How to make printer ink dry faster?

Updated: 2021-04-26

Does not your printer ink dry fast enough?

Even the best inkjet printers have their limits, resulting from the specific features of the inkjet printing process. And these specifics can be annoying for some users.

For example many people dislike that printer ink does not dry fast enough. Even after the print job is finished, the ink tends to remain wet for a few moments after the paper is pulled out of the printer. This means that if you are not careful, you can smudge the printout or even leave fingerprints on it.

There are ways to make the printer ink dry faster, but first let’s look at the main reasons why the ink doesn’t dry as fast as we would like.

How Humidity Affects Printer, ink and paper

Most of us don’t think much about how humidity affects printer, ink and paper, but if you do a lot of printing at home or in business, you may find that humidity can make a big difference in how well your printer works.

Whether you’re printing photos, memos, or other documents, you’ll find that humid environment can cause your printer to leave a watermark on your printouts. This can make a big difference in how your prints look, as well as how your printer functions.

The humidity of the environment in which your printer is kept can affect the performance and life of its ink cartridges. As the relative humidity (RH) in a room increases, the amount of moisture in the air also increases. As a result, the ink in your printer’s cartridges can become more susceptible to the negative effects of high levels of moisture. The shorter the page-life of your printer’s cartridges, the less money you can expect to save in the long run. This is why it is important to keep the humidity levels in your home or office as low as possible.

Every printer model is designed with a specific humidity range in mind. Printers work better in dry conditions, which is why people who live in humid climates should use a dehumidifier during the summer to keep the air at a comfortable level. But that’s not all that humidity does to printers. Humidity also affects ink and paper, and it can even affect scan quality.

What to do if the ink on the paper does not want to dry after printing?

The ink in printers is designed to dry quickly, because otherwise the paper might get smeared when the page is turned or when the next page is printed. But, for some subjects, this is not fast enough. If the printer is trying to print a photo of a fast moving scene, the ink will take too long to dry. The image will come out blurred. This is a problem that happens in real life, but there are some solutions to the problem.

How to make The ink dry faster?

If you print photos in your home or office, you know how frustrating it can be when the ink takes forever to dry. A small amount of ink on a printer cartridge can take an hour or more to fully dry due to the fact that printer ink is water-based. If you don’t want to print forever, your only option is to let the ink dry faster. But is it possible?

Dry time is a big issue with inkjet printers. And the primary problem is the paper. When inks are applied to wet paper, they do not dry. They remain wet, and the longer they remain wet, the greater the chance the image will be smeared and/or the paper will be damaged. So, how can you speed up ink pigment s drying on paper?

There are several ways you can try, each with their own pros and cons. Although they may seem like viable options, the real answer to your slow-drying-ink question is simply – wait. Please try the following methods only if you really can’t afford waiting. If used improperly, you can cause a damage your print or even to your printer.

Ways to make a photo print dry faster that you can (but do not have to) try

Using an electric fan, hairdryer or a heat gun to dry the ink faster

Fan, blow dryer, heat gun. These are all ways to use hot air circulation to dry a photo. Airdrying works, the only problem is that you usually can’t adjust the power level of your hair dryer properly and you end up damaging the photo or at least degrading the quality and colours.

Not really recommended, unless you are very careful.

Use a paper towel to dry the ink

Contact ink drying methods are not suitable. You should definitely avoid any direct contact of anything with the surface of the freshly printed photo.

Not recommended.

Speeding up ink drying using a microwave oven

Did you know that it is believed that it was the Greek philosopher Plato who discovering that if someone mixes 2 different colours of paint, it makes a 3rd colour!

Microwave ovens are great for a lot of things: reheating leftovers, preparing popcorn, melting fondue cheese, making scientific experiments that you see on Youtube, and that you should under no circumstances do at home.

But did you know that you can use your microwave to do more than just reheat and re-season your food? You can also use it to speed up the drying time on your inkjet prints. Of course, only if you have a large enough microwave.


Using ink additives to accelerate drying

Cobalt and manganese are powerful oxidizers that play important roles in the drying process. Cobalt is for this purpose often used, but in microvolumes between 0.5 and 1 percent of the compound.

Careful control of the amount used is necessary, as too much can result in “ghosting” (gas bubbles) or a “poor” trapping (low-quality drying).

Manganese can also be used, but it is very potent and might require an expert to use properly.

It should also be taken into account that the biodegradability of such paper with additives is questionable.

Recommended but only for professionals. Not really suitable for home use.

Using heat lamps / infrared lamps

Probably the fastest way how to speed up photo drying at home, is to use a product called a heat lamp. A heat lamp is basically a light (standard or infrared) bulb on a stand that is designed to be used to dry up wet photos. The heat lamp works by warming up the photo with its light, e.g. IR lights are often used with professional large format printers.

Recommended even for home use.

As you can see, the best way to get a nice, high-quality photo through an inkjet printer is to arm yourself with patience and wait for the photo to dry itself out in its natural way and pace.

If time is your enemy and you really need to speed up the drying process, use carefully either a heat lamp, best infrared or a microwave. These are the ways in which you will do the least damage to your photos (or none at all) and with a little practice you can do it at home.