Can You Use Sublimation Ink for Regular Printing? (Experts’ Take!)

Printers have brought revolutionary changes to the present world. It has a vital role in day-to-day office life. So, depending on your objectives, the printer’s effectiveness will come into play. As a printer owner, selecting the right kind of ink is an important decision. The choice lies between regular ink or other alternatives. But can you use sublimation ink for regular printing?

Using sublimation ink for everyday printing is not a good idea. It is because most of the printers don’t support this ink. Typically, sublimation ink is used to print T-shirts and other designs on mugs. So, to use the sublimation ink on your regular printer, you need to follow a different procedure.

Once you choose your printer requirements and decide what ink you need, your work will be more accessible, saving you a lot of money and time!

Can You Use Sublimation Ink for Regular Printing?

Difference Between Sublimation Ink and Regular Ink

Before proceeding further, let us clarify the distinction between sublimation ink and regular ink. The differences might be subtle, but they are crucial, nonetheless. Focus on what you’re using your printer for, and then you can decide easily.

Sublimation Ink

In the printing process of dye sublimation, heat and pressure are used. They turn the standard ink directly into gas to complete the process. Here the liquefying step is ignored. Instead, an endothermic process is carried out to complete the procedure.

The sublimation ink is generally used for printing in T-shirts and mugs. First, this ink is turned into a gas by pressurizing. Then it gets attached permanently to the paper or fabrics.

Sublimation inks last longer than any other inks. It has a greater accuracy and gives a great result at the end. The ink requires compatible sublimation papers and a particular inking system to work.

When you go for printing using sublimation ink, the fabric needs to be checked. Not all materials can handle high temperatures.

For example, materials like cotton will not last long in sublimation printing. Polyester and polyester-coated substrates can be used, which is suitable for sublimation ink.

Regular Ink

In the case of regular ink, there are many ink types that you can pick based on your printer model. For example, dye-based ink is made from a mixture dissolved in a liquid.

In short, regular ink is made from a mix of water and color. The colorant gives the ink the color. This standard type of ink is usually used in inkjet printers. It is a good option if you need to print any documents or photographs. In addition, the ink is more economical and convenient.

There is another type of ink known as pigment ink. Professional photographers typically use it to print high-end photos. It helps improve the color depth and increases the sharpness of the picture.

Can Regular Printers Support Sublimation?

Quite frequently, a question is asked about whether a regular printer can support sublimation ink or not. The answer is no. If you try to do it, there will be a wastage of ink. The papers may smear too.

Standard printers cannot work with sublimation ink, as they do not support sublimation paper. Therefore, sublimation ink or dye is used instead of regular ink to perform the sublimation process.

Now, the thing is that many printers out there don’t have that printer heads or ink cartridge option that make the sublimation process work. So due to its absence, most printers fail to handle the process.

Sublimation Compatible Regular printers

From the above discussion, it is pretty evident that all printers cannot handle the sublimation process. It needs to fulfill some features to ensure that it will work on sublimation ink. Some guidelines on printers that can work great with the sublimation papers.

Printers specially made for sublimation printing can only work with the sublimation papers. However, sublimation ink works fine with this.

Some Inkjet printers have compatibility for sublimation. Unfortunately, this feature is not available for the budget Inkjet printers. But at a higher range, the Epson Artisan 1430 inkjet printer will work. Though before buying it, make sure to give a proper check.

Some of the other best-selling sublimation-compatible printers are Sawgrass SG500, Epson Ecotank ET-2760, Brother Inkjet MFC J6945DW, Canon PIXMA TS9520, Hp Smart-Tank plus 551, and WorkForce WF-7210.

Can Sublimation Ink Be Used in A Regular Inkjet Printer?

Frankly speaking, if a printer doesn’t come with the tag of sublimation printing, it is better not to use sublimation ink in the regular Inkjet printer.

Sublimation paper is specially made to lock the sublimated ink’s gas. Regular inkjet printers are not made with this feature. So, the sublimation paper will not work. All the time and money you spend behind it will be a loss. 

Because of the unique procedures during sublimation printing, a regular Inkjet printer will work as a poor ink supplier. In the end, this will lead to the wastage of ink in the printing session. It may often smear. Moreover, if you want to print on a T-shirt, it will only leave you disappointed.


To buy a printer, first, decide your needs. Go for the sublimation ink printers if you are orientated with the printing business on T-shirts or Mugs. On the other hand, a regular printer will satisfy your needs for daily use, like the everyday printing of documents or photos.

Hopefully, we have given all the basic and essential things related to the question: can you use sublimation ink for regular printing. Decide on the correct ink type for your printer today and print to your heart’s content!