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Can Printers Print White

Modern printers can print in virtually any color you want, but has it ever crossed your mind to print in white?

In this article, we’ll address the question of whether printers can print in white or not, so stick around.

Do Printers Print White

The short answer to that question is yes; however, things get a bit tricky to achieve a white print. Before knowing how to print white, you must know how printers print in the first place. 

Your everyday printer has about 4 cartridges, the CMYK ink system that consists of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black colors. When a printer receives a printing command, it assigns a specific numerical value to each cartridge, and proceeds to print.

The story with white printing is different. When a printer receives a command to print in white, the numerical values assigned to the cartridges all become 0. If you’re not familiar with the programming language of computers, then you must know that a 0 means blank or clear. 

Therefore, a regular CMYK printer that receives a command to print white on a white document will assign zeros, resulting in blank printing.

How to Print Using White Inkjet Ink

Now that we know how printers print and we know that printing in white is achievable, it’s time to know how to do it. There are multiple methods in which you can print in white, and we’ll get to know some of them.

However, before knowing these methods, it’s vital that you know that white printing needs colored paper. You can’t use white paper in white printing as the end results will be blank on blank. So always use colored papers that’ll make your prints more vibrant and vivid.

Buy a White Ink Cartridge

This is the first solution that you can implement. Ink cartridges come in five colors, and white is one of them. However, white inkjet ink cartridges are the rarest to find, and they’re expensive as well.

Another problem that arises when using white ink cartridges is that; instead of holes being left blank, white ink appears in them. However, it’s a white color that you’ll have to layer up.

CMYW Color Printers

We’re all used to the CMYK printers with their four cartridges, but did you know that there are CMYW printers? They exchange the K for the W, or in other words, Black for White. Unfortunately, the same as before, these white ink cartridges are rare and expensive.

Create a White Ink Effect

This is a trick that you can use to fool your printer into printing in white. You attain it by mixing a slightly different and very light shade of another color with white. For instance, you can combine a small bit of yellow with your white to get an off-white color.

This trick prevents the printer from treating white as a 0 and consequently turning it into blank. When the printer begins the printing process, it’ll mix a bit of your chosen shade with white. 

We know that the end result won’t be all pure white, but if you carefully choose your shade, then the difference will be indistinguishable.

Printing Contours

We listed this method as the last one as it’s pretty tedious to do and takes away from the whole printing thing. Still, it can be your last resort if you’ve no other way. Using a regular CMYK print in white, of course, the results will be blank.

You can then proceed to hand-print white in the spots that the printer left blank. As we previously said, this is a tedious and time-consuming method, you can resort to it as your last option or if all else fails.

Issues Caused by White Printing

White printing is tedious, requires hard work, and can cause a bit of problems as well. For example, you always need to keep the nozzle heads clean as well as keep your whole printer clean and well maintained.

Furthermore, white ink cartridges are costly and rare to find. Plus, it requires special care as it needs to be kept at the proper temperature as extremely high temperatures can lead to viscosity, which may cause printing problems or even damage your printer.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, printing in white is hard but very rewarding. Always remember to print on colored papers, keep your cartridges clean and be on the lookout for white ink cartridges.