Can you Use Sublimation Ink for Regular Printing?

Sublimation printing is growing on-trend these days. 

Today the hot topic is can I use sublimation ink for a Regular printer?

The sublimation process can be done quickly with T-shirts, woods, glass surfaces, mugs, and other substrates. Therefore, sublimation printing is more attractive than any other type of printing. 

The precise answer to this question is no; you cannot use sublimation ink in a standard printer; a specific type of ink is used for sublimation printers.

So if you want to know a detailed answer, keep on reading this informative post. 

Sublimation Ink 

The ink with stable features and not affected by the washing mugs, T-shirts, and other sublimation substrates is known as sublimation ink. Sublimation ink is very different from the regular ink used for printing and transferred on paper at high temperatures. 

However, the patterns, designs, and logos are easy to print with sublimation ink and have a special protection coating. It is highly durable and reliable and commonly used in Epson printers. Therefore, you should only use the sublimation ink for the sublimation printers. 

Types of Regular Ink to Use in Normal Printers

There are various types of inks for regular printers; the inkjet printer uses ink, and the thermal printer uses toners.

Inkjet Printer ink

Inkjet printers are the ideal option for home production uses, families, and college students. The results of this ink are of high quality with accuracy and efficiency. It is the best option for offices for low-volume printing jobs as inkjet printers work with two kinds of ink: dye printer ink and pigment ink. 

Thermal Printer ink

The thermal printer ink works with the fine powder known as toner. Due to their fast productivity, thermal printers are used in the offices, as the toner is fused on the drum and is transferred on the paper with the heat process. The toners are made up of various polymers, compounds, and minerals. 

Dye-Based inks

Dye-based inks are made with different colors dissolved in the liquid, as it can be water or glycol. The ink flows from the printer head to the paper. These inks can dry very soon, and most inkjet printers use them because of their reasonable price and better results. 

However, this ink has bright, vibrant, prosperous, and sharp printing options in images and photos. A particular type of paper is used in the dye inks, and it is not waterproof, so it fades up after 5 to 25 years. 

Can You Use Other Types of Inks in Normal Printers?

There are lots of other types of printers that you can’t use for normal printers. However, each type of printer offers different printers to use. All the printers and ink types are given in below:

Ribbon inks

Ribbon ink is the best used in thermal and dot matrix printers as ink is coated on the ribbon. It melts due to the heat and transfers on the paper. You can use the dot matrix printers for ribbon ink.

UV ink

The UV ink is used on the exterior layer of the printing surface or substrate. It works with the source of UV light and dries faster than any other ink. These ink are suitable for regular desktop inkjet printers.

Liquid ink

This oink is not similar to dye-based ink and is like a liquid in the inkjet printer. So what printer uses liquid ink? the Inkjet Printer uses liquid ink. 

Difference Between Sublimation and Regular Ink to use in a Printer

There are some aspects in which sublimation ink and regular inks are different. Let’s have a look at these.


Sublimation ink is used for printing on glassware, photos, artwork, T-shirts, and other industrial products. It is a standard ink type used for paper printing and photos. 


The productivity of the sublimation ink depends on the purpose and products you want to print. The sublimation ink print options are different from the T-shirts. The regular inks come with more productivity on paper than sublimation, but it is the most effective option for industrial products and photos. 


The quality of the sublimation ink is best compared to any other ink to create images, photos, and glass T-shirts. At the same time, regular ink gives the best results to print on paper-like material, but others do not. 


Due to the high print quality, sublimation ink is expensive compared to regular inks. Cost depends on many features, so it is impossible to give an accurate figure. 


Wastage of ink in both sublimation ink and regular ink is similar to the ink waste due to the contact with air and replacement.


compatibility of sublimation ink and regular ink depends on the models of printers in which they are used.


The warranty of any ink depends on the offer of the company. Some companies offer a lifetime warranty, and some for a limited time.


In sublimation inks, there is a wide variety of colors and produces 256 colors.

While the regular ink can print in black color.

Pros of Sublimation ink

  • Produce high-quality prints
  • Replacement not hard
  • Waterproof and long-lasting
  • Less wastage during replacement
  • Offer an ultimate range of colors
  • Printing is fast and easy

Cons of Sublimation Ink

  • Works only 100% on polyester
  • Black and dark colors do not give high results
  • The printer head needs daily head cleaning

Pros of Regular ink

  • For home use
  • Wastage is less
  • Cost is reasonable 
  • Used in colorful printing
  • Used for paper printing

Cons of Regular ink

  • Nondurable
  • Fades faster
  • Not for bigger projects

Why is Sublimation ink not Used for Regular Printing

  • Complicated process
  • Not compatible
  • Zero results
  • Compatible technologies
  • Sublimation paper

Frequently Asked Questions

The ink jet printer that uses a heat process can be used in sublimation printing

You can use sublimation ink in those inkjet printers that come with sublimation compatibility

Yes, a sublimation printer is used that is compatible with the available ink cartridges for sublimation printing. 


So by reading the above facts and figures, it is clear that you cannot use sublimation ink for regular printing. This means that sublimation ink is not as easy as you might think. It is a complicated process for which you must keep some possibilities in mind and follow the limitations. There are some exceptions in which sublimation ink can be used in regular printing but with few limitations.

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