One thing that is on the mind of every inkjet printer owner is how to reduce their printer’s ink consumption. HP Ink cartridges can be very pricey, so being able to reduce the amount of ink used and maximize the printing output can be a big money saver.

While every printer is different, here are a few ways that you can economize the use of ink for HP printers.

Get To Know Your Printer & Its Settings

Your HP printer’s settings panel will give you lots of information about your printer and its resources. For one, you can get an estimate of how many pages your printer can print based on the current ink levels. You can also check your specific ink levels in each cartridge which helps forecast ink purchasing.

Another thing to look into is your printer’s quality settings. Some printers can switch between printing at a high resolution and standard resolution.  While printing with high-resolution produces much nicer looking prints, it will also consume a lot more ink in the process. If you’re printing professional photos this may be needed, but for standard files that don’t require the highest possible quality, these settings can be a waste of ink.

Use Grayscale Instead of Black & White

Another way to economize the use of ink in HP Printers is to print in grayscale as opposed to traditional black and white.  While the output may look very similar to the untrained eye, printing in grayscale is very different than black and white printing.

When you print in black and white, your printer will simply use the black ink cartridge and whitespace to produce the document. This is called ‘monochrome’ printing. Grayscale printing is actually made up of various shades of the color gray. To achieve this, your printer uses a mixture of inks from your color cartridges.

Since black ink cartridges can cost two to three times as much as a color cartridge, using a little bit of each color cartridge to print basic documents will give your black cartridge a considerably longer life.

Use Ink-Saving Fonts

Another thing you may not realize is that some fonts will use more ink than others.  While the ink savings switching from font to font may be minimal, if you’re printing in high volumes, these savings can definitely add up.

For example, the two most commonly used fonts are Arial and Times New Roman as they are default fonts in Microsoft Word. You may be surprised to find out that Times New Roman is 27% more efficient than Arial when it comes to ink use.

Perform Regular Printer Maintenance

One of the most effective ways to economize the use of ink in your printer is to simply perform regular maintenance on it.  Things like printer ink leakage, dirty printheads, and jams can definitely affect your ink consumption.

Performing maintenance on your printer is a pretty easy thing to do. Most HP Printers come with internal functions that will help to clean certain aspects of your printer. It’s also good to open up your printer and give it a gentle cleaning using a q-tip or cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol. This will get rid of any remnant ink that may be clogging your printheads.

Printer maintenance should be performed about once every month or two, depending on how often you use your printer.

Keep Your Printer Powered On

To those who are energy conscious, leaving your printer on at all times may seem counterintuitive. However, you may not realize that every time you power your printer on, it runs through a small maintenance cycle.

This maintenance cycle will use up small amounts of your ink to clean the print heads out. While the amount of ink used is minor, if you power your printer on and off every day, the amount of ink used will definitely add up.

Check Out HP Instant Ink

HP has an ink subscription service called HP Instant Ink that can be a great way to cut down on ink costs. The program is actually based on the number of pages that you print each month, not on the amount of ink you use. So depending on how often you print and the number of pages you typically print each month, HP Instant Ink can either be a really great option, or an unnecessarily complex one.

To get a better idea if HP Instant Ink is the right choice for you or your business, you can read our full HP Instant Ink review here.

Think Before You Print

Another great way to cut down on your ink use is to simply cut down on your printing. While many people prefer to print out documents and review them as hard copies, think about just how much ink you could save by reviewing the document on a computer or tablet.

There are a number of applications available for both computers and tablets that will let you edit, redline, revise, and otherwise modify documents just as you would on a traditional hardcopy print out. By only printing out documents that absolutely need to be printed, you could end up saving yourself hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per year on printer ink.