Cleaning the SamSung ML 1610 Laser Printer

30 September 2008

Laser Printers are getting cheaper. They work well and need very little maintenance except for changing the toner cartridge. At times, there may be a need to clean the lens of the Laser Scanning Unit (LSU). This article tells how to clean this lens which was not covered properly in the Samsung’s printer manuals or servicing guide.


What is this LSU unit?
It is the “printer head” of the printer. Instead of emitting ink, the LSU emits a laser beam, directing it at the drum of the toner cartridge so that electrostatic charge can be transferred onto the paper to form a “temporary glue” to pick up the carbons as the paper passes through the drum.

Why need to clean the unit?
Sometimes, when we move our printer around with toner cartridge still inside, some toner powder could have fallen on to the lens of the LSU. This will weaken the laser beam and prevent electrostatic charge being transferred onto the paper; as a result, the printing either got missing characters or blank vertical lines.

Where is this LSU unit located?
This is where the manual or the servicing guide wasn't very useful. The unit is hidden from view and it is located on top of the toner cartridge. A proper tool such as the dentist's mirror would have to used to see the lens. The lens is protected by a rectangular plastic window of about 100 mm x 10 mm. (Picture shows the LSU with the printer cover removed)

How to clean this lens?
As the lens is made of plastic material, it may not be advisable to use any form of cleaning chemical that would attack the plastic. The recommendation is just to use a cotton wool without any chemical.

There are 2 ways to do this cleaning job:-

a) Without stripping the printer unit
1. Switch off the power of the printer
2. Remove the toner cartridge
3. From the front cover, use finger to feel the rectangular window that protects the lens; paying attention not to touch the lens

4. Use a clean cotton wool and insert it into the window. Gently clean the lens with horizontal movement. (picture shown with top cover removed)

5. Change the cotton wool if necessary until no more carbon or dirt is seen on the cotton wool.

b) Removal of printer cover to clean the lens
This is for those who are mechanically savvy . To remove the cover,

a) Switch off the printer and remove the printer cable and the power cable
b) Remove the front cover from its hinges and unscrew the 2 screws in the front of the top cover;

c) Turn the printer around to the back cover and unscrew the 4 screws that attached the top cover and the back cover to the printer

d) Remove the back cover gently to expose the electronic board. Try not to touch the electronic board

e) Turn the printer around with the electronic board facing towards you and use your left and right hand fingers to slightly ply open the bottom part of the top cover where the 2 front screws were located; at the same time, try to gently lift the top cover off the printer. The top cover should come off from the printer in one piece
f) Locate the LSU and clean the lens with cotton wools
g) Reassemble the covers in reverse order.



Anonymous said...


I use a Samsung ML-1640. I just bought it recently (Probaly a month back) and already it reports an LSU error. Does that mean that this particular model is faulty?

Also, I tried to clean the LSU unit. At least I think it's the LSU unit. It was a tube that was of a colour slightly darker than neon green that I saw when I took out the toner.

However, the printer is still not working. I am at a loss and I've tried searching online forums but to no avail! Perhaps I could get some help from you? Should I replace the toner?

Please reply me at

Thank you very much!!!


Sky Juice said...

If the Laser Scan Unit(LSU) is faulty, it would have to be replaced. The electronic board could also be faulty. These parts are not only difficult to get but also expensive. Since the printer is new, have it replaced.

The LSU is hidden from view. One would have to dismantle the cover. The "neon green tube" that you have seen in the toner is probably the drum, part of the toner unit. Replacement of toner would not help.

Gerardtm said...

It is easy to open the laser unit as well for even more thorough cleaning: there are 4 clips that are easy to pry open from below. The instructions saved me purchasing a new printer. Thanks !

suma said...

I had cleaned LSU unit but still printer is not working. How much it will cost to replace LSU unit or repair of electric board. is it better to buy new printer rather than repairing of the older one. reply on

Anonymous said...

With the help of your instructions, I managed to disassemble my ml-1610 enough to be able to rotate the takeup rubber back into its correct position.

The problem occurred as a result of my pulling out jammed paper through the printer's front opening.

Now it's back to working condition.

Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the effort to write this tutorial.
It was very helpful!

paulbisente said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this information on your site.
Also see my webpage: Clean and Green Washroom Products

Anonymous said...

Hi nice info.can you provide more info like which part use for which purpose. My same printer giving online light blink.paper just feed half.which u can easily emove by hand .can you tell what will be problem.empty toner?how to know toner is empty. 91-8108730063

Bob said...

Wow thanks! I managed to fix my printer with your guidelines, so this saves me buying a new one!

print head said...

Great post ! I am really thankful to you for sharing such a nice information about cleaning the samsung ML 1610 laser printer. Keep posting information like this.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, this was very helpful for me disassembling the ML1610. The lens cleaning (cotton bud only)greatly improved the quality of prints. Furthermore the internal cleaning (with a brush) and the lubricating of all gearwheels lead to no more paper jams :) Now it works just like new!

Sweet Fairy said...

Great post with so nice details. Can i print Plastic cards by any laser printer?

Sky Juice said...

Sweet Fairy
The Samsung ML 1600 is just an ordinary laser printer and not a plastic card printer. It does not have dye sublimation and/or thermal transfer printing capabilities.

plastic cards printing said...

Thanks for an insightful post. These comments are really helpful.. I found a lot of useful tips from this post.

Anonymous said...

Te lo agardezco!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this guide!
Additionally - our laser lens was dirty on the inside. not the accessible front side.
As someone said above, it's easy to open the laser unit and clean the inside of the lens too. We had bought a new original toner and had a white line down the page. After cleaning our printer is now as good as new. Thank you.

Jacintha Sujatha said...

thanks for your explanation...just sorted out my ml-1610....

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone ... I opened and then closed again for a few minutes the cover that protects the unit 'LSU just to see what was inside ... Now the printer continues to perform well, however, 'I want to ask if opening the unit' might have been compromised ... thanks

samsung galaxy said...

Great work! This is the kind of info that are supposed to be shared
around the net. Shame on the seek engines for no longer positioning
this put up higher! Come on over and talk over with my website .
Thanks =)

John Locke said...

Wonderful post i must appreciate your post keep it up and for your printer always use best quality Ink and Toner Cartridges so you should not tease your self by refilling toner and cartridges every week.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your thorough write up on cleaning laser printers. Been using a lot of Samsung printer copier scanner Singapore (multifunction) the last few years.

Anonymous said...

Great post, I repaired my printer in few minutes with this guide :-)