resolved by adjusting the settings on your printer.

It’s important to make sure that you have selected the appropriate paper type and quality settings for your specific project. Using the wrong print setting can result in lines or streaks appearing on your sublimation prints.

To avoid this problem, take a moment to double-check and adjust your print settings before starting any printing job. By ensuring that you have selected the correct paper type and quality, you’ll be able to achieve crisp and clean sublimation prints without any unwanted lines.

3. Dried ink or dust in the printer heads

One common reason why sublimation printers may print lines is due to dried ink or dust in the printer heads. Over time, ink can dry up and accumulate in the nozzles, leading to blockages that affect the print quality.

Dust particles can also settle on the printer heads and interfere with the printing process. To address this issue, it is important to regularly clean and maintain the printer heads by using a cleaning mode or following specific manufacturer instructions.

By keeping your printer heads free from dried ink and dust, you can ensure optimal print quality without any unwanted lines or streaks appearing on your sublimation prints.

4. Movement during the transfer process

During the transfer process, movement can often lead to lines and blurred prints in your sublimation prints. This typically occurs when the paper or substrate shifts or moves while being pressed with heat.

As a result, the image can become distorted and lines may appear on the final print. To avoid this issue, it’s important to ensure that you align your paper or substrate properly before transferring.

Additionally, using a high-quality heat press with even pressure will help minimize any movement during the transfer process. Taking these steps will help you achieve crisp and flawless sublimation prints without any distracting lines or blurriness.

How to get rid of lines when printing sublimation?

To fix printing lines in sublimation prints, you can run a nozzle check and clean the printer heads, adjust print settings, use special heat-resistant transfer paper, and ensure proper alignment during the transfer.

Want to learn more about troubleshooting other sublimation printing issues?

Run a nozzle check and clean the printer heads

To fix printing lines in sublimation prints, it’s important to run a nozzle check and clean the printer heads. This step is crucial as clogged printer head nozzles can lead to streaks or bands appearing in your printed images.

By running a nozzle check, you can identify if any of the print head nozzles are clogged and then proceed with cleaning them.

Cleaning the printer heads is necessary to eliminate lines caused by dried ink or dust buildup. Regular maintenance and cleaning ensure optimal performance and prevent issues like horizontal banding or ghosting on your sublimation transfers.

Adjust print settings

When dealing with lines in your sublimation prints, adjusting the print settings is an essential step to troubleshoot and rectify the issue. Incorrect print settings can result in various printing problems, including lines or streaks on the printed image.

Make sure to check that your printer’s settings match the type of paper you are using, as different types require different ink saturation levels and drying times.

By ensuring that your print settings are correctly calibrated for the specific paper you’re using, you can minimize the risk of lines appearing on your sublimation prints. This simple adjustment can greatly improve the overall quality and clarity of your transferred images.

Use special heat-resistant transfer paper

I highly recommend using special heat-resistant transfer paper to prevent printing lines in your sublimation prints. This type of paper is specifically designed to withstand the high temperatures involved in the sublimation process, ensuring that the ink transfers smoothly and evenly onto your substrate.

Regular printer paper or other types of transfer paper may not be able to handle the heat, causing streaks or bands to appear in your prints. By using heat-resistant transfer paper, you can minimize the risk of lines and achieve professional-quality sublimation results.

Ensure proper alignment during the transfer

Proper alignment during the transfer process is crucial for avoiding lines in your sublimation prints. When transferring the image onto the substrate, make sure that both the paper and the substrate are perfectly aligned.

Use registration marks or a heat-resistant tape to secure them in place. This will prevent any shifting or movement that can cause unwanted lines on your prints. Additionally, ensure that you apply even pressure during the transfer using a quality heat press machine.

By taking these measures, you can achieve clean and crisp sublimation prints without any distracting lines or inconsistencies.

Tips for preventing printing lines in sublimation prints

why is my sublimation printer printing lines

1. Regularly clean and maintain the printer heads

I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to regularly clean and maintain your sublimation printer heads. Dirty print heads can be a major culprit for those frustrating lines that appear on your prints.

Over time, ink residue and dust can build up in the printer heads, clogging the nozzles and causing streaks or bands in your images. By cleaning the printer heads on a regular basis, you can ensure that ink flows smoothly and consistently, resulting in crisp and flawless prints every time.

Don’t overlook this simple yet effective maintenance task – it could make all the difference in achieving professional-quality sublimation prints without any pesky lines ruining your designs.

2. Use high-quality sublimation ink

I always recommend using high-quality sublimation ink for your prints. Low-quality ink can lead to a variety of issues, including lines in your sublimation prints. High-quality ink is formulated specifically for sublimation printing and helps ensure vibrant colors, sharp details, and smooth gradients.

It also reduces the chance of clogged printer heads and streaks on your printed images. Investing in good ink can make a significant difference in the quality of your sublimation prints and minimize any potential line issues you may encounter.

So, choose high-quality sublimation ink to achieve professional-level results with your prints!

