5 Surprising Facts About Ink and Toner

5 Surprising Facts About Ink and Toner

Know the facts about ink and toner, and you'll save money while creating quality print materials.

Ink, Printing

Computers and printers help you run your company, but you may not have given much thought to your ink and toner. Understanding these cartridges, which are an important part of your workflow, can help you get the best use out of them and ultimately save money.

Here are five interesting, useful facts about ink and toner:

1. Turn Off Color to Make Cartridges Last Longer

Many of the documents you print are likely for internal use only, and they don't need color ink or toner. In this case, set your printer to the black-only preference and you'll get two-and-a-half times more pages per cartridge than if you use color ink. Also, set your printer to the draft mode, which uses less ink. Only print on the regular setting when you need presentation-quality pages.

2. Ink: Use It or Lose It

An increasingly digital workplace might mean you're printing less than ever before, but you can extend the life of your ink cartridge by making sure you're printing something at least once a week. Inkjet cartridges generally produce about 500 printed pages, but they can stop working early if the heads dry out due to infrequent use. Printing a page or two in color and black and white every week helps your cartridge last longer.

3. Recycling Can Pay Off

Around half of toner cartridges and 70 percent of ink cartridges are not recycled or disposed of properly, according to The Energy Collective. That means they end up in landfills. Trashing cartridges is not only bad for the environment; you're also missing out on cost savings. When you recycle your ink and toner cartridges in stores, you might also be able to earn rewards to use on future purchases ... like more ink or toner!

4. Fun Fact: Toner Doesn't Start as a Liquid

While inkjet printers use ink — no surprise there — the toner that laser jet printers use has something in common with 1970s pantsuits: It's actually made from finely ground polyester powder, transferred to the page through an electrically charged, rotating metal drum in the printer. Toner adheres to the areas the laser defines using the data sent by your computer; it's then fused onto the page using heat up to 401 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Fonts Matter

If your default font is Arial, you might want to change it. Certain typefaces consume more ink than others, and Arial will deplete your cartridges faster. Instead, choose Times New Roman, which takes 27 percent less ink than Arial, according to Consumer Reports. Other good choices include Century Gothic and Calibri. You can also use Ecofont, which is designed to use the least amount of ink or toner possible.

If you take care of your ink and toner, they'll last longer and make a smaller dent in your supplies budget. Understanding your tools can help you make better buying choices and still have bright, crisp-looking materials when you need to impress your clients.