As a distributor for Epson, Canon , HP and many others we are often ask this question: How much ink is wasted in cleaning the printhead of my printer? and also will printers clog?
I’m often asked about printer reliability and clogging and general ink usage. A lot of people read terrible stories about clogging and ink waste in online forums. Ink has two purposes , the first one of course is to go onto the paper to make the print and the other to maintain the print heads/printing capability.
If you print a lot then the proportion of ink that’s used for printing is higher, but some is still used to keep the printer working and the head clean.
Modern printer inks contain ingredients that are there to prevent such issues as drying out, settling of pigments and optimal expression by a print head.
Ink engineering is a key part of the design process for printers, this why we always recommend to avoid 3rd party inks.
The best way of keeping your printer in good order is to use it regularly.
By regularly I mean at least once every two weeks, even for a simple nozzle check on plain paper. Turning it off for long periods to avoid cleaning can easily be a false economy, since some printers will spot this and do an extra strong clean, just in case.
Some just do an extra clean when powered on, instead of waking up from standby. More importantly turning off your printer for a long period of time will very likely result in clogging your printhead.
One way to lower the cost of the ink is to remember that the bigger the ink cartridge, the lower the cost of ink per unit volume. this generally translate into bigger size printers (24" and above can use 700 ml inks) and therefore higher upfront costs for printers and inks but lower cost per print and per cleaning.