In a bid to promote an increased awareness of the true cost of printing, we’ve put together a list of curious and interesting facts about printers that might surprise you:

They lie to you!

Fed up of repeated on-screen messages and red lights warning of low ink? It turns out that most ink cartridges are thrown away when they still have ink left inside them. If you search the internet you’ll find a whole host of ingenious ways to get the most out of your Epson ink cartridges and to stop your printer complaining about it.

Inkjets use ink even when they’re not being used

To keep the print heads from drying out, printers go through cleaning cycles. You’ve probably heard the sound of your printer performing its cleaning maintenance hundreds of times before, but here’s the alarming bit: printers actually use ink to clean the print heads. If you leave an inkjet printer long enough, it can go through an entire ink cartridge without ever once printing.

The weather can influence printer performance

In hot weather you’re more likely to suffer a paper jam. That’s because the humidity affects the paper, causing it to stick together. When you try to print, the printer roller will pull through a number of pages at once – too many for the printer to handle – and you’ll have to open it up to pull the pages out.

Ink is more expensive than Champagne

The average cost of replacing HP ink is roughly £1.70 per millimetre. A bottle of vintage, 1985 Dom Perignon works out at 23p per millilitre – that’s just over 7 times less expensive.

Laser toner isn’t an ink

…it’s actually a fine powder made of carbon and a mix of polymers (or plastics). Ever wondered why printouts from laser printers are hot when you collect them from the tray? It’s because the process of applying the toner to the page involves melting the plastics at a temperature somewhere between 80 – 150 degrees.

Printers can be extremely wasteful

We already know that printers can be expensive to run, but many of us don’t stop to consider how wasteful they can be, and the harmful environmental impact they have. To make just one printer cartridge it takes around 3.5 litres of oil, and for an inkjet ink cartridge it takes roughly 90ml. Hundreds of thousands of depleted ink cartridges are sent to landfill each year, and it takes up to 1000 years for them to decompose.