3. Ensure proper drying time before transferring

To prevent lines in your sublimation prints, it’s crucial to ensure proper drying time before transferring. When the ink is not fully dry, it can smudge or bleed during the transfer process, resulting in unwanted lines on your prints.

To avoid this issue, allow sufficient drying time for your printed design before heat pressing it onto your substrate. This will help ensure a clean and crisp transfer without any streaks or bands appearing in the final result.

By giving your sublimation prints ample time to dry, you’ll achieve professional-quality results that are free from any undesirable lines or distortions. Remember, patience is key when it comes to achieving flawless sublimation prints!

4. Handle prints with care during the transfer process

During the transfer process, it is crucial to handle your sublimation prints with utmost care. Mishandling can lead to lines and imperfections on the final result. Avoid touching or smudging the printed surface, as this can cause streaks or banding in the image.

Additionally, be careful not to fold or crease the print, as this can also result in unwanted lines.

Remember that sublimation prints are delicate and sensitive to external factors. Ensure that you have a clean and smooth workspace when transferring your prints onto different surfaces.

Any dust or debris can easily get trapped between the transfer paper and substrate, leading to visible lines or distortions.

5. Use a heat press with even pressure

When using a sublimation printer, it is vital to ensure that you have a heat press with even pressure. Uneven pressure during the transfer process can lead to lines appearing in your prints.

This can happen if there are areas on the substrate or paper where the heat press doesn’t make sufficient contact, causing uneven ink distribution and resulting in visible lines. To avoid this issue, regularly check your heat press for any signs of wear or damage that could affect its performance.

Additionally, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly set up and use your heat press machine to achieve consistent and high-quality sublimation prints.

6. Adjust print settings to match the paper type

One important aspect to consider when troubleshooting printing lines in sublimation prints is adjusting the print settings to match the paper type. This step is often overlooked but can make a significant difference in producing clean and crisp prints.

If your printer is using the wrong print settings for the specific type of paper you are using, it can result in lines appearing on your prints. Make sure to select the correct paper type in your printer settings menu, ensuring that it matches the actual paper you have loaded into the printer.

By doing this simple adjustment, you can prevent unwanted lines and achieve better results in your sublimation printing process.

7. Test prints and make necessary adjustments

I always recommend sublimation makers to take the time to test prints and make necessary adjustments. This step is crucial in ensuring that you get the best possible results from your sublimation printer.

By printing a small sample of your design before committing to a full print, you can easily identify any issues such as lines, streaks, or color inaccuracies. Take note of any imperfections and make the necessary adjustments to your printer settings, heat press pressure, or image alignment if needed.

Testing prints allows you to fine-tune your process and achieve higher quality sublimation prints every time. So don’t skip this important step in troubleshooting and perfecting your sublimation printing!

8. Seek professional assistance if needed

If you encounter persistent issues with your sublimation printer, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance. Sometimes, troubleshooting can be tricky and require specialized knowledge.

Professional technicians have experience dealing with various printing problems and can offer tailored solutions to get your printer back on track.

They will be able to diagnose the root cause of the printing lines and take appropriate measures to fix them. By entrusting your sublimation printer to experts, you can save time and effort in trying different troubleshooting methods without guaranteed results.

Remember, seeking professional assistance ensures that any underlying technical or mechanical issues are properly addressed. This way, you can continue producing high-quality sublimation prints without worrying about recurring line issues or other printing problems.


1. What could be causing my sublimation printer to print lines?

There are several possible causes for a sublimation printer printing lines, including clogged printhead nozzles, low ink levels or outdated firmware.

2. How can I clean the printhead of my sublimation printer?

To clean the printhead of your sublimation printer, you can usually find specific instructions in the user manual provided by the manufacturer. It may involve using a cleaning solution and following a step-by-step process to ensure proper maintenance.

3. Why are there blank spots on my printed images with my sublimation printer?

Blank spots on printed images from a sublimation printer may occur due to insufficient ink coverage or improper calibration settings. Adjusting the heat press temperature and pressure settings, as well as ensuring sufficient ink levels, can help resolve this issue.

4. Should I consider contacting technical support if my sublimation printer continues to print lines after troubleshooting?

If troubleshooting steps do not resolve the issue of your sublimation printer printing lines, it is advisable to reach out to technical support for further assistance. They have expertise in diagnosing specific problems related to your model and can provide more targeted solutions or arrange repairs if necessary.


In conclusion, addressing and fixing printing lines in sublimation prints is crucial to achieving high-quality results. By regularly cleaning and maintaining your printer heads, adjusting print settings accurately, using proper transfer paper and ensuring proper alignment during the transfer process, you can eliminate those frustrating lines that may appear on your prints.

Additionally, understanding other common sublimation printing issues like low print quality, faded images, or color inaccuracies will help you troubleshoot effectively. Remember to test prints and make necessary adjustments for optimal output.

If you encounter persistent issues or need professional assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out for expert support. Happy sublimating!

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