This means that there are now more applications for inkjet printers than ever before. However, at the end of the day, inkjet printers rely on pigment and dye inks, which are both water-based.
This means, regardless of what you use your inkjet printer for, if your final prints come in contact with water, they can get smudged. In fact, this is a common gripe amongst people who use their inkjet printers regularly.
Inkjet ink prints smearing on contact with moisture in certain conditions have the potential to ruin a crucial assignment, contract, or even a thriving business.
The risks are real enough for people to want to know how they can prevent inkjet smearing and negate the risks altogether. If you’ve also been wondering about how to prevent inkjet smearing, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are some solutions.
Prevent Inkjet Smearing By Giving Ink Enough Time to Dry
It is incredibly common for users to print their images or documents and start handling them immediately. While photograph printers tend to be slightly more careful, even they can become impatient and start handling their prints too soon.
Depending upon the inkjet printer, the type of ink being used, and the type of paper in use, the drying time of can vary between a few hours to a couple of days. Typically, printed documents need a few hours to be completely dry and photo prints need about 24 hours to dry.
Most people start moving their prints around freely well before that time. While it’s alright to take a print by the corner and put it somewhere it can dry fully, it isn’t advisable to handle it too much. High-end printers with high-quality specialized inks tend to require even more time.
In fact, there are some photo printers whose prints need a month to dry completely. If you’re interested in learning how to prevent inkjet smearing, then our advice to you would be to give your prints enough time to dry. Conduct some research into how much time is recommended and then follow it to the tee.
Pick High-Quality Inks to Prevent Inkjet Smearing
The single most expensive aspect of inkjet printing is ink. It isn’t the printer machine. It isn’t the paper. It isn’t the power that the printer consumes. It is the ink! So, it isn’t surprising that the first thing people think about when they want to save money on inkjet printing is ink.
This results in them choosing poor quality options such as unbranded compatible ink cartridges and refilling services. The immediate fallout of such decisions is inkjet smearing.
The reason for this is that whether the ink holds onto the paper or not depends on its composition and precision in terms of the quantity of ink delivered onto the paper. The cost-cutting options above either result in poor quality ink or the cartridge’s delivery system getting hampered.
With bad-quality ink, there’s no way you can hope to prevent inkjet smearing. Effectively, the best thing to do is get high-quality ink. This doesn’t mean that you have to carry the financial albatross of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) cartridges around your neck.
It just means that you have to make sure that you buy your cartridges from someone reliable and trustworthy.
Prevent Inkjet Smearing By Choosing the Right Combination of Ink and Paper
Another reason why you might be seeing smeared prints is that the ink cartridges and paper type that you’re using are really compatible. This can happen sometimes when people go for cheaper options or even try to upgrade one of the consumables.
However, every inkjet printer comes with a set of recommendations for the type of ink and paper that should be used. You can either choose to follow these recommendations to the letter or try out combinations and permutations of ink and paper types to see which works for you best.
You should also consider upgrading the paper you’re using to a more advanced type. For instance, there are different types of paper available in the market with special coatings on them. The purpose of these coatings is to seal the ink under it and prevent inkjet smearing.
Play With Printer Settings to Prevent Inkjet Smearing
Yes, it could be that simple. You need to prevent inkjet smearing could be resolved as easily as changing the printer settings. Every printer has its own set of settings. Usually, printer setting defaults are the safest settings possible. This means that these settings are as universal as they can be made.
These settings will work for you if you’re using the recommended consumables. However, if you want to change your consumables or go for higher quality, then you’ll have to play with your printer settings.
Needless to say, when you start changing things around, it could lead to smearing in prints if the changes are not in synergy. This is why you may need to change your printer settings to prevent inkjet smearing.
The first thing you should look at is the paper type your printer is set up for. Within printer settings, you’ll be able to change the paper type or model. If the wrong paper type is listed, then correcting it may help you prevent inkjet smearing.
Similarly, you have to consider other settings as well. You don’t want to be printing pictures in draft mode or even printing with saturation off the charts. You want to make sure that your printer settings are suitable for whatever consumables you’re using and the print job you need.
Use Sealants to Prevent Inkjet Smearing
Here’s a secret that all professional photographers are aware of, especially the ones that print their own photos. Every image that you print yourself will be susceptible to smearing particularly if you’re not using specially coated photo paper.
However, in order to prevent inkjet smearing, there are products easily available in the market. These are essentially sealants that you can apply to the surface of the printed image and prevent inkjet smearing because they block the ink from interacting with water.
These sealants are usually known by multiple names such as art protectant or simply “sealant”.
If you can’t find sealants, you can use everyday home items as substitutes. Examples of items you can use include polyurethane, nail polish, and hairspray.
Do Regular Printer Maintenance
Smudges and smears on paper can be caused by dust and dirt on the rollers or transfer belts. Maintenance and cleaning your printer on a regular basis, especially the rollers, will certainly help you to get rid of this problem.
And, when the printed material comes into contact with water or moisture, it also causes smudging on the paper. Check if your ink cartridge is damaged or punctured. If this is the case you may need to consider repairing it. One option is to use laminate film, spray sealant, or any protectant to ensure proper maintenance.
Consider Pigment-Based Inkjet Printers to Prevent Inkjet Smearing
After all, it is possible that your career, business, or education is suffering because your inkjet printer just won’t behave.
The drastic step we’re talking about here is to switch from your current dye ink-based printer to a pigment ink-based printer. Pigment inks, while not waterproof, are more resistant to water than dye inks. As a result, using a pigment ink-based printer will prevent inkjet smearing.
An even more extreme step would be to switch from inkjet printing to laser printing. Laser printer users rarely ever complain of problems like smearing because of water because toner isn’t water-based.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is My Ink Smudging On Glossy Paper?
This is likely due to a combination of factors, including the type of ink used, the type of paper, and the environmental conditions. Some inks are not compatible with glossy paper and can cause smudging or smearing. Additionally, moisture in the air can cause the ink to smudge or smear on glossy paper, making it important to store paper away from moisture sources. Finally, the type of paper itself can also cause the ink to smudge. Glossy paper is designed to be slippery and can cause the ink to spread out when it is printed, which can lead to smudging.
How Do You Get Ink To Set On Glossy Paper?
The best way to set ink on glossy paper is to heat up the form with the help of a lamp or hairdryer right after the printing process. Moreover, keeping your printer in a high-temperature and low-humidity environment will help the ink dry quickly.