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Inkjet $$$ Ink. Why so expensive? Answered

whats the cost of inkjet ink? 1000/gal? 
could somethin else be used? whats so special about the stuff?

and could we run lemon juice thru for invisible ink?  or a UV  ink?  or foodcoloring?


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6 years ago

Back in the day when I still had to print alot I was asking myself the same question and came to a simple conclusion: Quality...

No, not what you might think in terms of expensive ingredients but in terms of long term stability on the print and for printing in the same colors you see on the screen.

No problem for the every day printing job, especially if it is only text but for photos on glossy paper in good quality.

I soon transformed my Epson to use external tanks for two reasons.

A) It used permanent print heads, so once dried it was a pain to get all nozzles working properly again.

B) Costs. A 100ml refill for one color was the price of two original cartridges...

But I had to perform a lo of tests until I found an ink that performed well on glossy paper and provided good UV resistance as nothing is worse than a print that is faded away within a year.

Biggest pain was the color calibration to the cheaper colors, I think I wasted about 30 sheets of glossy paper (each used for 4 prints) until I was satisfied with the result.

If you print a lot you get a laser printer with low running costs, inkjet printer means you buy a bigger box for the ink initially and sponsor the real price through the later ongoing costs in cartridges.

Most printers now even have counters for the cleaning runs performed and will refuse to work once they indicate the waste tank is full - somehing I solved on my Epson by installing a dump pipe into another external container.
There are many websites that offer detailed tests of printers, it really pays off to check for the actual costs per print when buying new.

The difference can be as much as 20cents per A4 full color page.

Investing in an external ink system always pays off if you have to buy new cartrides more than 3 times a year.