General Question

2davidc8's avatar

Why does printing in black & white deplete the yellow cartridge?

Asked by 2davidc8 (9701points) March 2nd, 2014

I have a Hewlett-Packard inkjet printer and 95% of the time I print in just black and white. In the print dialog, I select “black ink only”, yet I’ve noticed that the yellow cartridge is used up at approximately the same rate the black one. (The cyan and magenta, however, are not used, these are depleted only when I print in color.) Why is that?

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3 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

The printer uses some colour ink when printing black and white to improve the quality of the output. It will also use some ink to service the print head and stop it from getting blocked while not being used.


Wealthadvisor's avatar

Most printers, unless they have a grey ink cartridge, can not print grey just by using the black ink cartridge. I usually requires the use of another color to create grey. You should check you printer user manual to see how your printer creates grey.

So even though you are printing in black and white, my guess is you have a lot of grey shades in your document. Your printer, most likely, is using yellow to lighten the black to create grey.

2davidc8's avatar

@Lightlyseared @Wealthadvisor What you’ve said makes a lot of sense. Thank you.

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