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Printing on Glossy Paper Smudges Myth

printing on glossy paper smudges myths - small 55printingThe myth behind the topic: Printing on Glossy Paper Smudges

For decades, there have been a popular tell “Printing on Glossy Paper Smudges Myth”. People with in-house printing machines, often the most popular inkjet technology printers, encounter themselves with a very old and common situation, the printed ink smudges on glossy paper.

There are many reasons why this smudge printed ink could be happening and we will talk about some of them shortly.

Reason #1: Cheap Inkjet Printers


There are many good and reputable printers (like the brands on the image above) but sometimes a bit pricy, people the go for other cheaper unknown brands. Watch out for that!

If you buy a very cheap inkjet printer, you could first read the specification on what paper capabilities the printer has. Some of them are only capable of printing on regular plain paper materials which are really light and easy to manage but don’t try to overload them with a heavy stock glossy paper or you will see problems right away.


These printers have really small electric motors to spin the paper thru the ink cartridges for ink input. If the paper is heavier than the printer specification, the printer might throw a few layers more of ink than necessary, causing a delayed dry up or even a never dried printed sheet causing it to smudge as soon as it touches air.

Reason #2: Cheap Glossy Paper

inkjet drop over paper while printing

China is very famous for providing us with very cheap materials that printing on glossy paper smudges myth could come from there. For all sort of industries including printing as well. Ink, toner, and paper are a most for a print store to function and China knows that.

Sometimes we find a better deal on a glossy paper coming from China than a regular (US) locally produced paper or maybe a famous paper brand. This price discount comes out with a price in some cases and its called “quality”. A glossy paper could drink any inkjet printer ink really nice and smooth if fabricated, packed and shipped correctly. If you saved a few bocks on any of these steps for a cheaper final product, you will end up with lower quality and probably defective paper stock that will not help with your home inkjet printer causing immediate ink smudge.

Reason #3 Paper Stock Meant For Different Printer Type


There is a huge difference between printers manufacturers, among most popular printer providers we find HP (Hewlett Packard) and Epson. These are just 2 different inkjet printers with the biggest difference in the world.

The biggest difference on these 2 companies home base inkjet printers is that Epson prints waterproofs and HP doesn’t. This is a huge thing when printing anything from a photo, flyer, document or even a thank note.

So probably, a certain paper was created for certain inkjet printer and we don’t know about it. So a solution for this is to read from your printer provider to see which paper company they recommend for their printers.

Reason #4 Give it Time to Dry Before Smudging

Last but not least, sometimes it just needs time. Maybe its too cold or humid outside and it needs a little extra time to settle down the ink into the paper to avoid prompt smudging.

Then ink printed over a plain paper usually dries instantly, at the time it’s being printed. For any other thick glossy paper, often used for photo printing, it could take up to 30 seconds for a complete dry. So if you are printing more than 1 picture or more than one piece of paper, consequently, make sure to remove the pages as they come out of the printer. This will prevent friction between pages and avoid the ink to smudge out as they squeeze while still not completely dry.

For laser printers, there is a warm-up period required for the copier machine to operate at optimal performance and avoid ink smudge. When you turn on your printer maker sure to let it warm for a while before printing. Especially if you are using glossy paper that tends to smudge a lot more than regular paper stock.

Thanks for reading our Printing on Glossy Paper Smudges Myth buster!