Printer Ink Cartridges – How To Improve Print Quality

The drop-on-demand technology in inkjet printers makes the machine an excellent device for printing text and images, as the precise amount of ink and color are delivered to the print head and transferred to the paper (or any medium) on each pass. This technology allows inkjets to be used even in demanding environments such as professional photography, as the page printed from inkjet photo printers rival those made by more expensive photo developing machines.

Inkjets may be easy and convenient to use, but like other machines, there are times when the output leaves much to be desired. In order to help ordinary users make the best out of their inkjet printers, we have compiled the following tips to maintain and improve print quality.

Maintenance

The manual that came with the inkjet prescribes that the printer should not be used in dusty and moist surroundings, as dust and moisture interfere with the mechanical and electronic components of the device. Moreover, the ways to clean the printer’s outer and inner parts as well as parts to avoid are prescribed, so owners should heed these instructions to get the machine in top shape.

For cleaning the print head nozzles, the driver software that came with the machine typically has utility tools that make routine cleaning of these electronic components a breeze. When you see some degradation of print quality, or if there are white bands on the printed page, dried ink may be obstructing or deflecting ink flow, so you should perform print head cleaning using the utility tools. The built-in cleaning mechanisms ensure that the minute passageways are clear of any obstructions which affect print quality.

Epson Inkjet Printers have a nozzle check and a print head cleaning utility. Use them when your Epson ink cartridges are not performing to their full potential. The picture above shows the Epson nozzle check utility.

Use High-Quality Inks

Users normally aren’t concerned with the characteristics of the inks used in inkjet printers (except perhaps those who require archival inks to print documents for posterity). Thus, most people know only the manufacturer’s code for the cartridges but don’t know what ink types are inside.

Most inkjet printers use aqueous inks which are mixtures of water, glycol, and dyes. These inks are produced inexpensively, but controlling their behavior on a paper surface (or other media) poses a challenge – the dye must remain in the surface while the carrier liquid must rapidly disperse to avoid spreading.

The evaporation of the carrier liquid must not be too quick either – it shouldn’t occur while the ink droplet is still within the nozzle or print head as it would clog the passageway if it does. Thus, ink manufacturers experiment on ingredients and proportions to get the best result, analyzing properties such as color tone, feathering, inter-color bleed, text sharpness, performance on various media types and long-term stability (both of the ink and the printed page).

Consumables from the same manufacturer are commonly believed to be the best inks for each brand of printer. In other words, use genuine hp ink cartridges in your hp inkjet printer. But these days, compatible ink makers are now able to equal if not surpass the quality of inks produced by the major brands. Users now can purchase high-quality inks at lower prices and still get high-quality prints from their inkjets.

Correct Paper Type

Starch is used as a binder in paper production and the amount of starch coating determines ink penetration during printing. As an example, newsprints do not use as much starch so the ink used in printing is not absorbed well – that is why you sometimes have black stains on your hands when you read the morning paper.

For routine documents, using plain paper would be okay, as penetration and spread of the ink would hardly be noticeable. Printing of photographs or images requires much more precision, so it is necessary to use coated papers to ensure quality prints. Coated paper is expensive and better coating means higher costs, so using these types of paper should be done only when necessary.

Some paper types have printable sides which produce better prints than those printed on the wrong side. You should note the instructions that come with this type of paper and make sure that these are correctly fed to the printer so that prints would be made on the printable side.

Inputting the correct paper setting may also dramatically affect output quality, as this has a direct bearing on the amount of ink that is put on paper. The plain paper setting consumes more ink, while glossy and photo paper settings useless. When you find a setting that works perfectly for a particular paper type, remember the setting so you’ll be able to get the same results in the future.