Why printers use so much ink

Ever wonder why your inkjet printer uses a lot of ink? The reason behind this is due to the design of the print head. The print head is the small electronic device which spits the ink onto the paper after it has gone out of the ink cartridges. In other words the actual part of the printer which flies back and forth over the paper and applies the ink to the paper.

Because the modern print head has to print at very high resolutions there are literally tens of thousands of small holes from which the ink is sprayed from to produce the high quality images which we all demand.

Where is all of that valuable ink going?

The ink outlet holes on the print head's surface are many times smaller than the diameter of a human hair and because of this they can become blocked or 'clogged' very easily. The inkjet printer has a sponge running the whole width of the print head track (underneath the print head) so when you hear your printer racing back and forth when you are not printing it is actually cleaning itself.

The print head is actually squirting your valuable ink onto the sponge as it cleans the print head surface. As the sponge gets filled up the ink gets deposited into the waste container underneath the sponge. Anyhow take a look at the video below and see for yourself where all of your valuable ink is going. (PS: the printer in the video is an Epson)

A visual look at why printers use so much ink

Now that you've seen where a large amount of your expensive ink is going you may like to have a read of this article: Why do ink cartridges cost so much. Very interesting to read that 80% of most printer companies profit comes from consumables !

Can you reduce the amount of ink your printer consumes?

Fortunately with most of the common Inkjet Printers the answer is YES ! Remember that ALL Inkjet Printers are designed to do a Print Head clean every time that they are turned ON. During this initial clean a massive amount of your valuable ink is consumed. The easiest way to avoid this happening is to simply Leave Your Printer Turned ON !

By leaving your printer turned ON you can reduce the amount of ink it consumes by up to 80% or more (depending on how much printing you do). The average Inkjet Printer will only consume around 6 - 10 watts of power when its in standby mode. This amount of power would add almost nothing onto your annual power bill. Compare this with the cost of ink which is consumed in a year by turning the printer ON and OFF each time it is used.